I love working with horse people and helping them grow their business and their outreach, which is why I’m proud to be a contributor with EquestrianProfessional.com! Elisabeth McMillan has spent years honing business tips, strategy and marketing concepts for the small business owner and equine-related businesses. She’s an innovator and originator of being an Equestrian Professional, and I always learn something from her when we talk. I invite you to check out EquestrianProfessional.com and sign up for one of our many webinars, boot camps or even just one-on-one website coaching!
For now, here is one of my articles from EquestrianProfessional.com to help you better your website:
Looks Do Matter — Especially to Google
As horse people, we are drawn to pretty things—horses, tack, trailers… So, it should be of no surprise that when the Search Engine Journal reports that Google tends to appreciate a good looking website, you know we’re going to pay attention.
During the recently concluded Search Central SEO event, Google’s John Mueller responded to a question about fixing a gradual traffic decline. His advice: “Look at different site elements that may affect visitor perception.”
This means that the design of a website could be holding the website back in search rankings, if it doesn’t meet users’ quality expectations.
“Sometimes those small differences do play a role in regards to how people perceive your website,” Mueller says. “If, for example, you have something that is on a financial topic and people come to you and say, ‘Well, your information is okay, but it’s presented in a way that looks very amateurish,’ then that could reflect how your website is perceived. And, in the long run, could reflect something that is visible as well.”
Gauging Your Website’s Looks
Whether you’re building a new website or trying to give your current website a complete makeover, it’s important to get insight from outside sources—not just family and friends. These outside sources need to be independent and unbiased.
Mueller went on to warn website and business owners to be prepared to receive negative feedback and not to take it personally: “Asking users those kinds of tough questions and trying to take the answers they give you in an objective way, often leads you to finding things that you should be working on that might not be what you’re currently working on.
“So, that’s kind of the approach that I would take there. Try to get actual feedback from people and try to take action based on that.
“Because sometimes, if you’ve been working on a website for so long, it’s like your baby, and you know which parts are good and you’re very protective when someone comes to you and says it’s ugly, or the colors are bad, or something like that. But, sometimes that’s what you need to hear.”
Improvement Takes Time
Take your time working through the EquestrianProfessional.com website checklist list as you work to update your website, keeping in mind visual elements. Quality changes may need additional time.
On that same note, realize that you may not see improvement in your search rankings immediately. Improving traffic and time spent on your site takes an extended period of time, as will the results.
Want to get there faster and with less effort? Join us for our upcoming members group coaching session “Horse Business Website Review “ Members, if you would like an opportunity to get a free review your website during the session, follow the directions on the sign up page. We will be looking for websites that have different strengths and weaknesses so that the session provides value to all who attend.
Members and Future Members of Equestrian Professional
One of the most important benefits of being a member of EP is that we understand how different the horse business is from mainstream businesses. Our members gain access to a proven system and collection of tools and resources specifically for professional equestrians that help you to unify your equestrian career and business goals so that you are able to build both a successful career and a profitable business.