Being right between the time of New Year’s resolutions and spring cleaning season, it’s the perfect opportunity to take stock of your website and consider making some improvements to adapt with new changes of 2016.
A well-designed, efficient website is probably one of the most important assets, especially in the mobile marketing arena. Research shows that you have just 10 short seconds to make an impression, and in that time the visitor has to figure out who you are and what you’re all about. Even if you aren’t the one designing your website (as many people hire web designers), you still need to keep the site up to date with fresh content, interactive, and running smoothly. All of these qualities mean a higher ranked site, more visitors, and increased revenue.
Here are a few tips on how you can clean things up this year:
Check your website speed, the right way
Did you know that 40% of people will leave a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load? Pretty much everyone knows that website speed matters, but did you know it’s not just about checking how long it takes a page to load? There are many factors that affect the speed of your website, mainly the server speed and the variety of components on the page (i.e. images, text, etc.). As explained in an article that offers five ways to measure your website speed, the right way, you’ll need a variety of tools to get an exact measurement.
Consider using something beyond those free online speed checkers. Tools like Google Page Insights are excellent for checking website speed but also for breaking it down into smaller parts, giving you feedback with specific things slowing your site down. This prioritized list gives you a sort of “to-do” list on what to fix. If you can make these changes, it’ll also help boost your rankings on Google as faster load times get priority. If you are a smaller website who’s on the up and up, it might not be a bad idea to also use a tool like Load Impact, which simulates crowds of visitors to your site to test if it will crash or not. This is always helpful since the last thing you want is a crashed website in the middle of heavy traffic.
Improve your search rankings with some updates
Most of us know that former SEO tactics no longer cut it, and are even punishable by Google. However; you still need to get quality content into the hands of the right people. This means improving the quality of your content and using smart tactics to improve your rank on search engines like Google.
A good backlink profile is worth its weight in gold when it comes to driving website traffic. Google ranks pages based on this information, so a bad backlink profile means low standings with search results. This is a very bad thing; but how do you know how your site ranks, and how can you improve it?
One good check-up to do is to check the authority of your domain. Domain Authority uses multiple matrix to see how your site pits up against the competition; and whereas Domain Authority measures the strength of entire domains, you can also use Page Authority to measures the predictive ranking strength of a single page. Using these tools as “comparative metrics” when doing search results, you can determine which pages have more powerful link profiles. From here, you can then investigate more specific metrics to help you use page’s links for earning higher rankings in Google searches.
Since this factor is made of up of multiple metrics that impact your score, the most effective way to change this metric is to focus on improving the overall SEO of your website. You can also use Google Page Analytics to see what links are most popular among visitors to your site and capitalize on those. Your backlink success should have some sort of strategy behind it, and tools like Page Analytics can give you a hand here.
Rethink the way you use social media platforms
Building your audience on social media is no longer about just sharing content and having an RSS feed. Facebook has made some really big changes this past year, even launching their own search engine called Search FYI. The way your content is treated is changing big time, and if you can’t adapt your content, your website traffic will inevitably suffer.
For example, Facebook’s relatively new service Instant Articles is an important game changer to definitely take note of. Basically, articles are now embedded entirely in Facebook news feeds with no reason to click to an outside site. If you want your content to get to your readers, you’ll need to look into in-app availability, or suffer potential website traffic nightmares.
Another tip is to take advantage of other social media platforms other than the big three: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Live feeds are all the rage for 2016, with Facebook’s new launch of their Live feature, and the emergence of apps like Snapchat. You can actually use these social media platforms to form a more personal relationship with your followers, and share content to get them back to your website. In fact, the entire way video content is created, distributed, and viewed is all changing so try to adapt your content and the social media platforms you participate in to stay relevant.
Make it mobile-ready
If your website isn’t already mobile ready, you are looking down a dark pathway. According to an article by B2C, as of July of 2015, 51% of U.S. users spend their online time on mobile outlets, with desktop numbers dropping drastically. Making your site mobile-ready will help your site’s rankings and encourage visitors to stick around.
Not sure if your site is mobile-ready? Consider using resources like the Google Mobile-Friendly Test. Simply type in the web page URL and the test will analyze the URL and report if the page has a mobile-friendly design. If you use WordPress to build your site, Google also offers a guide to customize your website software.
If you want a fast fix to get mobile-ready, another neat trick is to visit the bMobilized homepage, type in the name of your website and click “mobilize.” This automatically converts the URL into a mobile website. There are a few more steps to take, but it’s an easy way to get your site up to date if you aren’t already there.
These tips can help take your website seamlessly into 2016, which promises to be a year full of interactive, engaging, quality content that takes multiple forms. Are you ready?