Is your business website ready for 2013? Four website tips to ring in the New Year

When we welcome in the New Year, many will look back and think that 2012 went by so quickly.  With the feeling that we still have so much to get done, our New Year “to do” list keeps growing.   If you are like me, you are wondering where you will find the time to do all the things on your list.

I am a believer that every small business should have a website.  It can be one of the best low cost assets for a business.  Small changes can have a big impact. These four tips are to help you to improve visitor experience on your website and gain more returning visitors in 2013.

1)      Content:  Update content on at least two of your most visited pages.  Focus on using two or three specific yet different keywords on each of these pages.  Think of the goal of the pages and you will be able to develop a few good quality keywords.

For example, a florist shop has a page with upsell items (balloons, chocolates, etc.)  Pick one or two of these items --most likely your best sellers – and make them your keywords for that page. This detailed focus can help you increase your search engine ranking for your various pages.

 

2)      Images:  Refresh some of your web page images.   The file name of these images should be based on a keyword or useful name associated with the page it is on.  If you plan on keeping your existing images, then take time to rename them using the keyword name format.

Our florist shop has images of flowers and their file names are image 1, flower 1, etc.  People don’t search for image 1 or flower1; they search for yellow birthday flowers or rose bouquets.  Take a few minutes and perform your own search then note the results and update your image names.

 

3)      Clean up: Remove any pages that still say “Coming Soon” or “Under Construction” unless you really plan on building these pages soon- like by the end of January.  Remember that it’s not about the number of web pages you have.  It’s about the quality of content you provide visitors. If you are not going to create these pages for several months, then hide them. Customers will lose interest or feel you’ve lost interest if they don’t see any updates.

Our florist shop has a page called “Flowers by Holiday: Coming Soon”. If visitors return monthly and see that there has been no progress, they may choose stop returning.  Website analytics can track how many visitors (new and returning) that clicked on the coming soon/under construction pages.

 

4)      Expand: The opposite of removing pages is adding pages.  A new page can be used as an information source may be advantageous to build relationships and demonstrate your expertise in your industry.  Consider adding Testimonials or a Feedback page.

For example, our florist shop could send an email survey to customers asking them about their shopping experience or rate/comment on what they ordered.   Then share these comments or perhaps, highlight products as Best Seller or Customer Favorites.

I often recommend refreshing content and images because it has a two-fold purpose.  It confirms to returning visitors that you are actively engaged with your website.  Plus it gives you the opportunity to update anything new that may have occurred in your business.  When visitors believe you are engaged, they are more likely to not only visit more often, but also recommend your business to their friends.

I hope to be one of the first to wish you a joyful and prosperous New Year.  I look forward to reading your comments and feedback and connecting more with you in 2013.

Is there something specific you plan on doing for your website next year?

Jean Hendricks

Jean Hendricks is a Product Marketing Manager for a telecommunications company. During her career the majority of her assignments focused on International and Domestic marketing. Her current position is managing their small business website product. Her love of writing combined with her innate marketing ability provided the perfect match to successfully perform her role. Her desire was to gain knowledge about websites and become an expert in this ever-evolving field.

When her company launched a blog site, Jean immediately became engaged .She found this to be the perfect opportunity to connect with business owners and provide website assistance. Her mission is to share what she learns to help business owners manage their website and grow. She was a speaker for the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women Peace through Business program presenting Website Best Practices to the audience. In addition to being an author for her company's blog, she has had several blogs published an

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