10 Things to Consider When Building Your Website and Blog

blog strategy, website

Your website and blog are the central point of your digital strategy. They need to be updated often, and they need to connect to all of your other online and social media assets.  This is where you keep all of your “stuff” – and where your customers will come to learn all about you.

1. Be sure to build everything in responsive design, so that your content and information renders correctly across all types of screens, not just a desktop.

2. Know what you are trying to accomplish with each page.  It could be an informational page, or you might be trying to capture someone’s contact information (we’ll talk about email later – it’s still important!). You can have separate landing pages to drive specific messaging or actions. Your home page needs to very clearly and concisely state why you are Different, Better, Special, and give someone the opportunity to sign up to learn more or get a freebie.

3. Make it easy for someone to interact with you — very clear contact information (phone and email), clear directions if you have a storefront, linked Social Media channels, live chat if you can.  I really like Lucky Orange as a tool – it does 2 key things:  1) provides live chat 2) takes a recording of your website visitors, so you can see what they are doing, and how they are interacting with your site.  It’s an easy code snippet that you add to your website.

4. Provide social cues to inspire trust.  This could be social media counts (i.e., “Likes” on Facebook or Twitter followers), it could be customer testimonials, product reviews or perhaps press mentions. New customers want validation of your product or services, and they want to hear it from others, not just from you. Another interesting way to do this is to hire an expert, or authority figure to tell your story for you.

5. Offer a guarantee of your product or services. Again, build trust and lower purchasing risk for your consumer to improve conversions.  You will get far more benefit from this than it will cost.

6. When creating content pages or blog posts, think about your key search terms. This is a great way to improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) rankings — when an article or post shows up in Google for free. Free is good.  I like finding relevant, but dated content that gets good search rankings and rewrite that content.  Basically, make it better and try to get ranked on that content. Use your keywords when writing the title and page name.

7. Lists get people’s attention.  Please see the title of this blog post.  😉

8. Make sure you have the correct tracking code on your pages to know what’s working and what’s not.  Google Analytics are super duper important, make sure you have the code on all of your pages, and conversion code on the actions you want to measure (sign-ups, sales, etc.).

9. Keep your primary navigation simple (and really, really try not to do too much secondary navigation), but use your footer to link to all of the great content you’ve built.

10. When you post something new, be sure to post it across all of your social media assets.  For example, a new blog post?  Make sure you have all of your visuals ready, and post to all of your social media channels. You should be creating new content at least once a week.

When I’ve created a new post or promotion, I literally have a checklist that I go down and make sure I’m covering all my channels:
Home page (if appropriate)
Landing page
Email
Social posts and creatives (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube are my primary channels, you could also consider Yelp, Vimeo, SnapChat)
Creative for my affiliate network
Press release and list of people to whom I’m going to pitch the idea
Edits to paid media and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) campaigns (if appropriate)
Outreach emails and graphics to relevant bloggers

Whew!  Right?!?

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