007. Maximise Return on your Website
Websites are hard.
Designing, building, adding content, maintaining. It’s all very overwhelming, after you finish one step you want to be done with it, or at least take a hefty break. So how do we make sure that all our effort is worth it? Putting all that time in to see more than just a few people visiting your site each day. Here are a few tips that can make your website see more return, whether that return is more readers or customers. Of course this is all an addition, I believe that this all should go hand in hand with having a great product and an intuitive site, but let me go on.
I’m putting SEO as the first step because it should be the first thing you focus on. SEO is just ways of utilising your website and the content on it to allow for it to show up higher (or at all) in search engines. This can be through your website description, headings, and keywords on your blog. What I’m saying is if there is somewhere on your website that you can write about it, you should.
Now I’m no SEO expert, I do the SEO on my own site but working with different sites is a different matter. Here are some helpful SEO links for different website platforms. I also highly encourage you to keep learning about how to optimise your site for search engines and if you are in the financial position to do so, hire a high quality SEO expert to do a sweep of your site and help with SEO.
02. Spreading the Word.
They say that when you start freelancing you need to tell everyone. Everyone in your contacts, every at that party/event you attended, your cashier at the supermarket, EVERYONE. It’s the same with websites, you need to make sure you are linking back to your site everywhere you can. Have it in your Instagram bio, twitter bio, Pinterest! Everywhere that has a place for a website make sure its filled.
This goes for blogging too. Anytime you post something new make sure you are sharing it around. Post it to Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, tell your cashier at the supermarket about it. This will all accumulate and ultimately bring more visitors, and they will potentially spread your word for you and start bring visitors for you. It’s all about that word of mouth baby!
03. Blogging & Guest Blogging.
Creating content is a great way of building out your website, in this case I’m referencing blogging, but it could be adding to your portfolio or posting art. Content is a good way of reaching new people because it give instant value, this blog post is giving you the value I stated in the title. When you need to know something you search for it. My site isn’t going to come up in searches for small business marketing if I don’t talk about small business marketing! Blogging is like a gateway drug to your website (except your website hopefully isn’t a crippling addictive substance).
Guest blogging has a similar benefit but more wide spread. You are bringing two audiences together hoping the like one another. So go on and reach out to those blogs you crush on and see if they feel the same!
Call to actions are as important to you as they are to your visitors. What is the purpose of your website? Do you want people to look at your portfolio? Tell them to. Do you want people to reach out about a consultation? Tell them to. Do you want people to buy your stuff? Well then just tell them to.
Sometimes we feel uncomfortable doing this. We just want to leave our stuff there and be like ‘just do what you want, I guess’, but how else is someone going to be able to know how to navigate your site? Websites are fluid experiences, we scroll, we browse. If we don’t have a super clear intent of what we are headed to that site for, we will just explore until we get bored. You need to let the visitor explore to a certain point then you need to give them intent. Let them know that they can reach out to you, or read more of your thoughts.
This is probably my favourite tip to follow because you get to see all your progress (and also I’m a total analytics nerd). Set aside time every week (or month if you’re not as into analytics as me) to look through how your site is doing. Take a look at your most popular content, where your visitors are coming from and how they’re using your site.
From then you can make changes and adjust accordingly. Not many people coming via Instagram? Make sure you linked it correctly or promote your site in some stories.
Maintenance is also keeping up with trends. Make sure you are always up to date with latest improvements to SEO or how people are consuming blog content (like posting your blog posts to Medium as well as your website). A website is like your child, look after it, check in on it and most importantly, give it the love it deserves!
I wouldn’t suggest burning yourself out and trying to implement or improve all these things all at once. But maybe you can do a website month for yourself and over a month you can adjust and improve at your own pace! Good luck on all your website ventures and if you ever need help or even more tips feel free to reach out via email, email@example.com
Feel free to get in touch via my contact page or directly through email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Maisie MacDonald, Creative Director, Maisie Heather Studio.