These days, it seems like everyone from the hobbyist blogger to the severe internet marketer has a blog or other types of content they wish to monetize, or they want their websites to be better representations of their brands.
While branding and brand image are important considerations, the more significant issue revolves around one thing that even some big-box brands fail to address: the state of their websites. Good branding is nothing if you don’t maintain your storefront and, in the world of online marketing, that is precisely what your site is.
Today, we would like to provide you with a simple checklist of things you should consider if you want your site to become or remain a reliable source of revenue. How many of these things apply to your site right now?
#1: Your Site is More Than 18 Months Old
A year and a half may not seem like much, but plenty has happened in that amount of time in the world of online marketing. For starters, the mobile market has exploded. What used to be a slow climb in mobile usage has turned into a grueling uphill sprint with more and more people abandoning their laptops and opting instead for handheld access to all things Internet.
While it used to be a good idea to have a website that was optimized for mobile traffic, it is now flat out mandatory. Don’t assume that just because you have a recognizable brand, logo, or substantial following on social media that your website doesn’t matter. If you haven’t had your site audited for SEO lately (or ever), it is time to consider it. It’s a good idea even if you think your site is already optimized. We’ll look more closely at that idea a little later.
#2: Your Rankings are Below Projection
When faced with unsatisfactory results most people tend to believe that their content might be to blame, however that is not always the case and we will discuss that at length. It is important to keep in mind that this might not be what has caused Google to view the site in such a manner. Nonetheless, that does not mean that the quality of the text can be sub par. Usually it is recommended to consult the best academic writer at companies like Essaypro.com or blogger in your niche, since that will help ensure the overall quality of your written work. Think of it as over delivering in a sense due to the fact that it has to help raise your Google ranking while also providing a stellar user experience to your customers or audience.
As previously mentioned, Google and the other major search platforms now lend favor to sites they consider optimized for mobile. That means that if your competitor’s site manages mobile traffic better than yours, their website will rank above yours, even if yours is the more recognized brand. How your pages look, how easy or difficult they are to navigate, and how fast they load all weigh heavily on SERPs rankings. If your site is sluggish and difficult to navigate, odds are your bounce rates are also high. Treat those metrics as a warning and seek some help with either optimization or a complete redesign.
#3: You Get Great Engagement on Social Media, But No One Is Visiting Your Site
You’re getting tons of likes and shares on your content via social platforms, and yet no one seems to be visiting your site. Worse yet, those who do aren’t sticking around long. Low click-throughs and high bounce rates are usually indicative of inferior user experience on your site. People may love your brand on social media, but dislike how you present your site.
If people aren’t viewing more than one page, there is usually a reason which revolves around the quality of the user experience when they get there. If they aren’t clicking through at all, they likely had a bad experience on a previous visit or your site is too buggy for them to wait for your page to load correctly. Some marketers may not think this is a big deal as long as their social media audience keeps growing, but, over time, you will lose audience and engagement as other brands steer your followers’ (and customers’) attention away from you and direct it to their content and websites.
#4: There Are Things You Dislike About Your Website
If there are specific things that you think need changing, follow your gut. Chances are your customers, and leads feel the same way. Do, however, view your site from the perspective of your target audience and make changes based on what the market is dictating at the moment. Your site visitors’, prospects’, and customers’ needs could shift a bit over time, and it is essential that you remain sensitive to what the market wants.
You know your ideal customer’s needs; be sure your website is fulfilling them. Provide your most valued site visitors with the experience they expect. If you are unsure whether or not your site is accomplishing that right now, it’s time to consider making some changes.
#5: You’ve Never Done an SEO Audit
SEO auditing is a concept that remains unfamiliar to a large number of marketers. Some may feel it’s a waste of money or that it’s just another way for a web hosting company to make money. The truth of the matter is that the rules of SEO change regularly and even the most vigilant of marketers can have a hard time keeping up.
This is why services like SEO auditing exist: so you can run your business without having to keep a constant finger on the pulse of current web design trends. An SEO audit is likely to uncover a list of things you are either not doing or not doing optimally that are costing you in rankings.
The overall design of your site weighs heavily upon how it will rank. The more you do to optimize it, the better it will list. Moreover, optimized places attract more visitors and encourage better onsite engagement. If these are goals that you seem to be missing by even a little, it’s time to consider a re-design.