Top tips to make the most of your new website
So, your new website has been built and optimised, and it’s all shiny and new! Fantastic. We want your new website to last you for the long term so that you can get the best possible value from it so below are some top tips for keeping it feeling new and fresh. As always, if you need help or you want updates, design, ongoing SEO or anything else to do with your marketing even if it’s just some advice, please feel free to call us.
One of the first steps in being able to maintain and update your website is to have Content Management System (CMS) training. This is included in the price of us building your website and we think it’s really important that you can change things yourself. We don’t want you to be dependent on us to make changes to content – it can be inconvenient and it’s expensive, so where you can make changes, we’ll show you how. We can also supply you with ‘cheat sheets’ to show you how it all works in case you’ve forgotten and need a reminder.
Relevant and updated content
There’s nothing worse than an out-of-date website, especially if you are a potential customer or client. We would strongly advise you to make sure that you regularly check what is, after all, your new shop window, and make sure that all of the content on the homepage and elsewhere is up to date. For example, if your content references an upcoming date that’s in the past, that’s not going to look good to a potential customer. We would recommend that you schedule in a half-an-hour review once a month so you can check that everything is up to date. Don’t forget to show off! Your website is all about what you do best, so put aside time each month to update and increase your content; it’s also great for your SEO and being found on Google.
Using social media is great for keeping your site, brand and news up to date. However if you are going to feature it on your site then please make sure that you keep it up to date (post at least every fortnight) because again, having an out of date social feed on your site can look bad, so if you’re not using it, then best to remove it. You can use Hootsuite to schedule your social media posts or you can book time in your diary for half an hour each fortnight to post something. When you post on social media, always include a link back to your site. It drives traffic to your new website and it keeps reminding people that your site is there.
If you have a blog on your site, again, keep it up to date. You don’t need to blog all the time but you do need to keep it fresh and relevant. Over time your blog posts will mount up, and they will show off your expertise and experience, so it’s well worth doing. When you write a new blog article, post links to it on your social media channels and email it out to your mailing list if you have one.
Client testimonials, case studies and portfolios
Testimonials are a brilliant ‘trust marker’ on any website; they make other people feel more confident about making an enquiry and if they come from a company that someone else has heard of, all the better. When you work with customers or clients then try to get them to give you a testimonial and then add it to your website so that people can see how good you are! Review these regularly and add new ones in.
When it comes to case studies and portfolios – again, each time you finish a project, get a new client or make a significant sale, launch a product or do whatever you do, remember to show off about it! Your potential customers won’t know how great you are unless you tell them.
Making use of Analytics
Your Google Analytics will allow you to see who has visited your new website, how they got there and what they are doing. You can also set up goals on analytics and track customer behaviour if you want to; ask us for more advice on this if you’re interested in exploring it further.
Checking your shop window regularly
As well as regularly checking your content, try and get a friend, family member or colleague to explore your website as if they were a potential client or customer who has never used the site before. Can they find everything they need? Are all your products and services clearly signposted? Is there anything missing? Review monthly to make sure that if your company has evolved, that your website has too.
Test your links
There are probably links to other things on your website – from partner websites, links to social pages or references to articles, you should regularly check that these are all still working so that your website remains up to date and for the health of your SEO. You can use a free link checker online or you can get us to do it as part of your regular site maintenance, it’s up to you.
If you have lots of traffic from lots of customers, do you ever get any feedback about your new website? If someone tells you that something isn’t working for them, it’s likely that many others have just clicked off your site without telling you. Equally, if customers are finding a user journey frustrating or they can find what they are looking for, then you are likely to lose them. There are a variety of things that you can do – you can apply a site survey to your website, you can ask clients directly or you can apply heat mapping technology to your homepage so that you can see where people are hovering and which links they are going to on your site. Talk to us about how we can help with this if you have any concerns about your navigation. The thing with websites is that you need to keep testing them so that you can be sure that they are working well for your clients.
Ongoing Search Engine Optimisation
Are you in a competitive market? If so then it may well be worth having a chat to us about your ongoing Search Engine Optimisation. Your new website has been optimised so that it has the best chance of appearing on Google (although this may take some time while the site is ranked and indexed). The best things to do are to make sure that the site is regularly updated and that you have relevant, detailed content that speaks to your potential customers. However, if you want to give your site a boost in the rankings then please talk to Mark about how we can help either by using Google Ad Words or by regularly organic SEO.
Once you know how to update your new website then you will be able to add in new content and pages. However it’s worth checking that everything continues to look and feel ‘on brand’, on your site and on your social media. Your brand is your essence – it’s the visual representation of who you are and what you stand for so don’t post tatty things that don’t look good. Make sure that design is of a high quality and that you follow the brand guidelines on your own site when it comes to fonts and colours. Again, if you need help with this then just let us know; our design services are on hand to help!
Check and test your contact page
Once a year we would recommend that you check your contact details, and that if you have contact forms, enquiry pages or live chat enabled on your site that they are all working properly. There’s nothing worse than an enquiry that goes missing!
Check out your competition
Finally, if you are in a small or competitive market, check out what your competition is doing on a regular basis. You have the power to amend your site yourself and add pages of content so if the competition is doing something new you can always keep up by adding new content!
We hope that you have found these tips useful. Don’t hesitate to get in contact if we can help, and happy updating!