A process of growth / construction
In my experience, a well-performing website is a growth process. Or perhaps ‘construction process’ is a better word. The floorplan of your house equals your site’s main menu. Then there are the actual bricks, which equate to your content. You move from one room to the next using the interior doors, which are your internal hyperlinks. Don’t worry: not all your content needs to be ready on day one. Just like you have to live in a house for a while to discover what needs improving, right? So start by furnishing the most important rooms – your main pages – with the key facts that a prospect or customer needs to know. Then expand your home, turning it into a beautiful chateau with spires and turrets and balconies (non-essential info, fun blog posts and subpages).
Of course, you’ll want to pay attention to the façade and interior design as well. We decided to ask a graphic designer to create a unique look for our home. Our web design agency, Code d’Or, recommended Rik Staesens: he designed our house style. Whenever we need an eye-catching illustration, we turn to Bruno Seys. My two cents? Focus on doing what you do best, then bring in an expert to finish the rest.
Relevant content: browse through your inbox
Where does relevant content or strong SEO copy come from? Spying on your neighbours’ websites (your ‘competilleagues’) will give you plenty of inspiration. But don’t forget to scroll through your inbox and jot down the subject lines of the e-mails you’ve received. Common requests we get at Blue Lines include ‘press release translation request’, ‘case study translation’, ‘website translation’, ‘quote for SEO translation’, ‘French translation SEA copy’, ‘urgent Dutch-English translation’, ‘quote German translation’, ‘NL-FR’ brochure translation, ‘English text editing, ‘magazine proofreading’ and ‘copywriting slogan’. The topics that most frequently pop up in your incoming e-mail are a treasure trove of SEO data.
A quick glance at my own inbox today reminds me we don’t yet have any info on our website about translating SEA copy, despite the fact that more and more clients are contacting us to order translations of their Google Ads campaigns or keyword lists. So I’ll add it to my To Do list straight away: ‘create page on SEA translation’. And voilà, our website will soon be even more relevant.
Oh, and another bit of advice: want to quickly add a slew of keywords to your website, but short on time (or inspiration) to write all those blog posts and pages yourself? Start by creating a powerful FAQ page that contains the most important keywords.
Introduce your clients and team
Client case studies are a great way to enrich your website. You get to share why a certain collaboration is working so well and simultaneously add relevant information and keywords to your site. This displays your expertise in the field and strengthens your relationship with your client. Interviewing your teammates is another type of content that always goes down well. Especially in the service sector, where personal contacts are the engine of success. So make sure to put a face to your website. Without it, your site risks feeling as empty as a home without any people living in it.
Not all web visitors speak the same language
‘Here it comes’, I can hear you thinking. ‘This is where she’ll start peddling translations.’ And sure, I’ll be honest: that’s part of my job. But I also truly believe in the importance of investing in English- and French-language versions of your website (or any other languages relevant to you). If you want to sell services or products in Wallonia and/or France, make sure the French version of your site is just as convincing as the Dutch one. French-speaking visitors don’t want to feel like they’re reading a stilted, word-for-word translation: they want to feel you’re talking specifically to them. So find out what content would be relevant for each of the languages you’re doing business in. Look at the French-language requests in your inbox and send your translator the relevant keywords along with your source texts. Have your website translated by native speakers with an affinity for SEO as well as the sector you’re working in.
That’s all for now
There’s a lot more I’d love to say about conversion, Google Ads, social media and other topics, but then this post would go on forever. Today, I just wanted to share how we took Blue Lines’ website to the next level. My key takeaway from all of this? Bringing in outside experts truly pays off.