What are your website’s top priorities, and are they in the right order?
Whenever we take on a new client and we ask them what needs to be done without a website, the first thing they always say is it’s got to look good. Too many people are seduced by surreally sexy looking websites. I’m not against a great looking website. It is certainly a priority to have a good-looking website, but it’s not the top issue.
Let’s think about our website from the business perspective.
Then, I suggest, we will have our priorities in the correct order.
Your first priority is conversions. Whatever your business goal is for your website is your first priority. Whether you expect people to sign up to a training course, purchase a product, to attend a seminar or to request their first meeting. Without an active call to action which fulfils a business goal, the website is just an expensive ego trip. Our Priority is to build up Twitter and Youtube Subscribers.
The Next may prove equally controversial. Your second priority is analytics. If your website is working perfectly then you could have 100% conversion. I will be very suspicious of any site that can achieve those figures. So the issue will be, what happens to those that aren’t converting. The only way we’re going to gain any insight into this is using analytics.
It’s time for me to roll out that well-known quote of John Wanamaker “half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, the trouble is, I don’t know which half”. While 100 years after that quote we can now evaluate the answer because analytics allow us to see exactly what happens to visitors on our websites, responding to tweets, watching YouTube videos and the rest.
So, I put analytics as the second most important property because it is the first thing I can use to improve my first priority, conversions.
Your third priority has been suggested by a small company called Google. Now, I expect you are waiting for good Google search results to be a priority and indeed you will see it later on. But before that, Google has one design condition that you need to apply to your website. Not that it should be Mobil responsive. Your third priority is your website should be Mobil centric. When it comes to winning new customers, the most common way of winning their trust is good information. Whether that is reviews, training or simply answers to most commonly asked questions. Google is looking for answers, and if you supply those answers, you will find yourself listed well on Google. However, Google is finding that most of these questions are being asked by users who are not sitting in front of the desktop. This is why it is slurring search results towards sites which are more friendly to label devices. There is also an argument to say that you need these answers delivered through multiple streams. Some people will look up an answer and then read a text response. Others may like a short video. Obviously, you need to tailor these to your market and the facilities you have, but if you are going to be in the right place to impress Google and to deliver answers to new customers, I suggest your third priority is to make your site Mobil centric.
However, Google is finding that most of these questions are being asked by users who are not sitting in front of the desktop. This is why it is slurring search results towards sites which are more friendly to label devices. There is also an argument to say that you need these answers delivered through multiple streams. Some people will look up an answer and then read a text response. Others may like a short video. Obviously, you need to tailor these to your market and the facilities you have, but if you are going to be in the right place to impress Google and to deliver answers to new customers. That is why I suggest your third priority is to make your site Mobil centric.
Ease of Navigation
The fourth priority is ease of navigation. Once we have a visitor to our site, we want them to stay as long as possible. People who visit one page and leave are known as bounces. Apart from showing little engagement with your site, but also negatively affect your listings with Google. So we must make sure, whichever device they use, that people can easily move from one piece of content to another.
And now we can make good design, or even sexy design, our fifth priority. So, if you like animations and sliders and all those other clever little tools to bring content onto the page. You can now make use of them. Indeed, a good slider is a great way to deliver multiple pieces of content into one small space. As long as it complies with the priorities 1-4.
SEO and Social Friendly
When it comes to making your content appealing to Google Search, we all know the routine about having the right keywords in our content and using the terms within good context to provide Good SEO. However, Google trusts our content more when it is shared and referred to by other sites, including social. Therefore, to make the most of this opportunity, we must make sure that all the social sharing apps will put our content in its best light. That means we need all the “social signals” including open graph tags, featured images and videos, all there on the page for all to see and share. So, the fifth priority is to make all content SEO and social media friendly
Being Social Friendly also means adding those “share us” buttons. Each should have been setup to share the content in its best light to suit our purposes.
It is this far down the list because we want the site to be ready for the visitors before they come.
Comment and Curate.
Don’t be a hermit, closed from the outside world. Often I see content by others and think that they have chosen a useful subject for my readers. I may well take a note and it could spark off a post by me in the future.
Other times I see content from somebody else which aligns with both my ideas, and that of my target audience. These are the times when I follow the next rule. The fifth rules is Create, comment and curate. Blindly re-tweeting content will not do. You must show you have read the content, understand the content and comment on it to show how it will relate to your readers.
Make sure you aknowledge the creator. Guilt by association will help your SEO too. Tweet the post and refer to their twitter handle. If they are on the ball you may well see a reply, which will do good for both of you.
Rinse and Repeat.
This has to be given as a priority because the Internet is littered with people who did half a dozen, or maybe a dozen posts, videos, tweets….then stopped. Google knows this and it is why you need to make more than one piece of good content to be seen nowadays.
The upside is that not all the content has to be A1, as long as some of your tweets, videos or posts are worth reading, the others will show you are still churning them out.
Even the top YouTuber’s know that a less than perfect video post is better than a missed post. So, rule six is to keep them coming regularly.
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