Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Business Website? Probably Not.
You’re a business owner. It’s not your job to run and manage your website or lead your online marketing efforts.
But, it is your job to manage those projects and at least know the best practices for using a business website so you can properly manage those projects.
You don’t want to pass over the reigns or trust someone to manage your website for you if you don’t know what they are doing and why.
The rest of this post will give you the information you need to know to tell if your business website is working and if the person managing your website is working for you. This list includes all of the things you must be doing to manage and optimize your business’s web presence.
So, stop playing guessing games with your website.
Find out what you need to do to get it right.
Are You Staying Up-to-Date with Design and Technology Trends?
Websites are not like print brochures or business cards that you can create and use for years without needing a redesign or touch-up.
Websites are evolving, living assets. You can’t just set them and forget them.
If you don’t want your business to appear dated or out-of-touch, your website can’t appear to be dated or out-of-touch. You can’t have an antiquated, out of style web presence and expect to impress potential customers and clients.
Your business website must stay up-to-date with design and technology trends.
- If your website design hasn’t been changed in two or more years -- you need to consider a touch-up or full redesign.
- If your website content hasn’t been updated in six months or more -- you need to review the copy to ensure it is still accurate.
- If your website framework hasn’t been updated in a month or two -- you need to install necessary updates.
Your website manager should follow design and tech changes to ensure that you are keeping up with the times, using the best software, and presenting a polished, professional look.
Are You Updating and Protecting?
Because websites are fluid, evolving assets, they also need continuous care. They require regular maintenance and tune-ups.
Most websites are built on platforms that release updates to improve their performance and protect their framework.
You must install these updates to keep your website up and running.
If you fail to install these updates, your business website could be compromised by malware or viruses. Functionality on the site could stop working. Or worst of all -- your site could crash.
Your website manager needs to be aware of necessary updates and regularly make them when they are needed. They should also use a back-up and/or security software that stores and protects your website in the event that a problem does occur.
Are You Monitoring Google Analytics?
As a business owner, it’s important to know that the value of your website isn’t just in the parts that viewers see. Your website has valuable tools and data that aren't visible by visiting your dot-com.
The valuable behind-the-scenes tools and data are your site analytics.
Site analytics are data points that explain how people engage with your site. This data explains how people find your website, what they do when they get there, and even what type of people are visiting your business website.
You can use this data to make changes to your website, determine the popularity of your products and services, and direct your marketing strategies.
But you can only do this if you have added Google Analytics to your website, and if you are regularly reviewing the data it collects.
Your website manager should install the Google Analytics code, and at the very least, check it biweekly to make sure your traffic is stable. A more involved manager should check in weekly or daily and use the data to develop and revise your digital marketing plans based on the trends they see.
Have You Added a Facebook Pixel and Created a Custom Audience?
Another way that your business website can work for you from behind the scenes is through a Facebook Pixel.
A Facebook Pixel is a piece of code that you add to your website so Facebook can collect data on the users who visit your site.
The Facebook Pixel is powerful because it allows you to create audiences in Facebook based on the actions people take on your website.
For example, if someone visits your site and looks a particular product page, but does not purchase the product -- you can then target that person with a Facebook ad. The pixel adds a tracking code to the user so you can remarket to them and increase the odds that they will buy from you.
To create audiences in this way, your website manager must install the pixel and create an audience within Facebook. While your website manager may not be a Facebook expert, they should be able to add the pixel and create the audience as it is a fairly simple process.
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Even if you aren’t using Facebook ads, add the pixel and create the custom audience so you can use it later. Facebook learns about your audience over time so the sooner you start providing information, the better they can get at understanding your audience.
Are You Utilizing a Lead Generating Opt-in?
A website’s job is not to just sit there and look pretty.
A website’s job is to generate leads and trigger sales.
A business website should act like an unpaid, continuous salesperson. It should educate potential customers and clients, collect data from those potential customers and clients, and then funnel them through the buyer’s journey.
It can’t do that if the site is not set up with a lead generating opt-in.
An opt-in is a core component of an inbound marketing strategy. It is a form that enables audiences to provide their contact information. Most opt-ins are set up with an offer that will encourage or reward the audience for passing over their information.
Opt-ins are important because once you have an interested audience’s contact information, you can follow up with them and help guide them through your sales process.
A website manager should work with you to structure your site so you have an opt-in box that collects customer contact information and adds the data to an email marketing software.
Are You Regularly Publishing Content?
Once your website is published and live, it can be tempting to walk away. It was probably a big process to get it launched, and you want your work to be done. But, it’s not.
The work on your website is not over once you launch.
For you to get the most benefit out of your business website, you should set a schedule to regularly update the content, particularly the blog.
Publishing fresh blog content does a variety of things. It:
- Informs your audience. You can use your blog to communicate with customers, relay important messages about your brand, share sales promotions, event details, and new product launches. It is your messaging board to your audience. While you may use social media to share messages, it’s also good to have the more thorough post on your blog where audiences can go to get more information.
- Shows off your industry authority. When you publish helpful, resourceful content that educates audiences about your products, services, or industry, you position yourself as an authority. This builds trust between you and your audience as they see that you have experience and expertise in your field.
- Pleases search engines. When a website launches and just sits there to collect digital dust, it’s not just unpleasing to audiences. It’s also unpleasing to search engines. Search engines like to see fresh content on a website. Freshness is ranking factor so regularly publishing on your blog sends the fresh signals search engines love. Plus, the more SEO friendly articles on your site, the higher your chances of ranking for relevant keywords.
Your website manager should either help you post regular content on your site or show you how to do it yourself. While they likely won’t be the one writing your content, they can give you the tools you need to regularly publish.
Are You Continuously Boosting SEO?
It's not just fresh content that helps a business website improve it's search rankings. There are a variety of other factors that impact search engine optimization (SEO).
For your website to show at the top of search engine results pages, you need to optimize each page of your website and continue to work on strategies that move your site to the top and keep it there.
Some of the SEO best practices your website strategy must include are:
- Submitting your site to search engines. Launching a site isn't enough to get your name to show in search results. For search engines to begin to recognize your site, you need to let them know you exist. Submitting your site to a variety of search engine indexes will help you begin to rank.
- Getting links back to your website. To further get search engines to recognize your site, it also helps to get other sites to give you credibility. When another website links to your website, it tells search engines that your website is valuable, credible, and trustworthy. The links back to your site give an SEO boost to your website.
- Publishing regular content. As mentioned above, fresh content improves your SEO. Also, having a lot of pages of content on your website improves SEO. Search engines give higher rankings to pages that have more content because they appear to have more value to searchers.
- Optimizing your pages and posts. Website content is good for SEO, and optimized web content is even better for SEO. Every page and post on your site should be written and published with SEO best practices in mind.
- Paying attention to local SEO. Local businesses also need a strategy for appearing in local searches. That process includes setting up Google My Business pages, joining local directories, and being mindful of location based marketing tactics.
Having a strong SEO foundation for your website is important because search is how many new audiences will find your business. You need to continue to work on improving your website in order to improve your search engine rankings.
Your website manager should work with you to employ these best practices or advise you on how to work with an SEO expert to execute these plans.
Are You Neglecting Your Business Website?
The items on this list are not the only things you should do if you want your business website to work for you. But, they are among the most important habits and tactics you should regularly practice.
If you went through this list and realized that you have some work to do, let us know.
We can help you strategize from website development to creating an ongoing digital marketing plan so your business website doesn’t go from launch to fading into the background. Schedule a free consultation to see how we can help your work start working (non-stop) for you.