Give Your Online Presence a Makeover
If you haven’t updated your website in years, now’s the time to give it a facelift and bring it into the Web 2.0 age.
Unlike the sites of old that featured flat, stagnant content that sat online forever, today’s sites are dynamic and interactive. They incorporate elements like online video, RSS feeds, blogs, social networking tools, and other neat stuff that keep visitors coming back for more.
If you’re ready to overhaul your site, start by asking yourself these 11 important questions:
1. What do I really like about my site?
2. What don’t I like?
3. What do visitors like (and dislike)?
4. What’s missing?
5. What could my site be doing better?
6. What are my competitors doing that my site doesn’t currently offer?
7. What are other firms (not necessarily your competitors) doing online that I would like to do?
8. How do I want to be perceived online?
9. Where can improvements be made?
10. What is my budget?
11. How quickly does this need to be done?
The answers to these questions should give you a good idea about what is (and what isn’t) working on your site. Use this information to determine what needs to be added and the steps you’ll have to take to achieve that goal.
As you work through the process of upgrading your site, follow these steps towards success:
1. Always keep your image in mind.
Pay particular attention to how your image is projected online.
If, for example, you run a professional firm, but you have a personal Facebook page where you post photos of your family and friends taking part in leisure-time activities, don’t link your business website to that personal page.
Instead, utilize the Facebook Pages feature to establish a business-oriented presence on the social networking channel.
2. Synchronize your online and offline presence.
Don’t go off on a tangent by redesigning the look and feel of your site in a style that’s 180-degrees different from what you’re doing in the brick-and-mortar world. Make sure you maintain a marketing presence that’s clearly aligned, both online and offline.
3. Remember that content is still king.
Bells and whistles are nice, but useful videos and informative articles go the furthest when it comes to attracting the attention of search engines like Google.
Develop quality content for your site in your blog posts, articles, reports, and online video clips, and you’ll get much better traction with the search engines while also positioning yourself as an expert in your field.
4. Make your site easy to use.
Lay out your website in a logical manner that makes it easy for visitors to navigate and find the information they’re looking for (if it wasn’t already, now is the time to overhaul your site and make it more user-friendly!).
All hyperlinks should work correctly, dead links should be removed, and every page should be relevant to your audience.
5. Use search engine optimization.
SEO is the popular process of adding keywords or phrases to your site to help search engines properly rank your webpage in their search results.
Check out Google’s “Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide” for some basic tips on how to use SEO to increase your website rankings.
What have you done recently to reinvent your online presence?