Can you believe how quickly the New Year arrived? By now, you've likely made, and broken, at least a few resolutions.
We're always trying to improve our bodies, our habits, our manners - but what about our WEBSITES? Here are the eight Most Important Resolutions you can make, and KEEP, to get the most out of your website in 2017.
1. Stop Using a Website Creator You Hate.
If you dread making updates to your site (more than you dread the thought of say, fishing someone else’s hair out of a public drain) you’ll be forever dragging your heels on growing your audience and evolving your online presence.
There’s a very real procrastination that sets in when you subconsciously avoid getting something done because the tool you use is cumbersome, restrictive or unintuitive.
You need to find a website builder that feels like an extension of yourself, that you’ll enjoy using. For some people, that means hand coding their own site. For others, they crave a desktop publishing experience.
2. Design for a Mobile Experience.
Over 56.1% of all internet traffic worldwide is viewed through mobile or tablet, so there is a huge benefit to designing your mobile site specifically for this demographic.
Consider what type of information your audience likely needs to see first if they’re browsing you on the go on their smartphone. Will they want to place an order? Do they need directions? Are you hoping they will jump to your social channels first?
By taking the time to re-arrange and optimize your user experience for mobile specifically, your site can be most effective for your visitors, and for your business.
3. Use More White Space.
You could be a phenom in your chosen industry and still never quite feel like you’ve got the hang of “that design thing”. One thing is certain, you can never go wrong with white space on a site.
Are you noticing you have too many busy images, clashing colours, multiple font types? Maybe you’ve tried to fit too much into one space?
Your message will get lost and buried by such a cramped format. Give your text some room to breathe.
The easiest way to start is by taking stock of whether your pictures are too close to your text. Nudge them over a bit. Increase spacing between your lines. Make sure that your words stand out.
4. Get Rid of the Clutter.
Clutter isn’t just how you’ve presented your content. Outdated information and broken links can accumulate over time, making it difficult for visitors to your site to find what they need.
The most important information, like your location, your contact information or a concise list of your services are all great starting points.
Can you update your team pictures, or delete past events from your online calendar to promote clarity on your upcoming activities?
5. Don’t Give Too Much of a Good Thing.
YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world after Google, with over 1 billion views each day. Video can be the best way to show off what you do, and is useful when you're trying to get visitors to share your content.
If you’ve made the leap from having no media whatsoever on your page (video, widgets, and so on) you might be tempted to overdo it.
Honey, we know. It’s like going to the grocery store when you're hungry and coming back with an excess of ingredients, none of which seem to go together to make any recognizable dish now that you're home. You just grabbed stuff. Any stuff. You're there all like, "Why did I buy anchovies?"
Over saturating your site with TOO MUCH will just distract and confuse your visitors. Making a list of your content and deciding what role it plays can help you pare it down and keep your messaging consistent.
6. Spend Time Being SOCIAL on Social Media.
It’s no newsflash that having a presence on various social media platforms is important, but how are you doing it?
If all you do is log in once or twice a month to dump a link on your page, not only will you fail to grow followers, the ones you do have might start seeing you as strictly advertising, or worse, outright spam.
People making use of social networks want to connect with other people! Despite the growing cynicism that the internet is leaving us more disconnected, your audience really does covet genuine online interactions.
Put clear links to all your channels on each page of your site, and then get on there, engage in conversations. Retweet others successes, and share your human side!
7. Get Serious About SEO.
So you’ve got a great website, but how will your audience find you? SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a way you can help make your website easier for search engines like Google to rank your page and connect you to the people looking for your content or services.
Someone is looking for answers to questions, or solutions to problems that you provide. If you’re new to using SEO take a look at SEO basics for optimizing your website that will help you understand how to get more organic visitors.
This is could be one of the most important steps you can take to improve your website for 2017!
Don’t be that guy, the one who refuses to ask for directions even when you’re more lost than the plot of any Pirates of the Caribbean sequels.
Making a website, especially when using a new platform, can mean having a snag or a setback from time to time. We know you don’t want someone else to do it for you, but you don't want to toss your question into the void of the internet and never hear back, either.
Make sure whatever website creator you use has an active CX team, comprised of real people - actual experts. Usually this means your questions and feedback will inform their product development.
Plus, it's just easier to ask a real human a question when you hit a snag.