By Alyse Speyer, Web Success Team
While the Internet is always changing, so should both your marketing and your website. That’s not to say that you should have a new website every week or month, but rather to bare in mind the need for your online business to monitor the changes within the online space and adapt accordingly. Still, redesigning or upgrading your site can be both stressful and confusing. We so badly want to do it right and to not lose whatever fan base and SEO that’s already in place. Here are a few things to consider when upgrading your website:
What to do with the blog?
Where you put the blog has been a common dilemma amongst online marketers. Some prefer external platforms, such as WordPress or Blogger, while others choose to keep the blog onsite. For SEO purposes, hosting your blog onsite, captures the most benefit, especially since blogs are for creating niche content that holds numerous and diverse keywords and phrases. Optimizing your blog’s content is paramount in any website redesign, regardless of where you host your blog.
The goal of your blog should be to draw in new readers and potential customers, helping them to make informed decisions about your area of expertise and, ideally, convert to buyers. The natural process is to create content, circulate it and participate in conversations with your niche market. You can use social channels to drive traffic to your blog, including, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn. Video blogs are also increasing in popularity.
Video content vs. Flash
Video plays an important role in online marketing. With YouTube being the number two search engine, video has become a huge opportunity for businesses. Cisco’s Annual Visual Networking Index, released earlier this year, projected that global online video will exceed one billion users by 2014.
Video is also very search-friendly and is a great way to boost search visibility and engage with consumers. Flash, on the other hand, is not search-friendly and may increase your page load time. Unless your content requires complex visual aides, consider leaving Flash alone.
Keep your content!
Whenever you create a landing page, whether it’s for a time-sensitive promotion or other, keep it on your site. Archived content is a great way to compete for keyword phrases. Search engines will crawl your archived content, and viewers will appreciate the extra information. PowerPoint presentations from webinars or events make great archived content and will help your ranking.
Don’t forget your customers
Lastly, consult your customers! Ask them what they want. The new website is for them, after all. You can do this by creating a survey or poll, sending a marketing email or asking through social networks. Still, the best method by far is to test your site! Schedule usability test walkthroughs with a few customers so that you can see first-hand how users interact with your site. You’ll be surprised as to how much this will help you re-organize your site.
One of the most important aspects of online marketing that I have learned is to always ask. With social media and other online channels, asking has become so much easier. So I encourage you to ask questions to help you boost your business and learn more. If you have any questions regarding website redesigns, SEO or social media, feel free to ask away in the comments below.