Is your website due for an MOT?

Your website should be your best marketing asset.

Having an online presence is no longer a ‘nice to have’ for entrepreneurial business owners it’s an essential item to include in your marketing toolbox.

And it has one big advantage over most of your other tools in that you own it rather than rent it.

Unlike Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and online course platforms such as Kajabi and Teachable where you only rent space for as long as they want you around (and in the case of the former until they change their algorithms again), your website is yours. Provided you own your domain and manage and pay for your own hosting you are in control, which as anyone who has suffered from algorithm or T&C changes will tell you is really important.

But these days just having a website isn’t good enough. Just like your car it needs regular maintenance and fuel to keep it running and in the case of your website this means four things.

Load speed: the speed with which you site appears on screen – the faster the better – performs two functions. Firstly it shows impatient users that you don’t want to keep them waiting too long and secondly it tells search engines, like Google, that you have a serious website (like a well-tuned car) for which in turn they give you a higher ranking.
Structure: like load speed, your site structure matters to both your website visitors and search engines. You should have logical, easy to understand menus and navigation bars and remember: if a page doesn’t have a link to it from another page site visitors can’t find it and neither can search engines.

Keywords: the first step here is to identify the words or phrases you want to rank for – meaning the ones users will search for – and then make sure you use these words or phrases on the pages on your site that you want to be found. In my case, for example, I want to be found for ‘Chester Accountant’ and so I use this phrase on several of my pages as well as in my page titles and meta tags. A word of warning, however, don’t stuff keywords on your pages as many time as possible which will only make you look bad and be penalised by search engines.

Content: search engines and your visitors love original and up to date content; this will get your site noticed and hopefully attract links, which act as signals to search engines that your pages are trusted, interesting and relevant. Your content marketing strategy should include writing relevant articles and news as well as a weekly blog.
If your website hasn’t had an MOT recently then book one now. Once you’ve taken care of these four areas it’s as easy to look after your website as it is your car and it too will get you to where you want to go.

Noel Guilford, Principal at Guilford Accounting
Noel Guilford is the principal of Guilford Accounting a small business accountancy practice specialising in advising owner-managed businesses on current accounting, finance, and tax matters. You can reach him via email at noel@guilfordaccounting.co.uk or by phone at 01244 660866. He is the author of the 'Figure it out - an entrepreneurs guide to understanding your business numbers' which you can obtain by visiting guilfordaccounting.co.uk.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ His latest book, How to Build a Successful Business' will be published in 2018.

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