Congratulations on building a website! That is the first step on your journey to online success, one that most people simply do not take.
Now that you have your site up and running, you are probably wondering, okay, I built a website, now what? Well, I am going to outline some important tips below. At the end, you will be well on your way to having a legitimate online business that is ready for success!
I am going to assume you have a niche already selected. If not, please review How To Choose A Niche For A Website and then come back here to continue.
If you have your site built but have not yet optimized it for visitors, then we need to start with that. It is crucial to understand site optimization from the start and not have to backtrack and worry about making changes later. This is an ongoing process and the sooner you understand how it works, the better for you, your site and your visitors:-).
As defined by Webopedia, website optimization is simply how well your site functions. You are looking for that perfect balance between positive visitor usability and increased business success.
I always recommend streamline site designs for anyone who is just starting out. There are many different options available to you and trying to go for the coolest look may not always be optimal for your business. Obviously niche selection has a lot to do with type of site design you go with but no matter what, the site should be easy to navigate.
I recommend keeping the background white, the navigation menu straightforward, the side bar informative and not overly filled with sales ads and banners. In addition, always include a Contact page. These suggestions will enhance your visitor’s experience.
Most visitors will not stay on a slow loading site long enough to see it if it takes too long. By too long, I mean more than a couple of seconds. Too many plug ins, flashy type advertising and certain video items will only hinder your sites load time. Click here to test your site’s speed and see how you rank among the majority.
Unless for some reason, you are not looking for user interaction/engagement, I always recommend having a comments area for your posts (pages are optional). Engaging comments are critical to your site trust and will help with rankings.
Remember to always respond to every comment in a timely manner. I also recommend a spam blocker plug in to assist with keeping the spammers comments off your site. Even though you will be moderating the comments, a spam blocker comes in useful and will save you time.
Include an image of your self on your site. This is often done on the about me page. You want to build your brand and using a tasteful image of yourself is the best way to do that. Also, do not leave the gravatar logo as your image when responding to comments. Make sure it is your image as people want to follow and do business with real people.
Do not forget to label them with a description, an alt tag/descriptive tag. Google bots can only crawl words so if your images are not labeled, they will not get indexed and/or ranked. This is another way to obtain traffic to your site. Include a keyword if you can and only if it makes sense, but either way, don’t forget to label the images.
Include social share on your website, make it easy for visitors to share your awesome content. This will not only increase traffic but you will gain site trust/authority with search engines, which will in turn increase ranking.
I do not recommend spamming family and friends, but having a social media presence will only help with traffic, and it’s free, so why not? When used correctly, Pinterest, LinkedIn, FB, Twitter, Google + are all great sources of free online traffic to your site.
You Tube has become a very real source of traffic. Like Google, You Tube has millions of searches and views every single day. Incorporating video into your marketing strategy in the right way will only make you better and give you a leg up on the competition.
Google is now reviewing sites for this feature as part of their updated ranking algorithm. It will hurt you if you site is not mobile friendly.
Create keyword based content daily if possible but no less than 3x per week.
As a new site, you must acquire site trust and authority with regular, high quality content (at least 1k words) that is original. By original, I mean no copying, spinning, PLR etc. This is a must.
Ensure keyword research is a part of your content marketing strategy. For more on this topic, please refer to How To Do Keyword Research For Content Marketing.
Create internal links pointing to various pages within your site where relevant.
This is an important step to improving your search engine rankings that many tend to overlook. In addition, internal links within your site creates additional traffic to other pages/posts. As with anything, do not overdue it. Think about your visitors and include as needed to enhance the visitor experience.
Create external links for the same reason
Having a link going away from your site is okay. External links to sites such as Wikipedia for instance will create site trust and authority. Again, use when it makes sense. Nothing is to be overdone.
Do not change the name of a page/post URL once published.
This is super important. Once indexed, the URL is basically written in stone. If you change it, that original link will no longer work but will still be available for visitors to find. In addition, your sites progress will be hindered as a result of switching up URL’s. So, if you must make a change, ensure a 301 redirect is done to fix a broken link.
Do you have a Call To Action within your posts and if so, is the link set up correctly and pointing to the right page?
If you have ever been on a site and were ready to move forward with an offer only to find a broken link or a link that took you to something completely different than what you thought, then you know that as a visitor, you are more than likely going to leave the site at that point. Check and make sure any call to action is set up correctly and pointing to the right place.
If all of this website optimization stuff seems overwhelming and you feel that you are paralyzed with the amount of information, that is okay and completely normal. I personally went through a free Get Started course that included 2 free sites and hosting! This is where I obtained basic training and applied what I was learning one step at a time. I definitely recommend it for anyone who is struggling with next steps.
Do not get to the point of taking no action because you feel overwhelmed. If you would like to learn more, please visit my Wealthy Affiliate University review page. I go into great detail about the program as well as how you can get started with 0 dollars (no credit card required).
Please leave a comment below with any questions. I would love to hear about your online experiences especially for those who are just starting out. All comments are welcome and will be responded to.
Have a great day!