So many of us are keen to get our websites up and running, and when publication day arrives, we think we can kick back and relax. Unfortunately, this is not the case if you want your website to be successful! In reality, when your website is published, the real work begins, and you need to find ways of keeping your content relevant and appealing, driving new and repeat audiences to your website.
We have collated a range of tips to help you grow your website and keep things relevant. Take some time to read our advice and then organize a plan that will help you to keep your website engaging for your audience. The results of this effort will show when you take the time to review your site traffic and engagement.
Using SEO and SEM optimization, you have a higher chance to get more people to your site. SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization, and SEM is short for Search Engine Marketing. Both of these will help to drive traffic to your site and increase the views of your website pages.
If you are new to SEO & SEM, then it may be worthwhile engaging a specialist who can assess your current site and suggest an SEO & SEM strategy for you to follow. When you have it all In place, then you can make the changes needed to get your site updated.
Creating your site will have been a huge undertaking, and many people often forget that for a site to be successful it needs to look more than good; it needs to attract people to engage with you. If you forgot when you were designing, then now is the time to link your social media accounts directly to your websites so that people can check out what you are up to online and keep up to date with your business.
The best way to do this is to add social media buttons at the bottom of each webpage so that they can be clicked and then redirect the viewer to the account associated with the button. If you do this, then you will need to keep all your social media accounts up to date and relevant so that they add something more to the information you are sharing.
If your website is attracting people, then that is half the battle won! However, to sell your product, service, or site, then you will need to capture the information of each visitor to your site so that you can then include them in any marketing strategy you create.
One easy way of doing this is by creating a mailing list with some kind of offer that will interest people and engage them to sign up. When you have your mailing list, be careful how you use it as many people will unsubscribe if the content you sent out is irrelevant, poorly written or arrives too often!
It is important to keep your website up to date and secure so adding in a monthly check for security updates and bug fixes is essential. You will also need to check that any updates from your web hosting provider are pushed through to the site when they are released.
If you have a web developer and have signed up with one of their website maintenance packages, you will need to ensure that they are updating your software, installing security patches and bug fixes as well and checking that you have not been the victim of any cyber-attack attempts.
Now your site is published it is a good time to consider the art of blogging. Blogging is a great way to share topical information without having to change the finer details of your website too often. You can share what you have been doing, make advice blogs or even share hints with your audience to keep them interested. Another great way of maintaining interest is by using guest bloggers to add material every once in a while.
If you are not a fan of blogging, then you can outsource this work to a copywriter who will create a batch of blogs for you to use. You can then schedule them for publication to ensure you have a steady stream of information ready to share with your audience.
After a few months, you will have a clear idea of which parts of your site are working really well, and which parts are struggling to engage people. When you have this information, then it is time to consider whether you want to make alterations in a bid to appeal to more people.
A facelift does not mean overhauling every aspect of your site, and if you have sections that are working really well, it is a good idea to maintain them as they are. Instead, opt to make some small changes and tweaks to see if that has a positive impact on your traffic.
No matter how good your site looks, if your content is not on top form then people will navigate away to a different site. Content writing needs to be on point and written to engage your audience. Avoid understating your information so that people are not left confused but also do not overstate each point so that people get bored.
Use the drafting process to help you streamline your content and highlight all the parts that are vital. Any sections that are not highlighted can be edited out to help you create content that really speaks to your audience.
One really important part of your work once your site is live is to monitor how your competitors are using their website and how they are changing their designs. You should never aim to copy what your competition has done, but it is a great way of keeping up with where they are headed so that you do not end up being the poor cousin.
List around five to ten different sites that are aiming to do the same as you and then spend some time each month checking out what they are doing on their sites. This should not be a daily activity, nor should it become an obsession! We would recommend assigning a couple of hours in your monthly schedule for this task and using that time to note down any changes that you think may benefit your site after reflecting on theirs.
When you build a website, it is a great idea to get a range of people to test how well it functions. You should do this by asking a selection of people to work through every single page and click on each link and engage with every feature so that you can be sure it is all in good working order.
Other aspects that need to be reviewed include checking whether formatting is consistent, whether there are any typos in the content and if the user finds everything easy to follow.
You will also need them to share their thoughts on their experience of using your site, how long everything takes to work and whether they feel your content is relevant and up to date.
It is really important to have a grasp on the traffic that is flowing to your site and how that traffic is converting. This can be done by checking out your ratings on search engines as well as keeping up to date on the analytics side of your site.
However, no matter how interesting this data looks, it is pretty worthless unless you have set yourself targets to achieve. You can then monitor your site against your targets so that you know what needs revamping to drive more traffic to your site.
It is important to test that your contact forms and any checkout processes are all working the way you want. If you notice that you are not getting the information that you want from potential clients, then change your form to add in new sections of set some to be optional questions so that you have a full understanding of the people that are accessing your site.
This does not need to be a daily task, but it is a good idea to review all your forms and processes every three months to make sure everything fits well with where your site is at that time.
This may sound like a no-brainer, but if you forget to renew your domain name each year, then you run the risk of your site being deleted and your domain name being sold on to another person.
Set up a reminder to update your registration a month before it is due to expire. It is also important to store your passwords and username for the domain host site so that you can access your account. Many domain sites will offer a longer package so you can pay for your domain name for more than a year at a time. Whatever option you select, make sure that your renew date is in your calendar!
One thing that many people forget to do once their website is up and running is to organise regular backups. You need to make sure that the whole site is backed up as well as the data that is stored on the site.
If you have a web developer, then you can ask them to check each backup so that you know you have a workable solution if anything should go wrong.
Every few months, you should check that all phone numbers, email addresses, social media accounts and physical addresses are all up to date. If your contact details are not current, then you run the risk of people being unable to contact you for your help or to buy your service or product.
When you check your details, make sure they are the same on every page of your website as you will confuse your audience if they are not.
When it comes to published policies, you will have a plan to renew them in line with your legal requirements. However, it is worth reviewing each policy every year to check that it still adheres to legal requirements and reflects the website that you own.
There are always new rules surrounding privacy and data collection to consider, so it is essential that you make sure that your site complies with these rules and tells your audience how you are doing so. It is ok to add an update to a policy to include these changes, but you should rewrite your policies when they are due to reflect any changes that have happened.
Even if your site was fully compatible with all browsers when you published it, you might find that this compatibility changes over time, leaving your site unusable with some browsers.
The best way to avoid this is to regularly review it on a range of browsers to check for any changes. If you assign one day every three months to do this job, then you will be ahead of the curve when it comes to avoiding incompatibility.
The most important message here is that your website will never be truly finished because you continually need to update it and add information. This is probably the most important part of any website maintenance as it keeps your content fresh and your audience interested.
Janszen Media designs and develops beautifully responsive websites, optimized for SEO and user experience. If you need a new website contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free quote.