A Healthy Website is Important for Your Social Media Effort
There are many reasons why a small business needs a strong social media campaign. Connecting with customers and clients is at the top of that list, as is driving traffic to your website. All small business owners have lots to do in their day to manage their business and often think they can put up a website and then forget about it. Not so fast. A healthy website requires maintenance. The time you put into your website will greatly enhance your social media efforts and can bring more foot traffic into your store or website.
There is no point in having a social media plan if your unless you have a healthy website.
There are two main parts to maintaining a healthy website: content health and what I like to call technical health. Content health refers to the information you are sharing with visitors to your website. If it is relevant, constantly updated and easily found by search engines then your website is in good shape. Technical health encompasses how long it takes your site to load, 404 errors and other metrics based on the behind the scenes architecture of your website. Both areas are equally important, especially if you are working in a highly competitive market. And, for any small business owner, if you are going to invest resources, like your time and money into a website, make sure it is performing optimally for you.
I recently had the good fortune of hearing SEO expert Patti Dalessio of Reinvent Interactive discuss some online tools to check the health of any website. There are many metrics to use when determining if your website is running properly and receiving the attention of search engines. Patti suggested a number of resources you can use to evaluate your own internet properties (and even those of your competitors!):
- Google Analytics: Google analytics produces reports on your website traffic including number of visits, page position in search, bounce rate, and how people came to your site (ie: from a Facebook link or by directly typing in your website address).
- Google Webmaster Tools: By installing Webmaster tools you obtain the ability to submit your site index to Google so the algorithm has a bit more information on the content you provide. Webmaster tools has an alert system for error detection and will notify you with problems such as crawl and 404 errors.
- Open Site Explorer : Analyzes your site and inbound links for your domain and page authority.
- GTMetrix.com: These are very technical metrics about the speed of your site, how long it takes to load, and the number of redirects.
Once you have a clear picture of how your site is functioning, you can address any issues in the two main areas:
The Content Health of Your Website
If you discover an issue with the number of visitors, page position, and bounce rate, more than likely you have a content issue. Continually adding fresh relevant content to your website is important, google likes it and most importantly, it positions you as an expert to your users. Here are some ideas:
- Continually add new articles to your website: Building a body of content is advantageous for many reasons. You provide your visitors with important information and build a body of knowledge around your core business areas. As your site grows in size, the search engines are more apt to find your information. Website articles should be focused around your core business areas.
- Blogging: Maintaining a blog is the best way to show your personality and provide newsy type information to your readers. Blogging is a bit less information than your website articles and
- Beef up your linking: have you established relationships with other credible sites and the authors are willing to link to yours, your site is more credible. This can be done in several ways including guest blogging, setting up bios on credible sites, and having authors reference your work in their own writing.
- Implement a strategic social media campaign. Your current and potential customers and clients are engaged on social media. Find out where they are on the internet and then authentically interacting with them will drive traffic to your site.
- Check your site for duplicate content. If you purchase your content from a service or writer, make sure you own the work and it will not be published elsewhere on the internet. I have found that lawyers and chiropractors are often sold a package of content that is sold to others across the country. The Google search algorithm looks for new and fresh content and will devalue your website if you have the same content as others. This applies to any guest blogging.
The Technical Health of Your Website
I listed some technical errors above such as 404 errors and page load time. If your research indicates you have problems in those areas they should be fixed immediately. Most are handled in the html code of your website and/or adjusting pieces of your WordPress plugins.
When improving the health of your website set reasonable goals for yourself. Provide great content for your target audience by writing website articles and blog posts on a regular basis. Your writing should speak directly to their needs and highlight your expertise. Make sure your content is added at a natural consistent rate. Ideas include blogging once a week, writing one new website article per month, and establishing links with 5 new credible websites.
Above all, if you need an expert reach out for guidance and possibly assistance in solving some of these issues.