05 Jan 2018 Website New Year Resolution
Every year we make New Year’s Resolutions that we may or may not follow through on. Whether personal or professional resolutions, everyone tries to make at least one resolution that positively impacts their life in some form or fashion. Here at SiteJab we had some fun with our team putting our resolutions on the whiteboard and see who can keep theirs the longest. On that note, we thought about resolutions as a company that we want to try and stick to and it got us thinking; why not have a list of resolutions for our online presence, specifically our website and third party sites that tie it all together.
Many companies spend thousands of dollars to cultivate their online presence and create a website, but over time the daily grind of day to day operations takes its toll on website maintenance. What many end up with are tons of expired pages or links, files that are missing, sites that are not cross-platform compatible and even expired domains; as in your website is not showing up at all!
Your website shouldn’t be left out of your New Year’s resolution so take some time and scroll through our suggested solutions to make your company’s online presence a top priority in 2018.
Cultivate Your Web Presence
Unless you actually make your presence known on the internet, your website is just a floating ball of code in a vast virtual universe. You have to let everyone know you exist, why you exist and what you are good at. There are several ways to draw attention to your site (in a good way) and let the world know where to find you and make them want to find you:
Update All Your Web Properties
Web properties such as domains, Google Maps listings, Yelp reviews and Facebook profiles need to be maintained regularly, but often these tasks are put on the backburner, so you might need to do some upkeep. Start by compiling a master list of all properties, their usernames/passwords, and keep it somewhere safe so you’ll never get locked out of an account.
If you found multiple websites that are similar in purpose or content to your main site, it would be better to just redirect those old or unused domains to your main site. Having multiple sites that are very similar is an outdated and discouraged tactic that used to help position on the search engine results page (SERP). With today’s Google algorithms it will actually hurt your position now, so make sure to clean it up.
Local directory listings are a great way to increase your company’s exposure on the web. Having listings on services such as Google +, Bing, Yahoo! Local, and Linked In, can really connect your business to a vast network of potential customers. These listing entries can give you a bump in your search exposure as well as your company’s reputation so it is essential for you to get listed or maintain and update all current directory listings in case your info is listed wrong. Pay special attention to business contact info, hours of operation, and address info. These are the most commonly mistaken entries in many local listings.
Even if you are not an avid proponent of social media, you cannot deny the major impact it has in the business world. While some social media outlets are better suited for some types of businesses than others; there is no doubt that you need to get serious about tying your website and social media presence together. If you are unfamiliar with what platforms to be active on, at least get started with the main powerhouses of social media; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are a great place to start. If you are already on many of these platforms, check your profiles and pages to make sure your active, make it a point to make a post across all platforms at least twice a week. Make sure your website has links to your social media pages using their icons, and be sure to post relevant content that engages viewers.
The second part of a good social media presence is a good social media strategy. It is pointless to spend money on social media platforms without having set goals that are set to convert into leads. This is why content creation and relevancy are so important. For example, it does no good for a siding company to get 40k “likes” on a post of ninja cats. Ninja cats won’t convert into business and that is the ultimate goal of social media. Be relevant, write about your industry and have a direct or subtle call to action to do business with you in your posts.
Set Some Goals For Your Site
Just like your social media strategy, if you website has no measurable goals how do you know what is working well and what needs more work? Setting goals for your website will allow you to tweak strategies to improve how well your website works for you. Remember just like social media, it’s about the leads:
Implement Google Analytics & Webmaster Tools
If you have not implemented Google Analytics and Webmaster tools on your site; you are handicapping yourself from the start. These tools give you so much valuable information on what’s going on behind the scenes of your website. Even if you are not that tech savvy, the beautiful thing about Google Analytics is how simplified the stats can be. If you are willing to learn however, this tool can really breakdown into some very valuable deeper level stats that will help shape your strategy.
Google Webmaster Tools is a tool you want to use in tandem with Analytics; it allows you to be notified of issues within your site from Google that you might otherwise overlook. This is especially helpful if you are not very familiar with SEO or SEM. Of course, you could simply hire the best agency in Houston and leave the analytics to us.
Use Google Analytics To Track Goals
The whole point of Analytics is to be able to not only set your goals for your site, but to track them using the valuable data broken down from Analytics. It can track user activity such as what they click on, how long they view a page, whether they view a video or not and more. It is not hard to learn strategy when you have such detailed movement logs of every visitor on your site. This can help you decide what content is working, what format of content is working or not, and what page is most popular with visitors. This info will help your plug in goals to Analytics which will then track your custom goal you have set up.
Improve Your Users Experience
It doesn’t matter if you spent $500.00 on your website or $5,000 on it. If people don’t like the “atmosphere” or find content is hard to find, they are going to click to the next site on the SERP. You need to do a few basic upkeep tasks to make sure visitors are enticed to stay and view content that converts to leads:
Keep It Current
If your site is being maintained using a content management system (CMS) make sure you have installed the latest version. If you’re not, back up your site first, then download the latest version and proceed to update content that will encourage more clicks and longer viewership.
Keep It Simple With A Clear Purpose
You want your site to convert visitations into business, period. The content is bait and has to be appealing if you want a visitor to bite. Make sure your design has balance, not too busy; but also not too minimal. Make sure to provide useful content that reads easy, and that is formatted properly. Use headers to break up content into blocks for an easier read.
The other component to converting is having a blatant call to action on each page. Whatever you want your visitor to do when on that page, make it clear to them and make it easy. For example if you want them to click to call a consultant; make that clear in your content and include a link or the relevant info, such as a phone number if you are wanting a call or a contact form if you want them to request a consultation.
Whenever you give a visitor a chunk of knowledge visitors will continue to read on according to many focus studies. A blog can boost the value of your site not just to you but to visitors as well. It can attract natural backlinks as well as help you rank with your target keywords. Also when blogging you have a real chance to establish your site as an authority on a given industry or subject. If you aren’t sure what to create, try looking at Google Trends and find a relevant topic and tie it in to your business or industry, and don’t forget to follow it up with a call to action!
Be Mobile And Agile
The internet has changed immensely since the advent of the smartphone. The stunning reality is that mobile web traffic as eclipsed desktop traffic over the last two years by leaps and bounds. According to a study that evaluated mobile compatibility of websites and how it translates to consumers; over half of consumers would not even consider a business with an incompatible or poorly designed mobile site. Even more telling, over 40% would visit a competitor’s site if the first result has a poor mobile site. You can’t afford to take that kind of risk, so not only must your website have a mobile compatible design, it must also be agile and quick to load. You have on average just 4 seconds for your page to load before a visitor clicks on the next link. We are an on demand society and speed is king when it comes to the mobile, on-the-go platform of 2018.
It is best to be fluid in the styling of your site so that your desktop version easily converts to a mobile version when accessed from a mobile device. Mobile website design has moved from an optional component of your web presence, to a pre-requisite, so the technology to convert a website has come a long way as well. In the past it would require designing two separate sites in the same style but presented differently and on different sub-domains. CMS platforms like WordPress and Joomla have changed that for the better. Now you can just install a plugin on your website that not only optimizes the content, but can add features that touchscreen smartphones can take advantage of better than a desktop.
Are These Resolutions Too Much For You?
It’s likely at the beginning of this article you thought managing your website and online presence would be pretty simple. The reality is that these tips are merely the essentials; we haven’t even gotten into the details yet. It is easy to understand why so many Houston businesses would rather entrust their web presence to SiteJab. We are a Google Partner agency that has delivered more clicks and more leads for clients of all industries and sizes. Contact us today so we can make 2018 the best year yet for your business.