So how do you know if your website is, shall we say, not exactly stellar?

I’m glad you asked. But you might not be glad you asked.

I love to critique. My wife calls me a professional hole puncher. Bring me your wedding business plan and I’ll poke it full of holes. Of course, that’s only if I like you. The fact that you’re reading one of my blog posts means our relationship is definitely stepping up to the “falling in like” mode, at least for me.

OK, back to your website. I bet your mom said it was great…don’t trust her.

Then there are those close and trusted friends of yours who told you it looked wonderful…LIARS!

You posted a link on a DJ chat site and asked your fellow pros to rate your website…they said it looked cool!  Come on, have you looked at their sites? Would the head chef at the Four Seasons ask a McDonalds’ burger flipper to rate their world famous filet mignon?

I think you get where I’m going here. Be very careful of who you listen to when it comes to any aspect of your business. Period.

Back to your website. There are many elements that are essential to a great web presence. Things have recently changed according to the all seeing eye of Google.  Google rewards websites that have certain characteristics.

3 Critical Website Features according to Google

1. Content (keywords, text, domain name, tags, etc.)

2. Links (inbound, outbound, authority, etc.)

3. Activity (traffic from visitors, RSS subscriptions, comments, updates, etc.)

What does a Google reward look like?

Google rewards you with ranking by letting your site show up when some one does a search for the keywords that relate directly to the contents of your website.

Want to be on page one for LA wedding photography? You better have a kick ass site with awesome SEO (that’s search engine optimization for the newbies.)

In super competitive markets like LA photography, your page ranking will have a huge impact on the amount of traffic that actually makes it to your page. If you end up on page 10, you might as well be invisible. The only people who will find you are the ones who type your company name into their search engine of choice.

So much for capitalizing on all that LA wedding photography traffic! To give you perspective, LA wedding photography gets on average 1900 searches a month with about 1,500,000 results showing up. Imagine if your wedding business was on page one for this search.  Can you say KA-ching?

In future posts we’re going to probe a little deeper.  (Boy, that sounds tantilizing!)  Each of these concepts deserves much more attention than a casual mention. We haven’t even touched upon how critical it is that your website speaks to the ideal customer you are looking for.

Remember, being generic will get you mediocre results; having specific content designed just for a specific prospect can work like magic!

Let’s start with some basics. Below you will find a link to a great site that will analyze your website and kick out a grade. No, it won’t tell you if it sucks, but a crappy grade kind of says the same thing, only a little nicer.  It will also point out some areas of weakness that need addressing.

This Website Grader is not as nurturing as your mom, but its not going to BS you either.

Go to this site now, plug in your website and find out how you rank. You can even see how your website measures up against your biggest competitor.

Website Grader

So stick around for more cool stuff. We’re here to help. We’ve been where you are and we’re lucky to have had some great mentors to help us along the way.

I promise I won’t poke too many holes in your plans, use harsh language, or make anybody cry..unless you let me.

photo credit