The new year is here, so it's out with the old and in with the new! It's the time when everyone sits cozied up on those first few chilly mornings of January and plans out how they anticipate the year to go. It's the week of reflection, of strategy, resolution, and of reinvention. But while you're making plans to eat better, get out more, and to talk to Aunt Marge a little more often this year, don't let your website fall off the list of things to shape up this year! We can assure you that your site won't run around the proverbial Google block all by itself.
The new year is here, so it’s out with the old and in with the new! It’s the time when everyone sits cozied up on those first few chilly mornings of January and plans out how they anticipate the year to go. It’s the week of reflection, of strategy, resolution, and of reinvention. But while you’re making plans to eat better, go running more, and to talk to Aunt Marge a little more often this year, don’t let your website fall off the list of things to shape up this year. We can assure you that your site won’t run around the proverbial Google block all by itself.
So let’s start basic. Add these few best practices to your routine to beef up your website and give it that little push it needs to keep striding towards the finish line.
1) Choose your route
Just as much as you plan out the route you are going to run and make a playlist of songs to energize you enough to keep going for your whole run, it’s crucial to plan out updates to your website to keep things going the whole year. Fresh content for Google is like cold water and protein to an athlete. It feeds the beast (Google) and keeps it healthy.
Whether it’s your blog, your employee bios, or your industry info, make sure you update it at least quarterly and blog at least once a month if not more. Use your calendar as your course map and make sure you have checkpoints and water breaks so you stay on track. Know when your busy season is? Freshen up some content right before since your site traffic will most likely be higher. Have some down time? Write a few blogs and schedule them out for a time when you may not have as much time to write any. Think of your blog posts as topping a hill and updating images as corners turned with new scenery. While website fitness is a marathon, it’s also a series of sprints.
Pro tip: You don’t have to change out a whole page of content. You can update a paragraph, change a heading, or swap out pictures.
2) Check your stats
Stats are important and make athletes and business alike comparable. Think of Google like your website’s Fitbit app. Fitbit tracks how many steps you’ve taken, miles you’ve traveled, and what your sleep patterns are. Google Analytics keeps up with your website traffic, where your traffic is coming from, and what your stats look like year over year or month over month. In addition, Google is also capable of keeping up with when your business is awake (open) or asleep (closed) just like Fitbit’s sleep tracking mechanism, but only if you’re locally optimized.
Pro tip: Check your stats once a week and once a day if you’re really dedicated. Make sure your hours of operation, your current address, and your phone number are clearly visible on your site. And don’t obsess over the numbers. Remember that progress is a process not a quick fix.
3) Eat your veggies
They say abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym. So if we follow that methodology and apply it to websites, then that means that great websites are made in the library not just in the code. What exactly does that mean? Well it means that doing your research, staying informed, and keeping up with the latest tips and trends is how you make your website great. Of course, how your site is developed in the code matters a great deal too, but we can’t take ALL the credit. You have the ability to take your site that extra mile. Don’t worry…we’ll help you too if you need it.
Pro tip: Follow a few respectable social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn and see what they have to say about what’s best for your website, what the latest design trends are, and what are the big ticket updates that boost your SEO and rankings on Google. Knowing is half the battle.
4) Stretch it out
Any athlete will tell you that keeping your body limber is one of the most important ways to prevent injury and setbacks, so same goes for your site. Your site should have the flexibility of looking great on a desktop monitor, a tablet, and also on your phone. Responsive design was HUGE in 2015 as it broke out in the technosphere, and it’s even bigger this year because enough websites are now in responsive design which makes the ones that aren’t more noticeable. Instead of responsive design being a trend, it’s the standard now.
Pro tip: You shouldn’t have to pinch and zoom when viewing your website on your phone. Contact your website admin if your site is not readable and easy to interact with on your smart phone.
We realize these tips won’t necessarily help you with your Crossfit or marathon running ambitions. We suggest a few crunches and push-ups for that part. Just remember to flex your website muscles when Google jogs by…and tell ’em Coach Infomedia sent you!
Now, go run. Aunt Marge is calling.