5 Things You Can Do to Give Your Website Some TLC
T-L-C for a website? What could that possibly mean, you ask? I mean, it's a website, can it really feel love? Well, maybe not, but the search engines can tell if you are showing your website love.
Yes, there was a time when you could build a website (or refresh your existing one) and you'd get a bit of a bump in the search indexes, but today's web is significantly smarter. Search engines like content, and not just any content, they want content that fits your website. Gone are the days of "build it and forget it" type of websites.
That being said, what can a small business owner or the marketing department for a small business do to show some "t-l-c" to its website? Here's 5 things you can do:
1. Spend Some Money
Wow! That got ugly fast, didn't it? Better to rip off the band-aid in one quick movement. Some companies STILL feel that websites are a necessary evil, so they spend money every few years to re-do the website, but then they cinch up the purse strings. Yet, they continue to throw money at yellow page listings and newspaper ads.
Every other point coming in this article is going to be tied to spending money, so better to be up front about it. Now, I'm not saying you have to break the bank to operate your website, but I am advising you to re-think your marketing dollars. Think "more internet" and "less newspaper", and that will be a great step in the right direction.
2. Do a Website Analysis
You built a brand new website and all your friends, business associates, and your "current" customers think it's awesome, but how is your website doing when it comes to attracting new customers via the search engines? That's where a website analysis comes in. Depending on how complex the analysis is, you could probably get one done fairly cheap. In fact, for the rest of October 2017 (when this article was posted), you can actually get a free one done with Chris Harrington Interactive.
An analysis will show you how well constructed your site it, how it's doing using the keyword or key phrases you want to be found for, and depending on how the report looks, you can then hire a developer to make the changes suggested for a fairly reasonable cost.
Website analysis reports should also show you where your SEO (search engine optimization) can use some tweaking. How does Google or Bing see your site? Make the right changes and the search engines will like you more.
3. Freshen Up the Homepage
The average life span of a website is around 3 years, but that shouldn't stop you from freshening up the most popular page of your site - the homepage. Invest 10 to 20 hours with a designer and move the content around a bit. Some companies will even do usability testing to figure out what users of their site are looking for and are clicking on the most. They will then devise a new homepage based on the results of that test.
3a - if you like your homepage, look at the navigation or how pages are named. Yes, this could partially be done up in point #2, but it might cost you a bit more because when you rename pages, you'll want to do this under the guidance of an SEO specialist.
4. Are you Being Social?
Love them or hate them - social media networks are here to stay. More and more people are getting their information from their favorite social media networks, so you'll need to be there, too.
Which social networks should you be on? That all depends on who your audience is. If you're selling custom made quilts, then you'd better be on Pinterest. If your website is about politics then you would want to be on Twitter, for sure. Contact Chris Harrington Interactive for help on deciding which social media sites you should be on AND using regularly.
5. Start Blogging
I gotta be honest, your old English teacher in high school asked me to include this one. jk :)
Seriously, though, one of the best ways to show your website some "t-l-c" is to be adding content to it regularly via a blog. Remember, the search engines LOVE content and they definately love regularly provided new content that shows you are the AUTHORITY on what you do - whether your website shows your ability to fix drones or sell used cars.
Now, you're probably saying "I can't write", that's no problem. That's where Chris Harrington Interactive comes in, just tell us what you want to blog about and we'll provide weekly blog postings specifically for your business.
5a - if you decide to write your own blogs, keep in mind, that you need to keep a schedule. There's nothing worse than someone finding your site about model trains, and it shows that you write a new blog every 7 months. People dislike that and the search engines don't care for it either.
Remember, your website is just one piece of your marketing plan for your business. Don't ignore it - you should be constantly improving it. If you don't have the time to work on it, contact Chris Harrington Interactive to work out a retainer plan that fits your budget. That way you'll be showing your site some "t-l-c", and it will keep producing for you.