10 free web tips

  1. Email signature. Ensure you have a professional looking signature. Link to your latest work and not just to your homepage. Your web address (www.yourdomain.co.uk) on its own is not a reason to click. “View our latest kitchen extension”, or “You can see the latest examples of our work here” is a more interesting call to action. Link to a separate portfolio website if that is what you use. If you have a particular campaign or event you are pushing, like a new menu or special offer, make reference it and link to a relevant webpage on your website from within your signature.
  2. Google Places. Recently changed to Google +. If you have a business page make sure it’s up to date and includes some photos if relevant to your business. Encourage your happy clients to leave a short comment on your Google page. There are also Yahoo Local and Bing Local if you have time. Typically your new clients will find you through two online channels. Google search results and Google Maps. Spend some time to optimise these two entry points to increase your client acquisition rates.
  3. Your portfolio. Make sure your portfolio is up to date and prominent on your site. It’s the most powerful hook to encourage potential clients to make contact and the most effective way of presenting the quality of your work. If you find updating your website portfolio difficult, because you have a static website, or you need assistance from a web designer, then manage your portfolio on a separate, specialised portfolio site. www.behance.net is a good example.
  4. Domain name. Make sure that your domain name is configured correctly. http://yourdomain.com should go to the same place as http://www.yourdomain.co.uk. (Notice the “www”)
  5. Up to date. Make sure your website is up to date. Text is topical and any testimonials are recent. If you don’t have any recent testimonials then remove the dates. Nothing worse than an out of date site.
  6. Free tools. Make use of the available online tools that might help your clients. There are tools to help you with project management, mood boards (pinterest, evernote, sampleboard), Collaboration, file sharing (dropbox), portfolios (behance), screen sharing (join me), time tracking (toggl), invoicing, appointments, brainstorming, wire framing, online presentations, instant message (skype), group meetings (skype), help desk, support tickets, customer feedback, email marketing (mail chimp) and CRM.
  7. Analytics – Track your website visitors. You can monitor where they are coming from (known as referral websites) and what keywords your visitors are using to find your website. You can set up a free Google Analytics account for se on your website. You will be able to track where your visitors are going on your site, and identify your popular pages. You might discover that visitors go to areas of your site that you did not expect and that you should elaborate on. You may discover that you receive traffic for unexpected keywords and topics, which might represent an opportunity for your business. Once you are comfortable with Google Analytics, and you have the time, set up a Google Webmaster Tools Account for more in depth stats and insights.
  8. Google Serps. (search engine results pages) How do you look on the Google search results? Type in your business name, what do you see? Look on both the web search and the image search. Your clients will. You can edit the titles and page descriptions to ensure that your site appears in a client friendly, helpful way. You might also see negative comments about your business that are influencing your potential clients.
  9. Get your emails on all your devices. PC, Mac, Mobile, iPad. Ensure your emails and calendars are synced and you signatures have been customised.
  10. Check your website on a mobile device. Can it be viewed correctly and does it function adequately? The percentage of web traffic using mobile devices has increased by over 100% in the last 12 months and now represents nearly 20% of all web traffic. Apple mobile devices such as iPad and iPhone represent 75% of all this mobile traffic, so make sure your site works on an iphone. Android is second with 22%.

Desktop Browser Wars as of September 2012

  • Internet Explorer 54%
  • Firefox 20%
  • Chrome 19%
  • Safari 5%

Desktop Operating System as of September 2012

  • Windows 85%
  • Mac 13%

Search Engine Wars

  • Google    85%
  • Yahoo     8%
  • Bing    4%

Social Media Referrals

  1. Facebook    98%
  2. Youtube    0.5%
  3. StumbleUpon 0.2%
  4. LinkedIn   0.1%
  5. Reddit    0.05%
  6. Twitter  0.05%