Five New Year’s Resolutions for Every Website
The New Year has come and gone, and many resolutions are well underway. Maybe you’ve decided to hit the gym more or promised to finally kick that bad habit. But what’s in store for your website in 2013? What goals have you set to raise the bar for where you’re headed online?
Establishing clear goals for your website in the coming year is a way to make incremental strides in driving more qualified traffic to your site. Consider these New Year’s resolutions for every website:
1. Add a blog.
Blog’s are an invaluable tool on a website if used properly. Depending on how your website is set up, you may be able to add an internal blog. If this is not possible, there are great third-party blog platforms available such as WordPress and Tumbler. When selecting a blog, you want one that offers an intuitive layout with a content editor that allows for easy text editing and formatting.
2. Utilize Google Analytics.
Two words: free data. That’s right, Google Analytics offers website owners the chance to capture data on their site’s visitors. It’s a free tool that can be added to the backend of your website by incorporating a string of code in the HTML. Once installed, you have access to an interactive dashboard in your Google Analytics account that displays various metrics, including total website traffic numbers, time spent on site and the percentage of people who found you through a search engine. Using this data, you can then decipher how to best modify your website to attract more visitors.
3. Use your blog.
Remember that blog you set up six months ago? Yep, it’s time to use it! Unfortunately, blogs won’t produce content for you, so let 2013 be your year to get started with a content strategy. Set a goal for the frequency of posts you want to make each week, month or quarter. Be realistic – don’t exhaust yourself in the beginning phase. When brainstorming potential blog article topics, consider subjects that your readers will find helpful. FAQs, industry trends, advice – these are all great topics to discuss within your blog and establish yourself as an expert in your service area or industry.
4. Integrate social media.
Social media and your website should go hand-in-hand. Don’t wait for individuals to hunt for you on Facebook or Twitter – make it easy for them! Add social icons to your homepage that allow users to quickly connect with you at the click of a button. Consider amping up your social media presence by adding social plugins to your website. These tools allow visitors to see which of their friends have liked, shared or commented on your page, and they can also display real-time activity such as tweets. Adding social media buttons to individual pages, which invite users to “like,” “tweet” or “follow,” is a great strategy to increase social sharing.
5. Add a contact form.
People have explored your website, but what do they do next? Don’t overlook the importance of giving people an electronic way to contact you once they are on your site. “Contact Us” forms are a great way to quickly answer questions that your website visitors have. They are also an excellent way to gather contact information from these individuals, so you can follow up with a personal phone call or email and even invite them to join your e-newsletter mailing list. Contact form submissions also help keep your finger on the pulse of user engagement and can be handy tools to track within your Google Analytics account.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “There is no greater resolution than to succeed.” With website goals as with personal ones, it’s important to realize that success does not come in a day or a month, but gradually, in time. Set realistic goals for yourself and be patient as you work through them. Most of all, enjoy the journey!
By Maggie Hodges