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Julie MacLeod: Driving online traffic to website is key for businesses


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Julie MacLeod. Picture by: Alison White Photography.
Julie MacLeod. Picture by: Alison White Photography.

All I want for Christmas for my business is - well quite a list of things really. One useful gift for any small to medium sized business might be to increase its business presence. Many a hidden gem can go quietly unnoticed whether it be a superb hospitality venue, visitor attraction, amazingly unique or luxurious accommodation or a unique product or service.

As a serial entrepreneur I have, like many other businesses I know, put much effort into getting my product or service just right and then hoping, just hoping that I get noticed by the right people. I have learned that it can take quite some time gaining that deserved reputation and market presence. The point at which I can sit back and let the phone start ringing or the email box start pinging with enquiries. In the Highlands there are so many great businesses that it can be hard for every business to stand out from the crowd.

“All I want for Christmas is…” text on notebook written by young woman with colorful gloves in festive decor
“All I want for Christmas is…” text on notebook written by young woman with colorful gloves in festive decor

One common misconception and one which I have fallen for myself is that when creating a web presence (either through a website or a Facebook page) its about cheap and cheerful. Using a free toolkit or the services of a techy friend and providing some pictures taken on my phone with a bit of supportive text to go with it – job done.

But how do you drive the online traffic towards your website or other social media platforms?

The truth is when it comes to internet presence, the amount of investment the big companies, (in particular booking agencies if you are providing holiday accommodation), pour into ranking on Google makes them very difficult to outrank. However, the good news is, you don’t have to outrank them. You just need to be seen! …Ideally on page one of a Google search.

Without getting too technical, this comes down to the strength of your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and more specifically the way Google views the quality and helpfulness of your website.

A common mistake business owners make, and I include myself in this category, is populating a new beautifully designed website with old content or writing the content themselves. I am so glad that I bumped into Justin Hendricks of Mind Trick Copywriting before I invested in my internet presence for my own business ventures. Check out my websites: www.technacom.com and www.theoldschoolhouse.uk. In reality, a professional copywriter like Mind Trick Copywriting is who you need to speak to about writing the vital content for your website. A copy/content writer who is trained in SEO writing will work with a web designer, (I used MacKenzie Business Solutions), to write SEO rich, engaging content and employ UX (User Experience) tactics to ensure Google deems it a quality and user-friendly website and recommend it to searchers. Ultimately pushing it up the rankings and increasing its visibility.

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What does this mean for your business? Once you are more visible to Google, you rank higher and become more visible to your customers. The more you’re seen in searches the more organic traffic is directed towards your website, the more direct business generated, and for accommodation providers this means fewer commission fees are paid out to booking sites. So, if you currently take bookings through booking.com, Expedia, TripAdvisor, Airbnb, cottages.com or any other OTA (Online Travel Agency) using the iCal system, why pay more commission to these organisations than necessary when you can minimise your commission payments by accepting direct bookings on your own specially configured website using Search Engine Optimised (SEO) copywriting and User Experience (UX) enhanced content?

For more information on Mind Trick Copywriting go to www.mindtrickcopywriting.com or contact Justin Hendricks directly at: justin@mindtrickcopywriting.com

Before you decide to develop your web presence it helps to have an understanding of what you want to achieve and what key messages you want to get across about your business. This is where I can help as a business advisor. I can help you understand your businesses key strengths and weaknesses as well as unique selling points and sustainable brand position as well as supporting you with key goals and objectives.

If you would like support and advice about how to improve your business performance or develop a clear business strategy contact Julie MacLeod at: julie.macleod@technacom.com


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