It was great to read in Geelong’s daily paper this week a story about the crucial role a good website plays in the success of a small business. That’s a message we’ve been shouting from the rooftops since we started back in 2008.

However, while Leigh McClusky’s story in the Geelong Advertiser emphasised and echoed GOOP Digital’s website and SEO message and proved we know what we’re doing, it had a few disturbing elements – particularly the fact Victorian businesses have some of Australia’s lowest levels of digital engagement. That’s far from good news and a situation we need to change to grow our nation.

McClusky’s story about The State of the Nation 2016 Small Business Engagement in Australia report revealed only 22 per cent of Australian businesses successfully use technology to grow their business.

Not GOOP Digital clients! We know we’re doing it right when a client suggests removing the phone number from their website because the business can’t keep up with new inquiries for the site. That’s a real story from the GOOP Digital archive.

No website clangers, just mobile-friendly SEO sites

McClusky wrote about “website clangers”, particularly businesses with websites that aren’t mobile friendly, and apparently that’s more than half the businesses surveyed for the report.

But that’s not an issue GOOP Digital clients have to worry about. We’ve been pushing the mobile-friendly message since well before Google told us it wanted responsive websites, and every one of our WordPress sites responds perfectly to whatever device it’s viewed on. We make sure searchers not only find our clients’ websites, they find and easily use them no matter what device they’re searching with.

McClusky also told readers that only 62 percent of small business websites had clear service offerings on their home page. Well, that’s another issue GOOP Digital clients don’t have to worry about. Our clients’ website home pages clearly spell out what they do, where they do it – that’s the GOOP Digital mantra.

But as well as providing clear direction on our websites, we ensure clients’ sites aren’t just accessible  through the home page alone. Whatever service or product online searchers are hunting for in Google, that’s what will provide access to our clients’ sites. What searchers want is what Google – and GOOP Digital – delivers.

We read through McClusky’s story about how small businesses were getting it wrong online and, with wry grins of satisfaction, literally ticked off how our small business clients are in fact getting it right. And that includes the integration of social media and email newsletters into websites so small businesses can use both forms of inexpensive publicity to maximum advantage.

Our Geelong business backs up its SEO commitment

And then there was McClusky’s paragraph about search engine optimisation – SEO – the holy grail of online search.

McClusky says only 28 per cent of businesses are using SEO efficiently and, considering what some website developers offer as search engine optimisation, we’re not all that surprised by the statistic.

However, SEO is what we do best. It’s the core of GOOP Digital’s business and, unless for some bizarre reason a client doesn’t want SEO, it’s fundamental to every website we build.

And we don’t just claim to provide SEO from our Geelong HQ. Unlike many developers, we actually prove our clients’ websites are prominent in Google, providing performance reports and committing to work on websites until they achieve prominence in search results. We ensure our clients aren’t among the 70-plus percent of small businesses McClusky says aren’t easily found online.

McClusky makes mention of websites that are “text heavy”, and while we agree that text can be challenging from a design perspective, text is crucial for a website to perform from an organic – unpaid – SEO perspective. Think of it this way: Google needs something to read so it knows what your business does and where you do it. Websites need words to work properly and designers who promise websites based predominantly on images and few words aren’t creating websites that work for organic SEO.

McClusky wraps up her article advising small business owners to review their websites or seek professional advice. We agree – with a proviso! Just seek professional advice! You reviewing your site is a little like me reviewing my car’s engine. I know I want it to work but have no idea what it requires to work properly. For most people, a website is the same. They know they need it to work but they don’t know what’s required.

If you’d like a website review or want to join our 700-plus clients Australia wide reaping the benefits of GOOP Digital’s expertise, get in touch. We can help you become one of those businesses successfully using technology to grow and prosper.

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