Get your website into shape: Training tips part 1

Summer is approaching and naturally everyone wants to look good—websites are no different! It is very easy in a short space of time to let it get untidy and maybe a little over inflated.

Your website will become more powerful and perform better if you have a regular training plan:

  • Keep your content trim and up-to-date
  • Fuel your site with relevant content to keep your audience engaged and support your SEO efforts
  • Follow your plan. Keep your web marketing on track by thinking ahead
  • Review and reflect regularly – watch your analytics, measure return on investment and adjust your site and strategy accordingly

This two-part blog series will look at:

Planning your strategy

If you want your website and web marketing efforts to work effectively, then you need to work up a sweat with your strategy.

Where to start

  • Find out about your audience. Who are they? How often do they visit? What are their web habits?
  • Know your company’s business strategy. How can the website and web marketing support the business better?
  • Look to integrate your online strategy with your offline one, and consider ways in which they can support one another, for example list your Facebook URL rather than the website URL to track how much attention adverts receive.

Research

  • Consider conducting a short questionnaire on your site. You can run this on the site or email existing clients asking for their views.
  • Keep an eye on the competition. Have they made any changes to their site recently? How do you rate their site and web marketing strategy?

Setting metrics

  • Set core standards for what you consider to be a good website or web marketing activities; rate your site and your competitors’. This will allow you to benchmark yourself and set objectives.
  • Remember to be SMART—Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. It is easy to start many online initiatives but maintaining them—and making an impact with them—takes time and management.

User Experience

Everyone likes a beautiful site but not one that’s bloated and hard to navigate. How do you know your audience is having the best experience? During the planning and design process it is easy to be led by what you like rather than what works best for your users.

Analytics

  • Look at pages that have high exit rates and think about why they do; is the content appropriate? Does it provide the information they need?
  • Your bounce rate and page depth numbers will show how deep users get into your site. The structure may not be encouraging users to explore.
  • Don’t have analytics on your site? Google Analytics is free and quick to install.

Structure

  • Make sure your contact information is clear and accessible. Don’t make users hunt for the phone number or email address.
  • Can users navigate to what they want in three clicks or fewer? If not, consider reducing the number of pages.

Content

  • Make sure it is up to date, clear and that there are no typos!
  • Remember that users will skim the page. Use sub-headings and bullet points so information is easy to pick out.
  • Check that all links go somewhere. It is frustrating for users to come to a dead end, and it leaves the impression that you do not update your site.
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