You look around and you see that times are different. The soup line has become popular again. You are thankful that you have not had to resort to it personally, but you see that there are those who could benefit from a bit of kindness and some available cash assistance. It seems that regardless of the statistics that make it to the six o’clock news, there are quite a few who end up in the unemployed or underemployed category.
However, there is good news. Even if life does not present itself in the traditional manner, there is an equal playing ground on which all people can play. That is, the internet.
What is the cornerstone or building block of that same internet? You guessed it. It is the website.
A website as an investment
In this day and age, a successful website is one of the best investments that any individual, small business, or company can make. Whether your business is based on the internet, necessitating that website, or your business is offline, the website because as essential as the four walls of the building that houses your office.
As we said, in today’s economy, a viable, well-functioning website is literally one of the best investments that any company or business owner can make. And, reaching the level of definition of “well functioning” can be something that is attainable by the masses. A little concentration here, a little strategy there, and you have that website that is needed.
You can build it yourself. You can hire it to be done for you. You could meet somewhere in the middle with a starter site that morphs into the professional site that it deserves to be, as you increase your profit margin.
Much like the 1989 Kevin Costner movie hit, “Field of Dreams,” you build it and they will come. But, that does require some effort on your part and that of your team. Fortunately, with some ingenuity and that know-how (not to mention good ole’ fashioned grit), you too can be a success.
The challenges that face the internet moguls
With all of the changes in search engine optimization (SEO) logic, presenting us with varying algorithms from competing major search engines, it is sometimes difficult to keep up with the website and what one is supposed to do to keep it at the top of the rankings.
Some companies created a website five or ten years ago and have not updated it since then. Others find that they may be continuously tweaking their website.
There is a balance between the two. We have found that updating your website on a regular basis is essential to staying relevant within the industry. With that in mind, here are some of the best tips for recreating your website. This doesn’t mean that it has to be from scratch. It also doesn’t mean that we have to hit an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) level of tweaking, but a good goal is to ensure that we are driving quality traffic to your site.
The consideration that leads the pack
Before we even get into the three strategies for today’s website improvements, let’s talk about one of the most important things to keep in mind. That is, the foundation of your website house. That is your hosting!
Without a good foundation, and selecting a host that will serve you, as well as your site, well, your house is going to crumble. In other words, there is no site. So, before we improve your site, let’s make sure that that hosting provider has some of the basics, like:
- exceptional customer service;
- exceptional “uptime” like 99.999%;
- the knowledge to comprehend what needs to be done on the server;
- high-quality system administrators;
- creative hosting packages (i.e. a WordPress hosting package);
- SSL (definitely needed these days, with Google’s requirements);
- And more…
When you have ensured that you have chosen a good, solid web hosting company, it is time to make your own website or in some cases, improve on the site that you have, which is what we are discussing in these three strategies.
Strategy 1: Add images and videos
Many people today want to look at images or watch the videos while on your website. They may not want to leave the site and visit places like YouTube or Vimeo to view the videos there.
This is actually good for you because you want to keep those visitors on your site!
If you lack these sources of entertainment, you should consider adding them. Fortunately, it is not very difficult to do so.
Take YouTube as an example. If you find a video that you want to feature, preferably one of your own, all you need to do is use the Share > Embed feature to place that video within a post on a WordPress site. And, in some cases, simply typing the YouTube url/link will produce the video. It doesn’t get much easier than that and it is certainly easier than it used to be years ago.
According to the experts, it is vital to start adding these engagement components as soon as you can, along with other types of website content necessary for any modern website. And, don’t limit yourself to just the images and videos. Think to a wider capacity. Include podcasts. Include SlideShare presentations and include infographics, to name a few.
Many people are excited about all of the new options for adding engaging content to their sites. If you feel like it is too technical for you, there are plenty of tutorials, how-to articles, and informational videos online on how to easily execute this. Fortunately, all you need is an ability to search on Google.
Another example is adding your own tutorial to your own site. You could choose to demonstrate to your readers how they can implement some new feature on their website. Or, maybe your niche includes a particular product or service, in which case you could turn that into a video demonstration or how-to article.
Not only will this type of content interest your readers, but it is sure to drive traffic to your site, but you will be helping those who visit your site, as well. This helps to establish yourself as an authority while building up your loyal fan base, as well.
Becoming an authority on a subject is a great way to build that loyal audience and it will certainly contribute to your success over time.
Strategy 2: Generate quality content
Without a doubt, a vital aspect of a successful website is having quality content on your site. We have already suggested some of this type of content in our last strategy idea.
Over time, quality content will improve the search rank of your website more than anything else. Although things like keywords are important when generating content, it is much more important that the content is something that people want to read. Why? It is more likely to gather links that way. Your readers enjoy it and authors will want to link to these high-quality articles in THEIR articles.
In addition to the exposure and branding (including linking) benefits, many of the search engines track how long readers stay on your website. The longer visitors stay on your site, the more your site improves in the SERPs for various keywords and terms.
Think outside the box and include different types of blog posts.
In some cases, website owners have too little content on their site. In other cases, they may have content that is old and the search engines are recognizing that fact. In either of these cases or similar cases, the fastest way to improve one’s search ranking is to rectify the situation with newer, relevant content.
It may take a while. It may take hiring some quality (and influential) writers. But, it is worth it in the long run. Isn’t your site worth it?
Strategy 3: Use blog sponsorship wisely (reduce ads and distractions)
Sometimes website owners feel like ads are a good way to make money. However, unless you have millions of unique visitors per month, the money made off of ad revenue is not necessarily enough to pay the bills. This isn’t always true, as properly planned blog sponsorships do succeed in launching the site into a realm of success.
This needs to be handled with care.
Too many advertisements and those that are not relevant to the site could cheapen the site and cause that length of time on the site to adversely affect your statistics (as in too low). Instead, find advertisements; affiliate programs, and related programs that compliment the content of your site. In that way, you are adding value to your site while earning a few bucks on the side, with blog sponsorship.
Overall, a website is a great tool to help your business stand out from others and advertise that you are the place to be for your niche. So, let’s start now. Let’s make it the best that it can be, and watch as our success surpasses our objectives into the next year.