In the past few years, CMS websites such as WordPress have become the standard, increasingly putting site content and other aspects of digital marketing directly into the hands of businesses. Add the ever growing number of Social Media options becoming available, and most businesses now have more control of their online marketing messages than ever before.
Typically, this is where the client works with a Marketing Agency to plan out their design and content strategy for the newest version of their website. What we notice a lot, is that after the “honeymoon” phase of having a new website, the ongoing effort for updating content, adding updated media and ongoing Blog and Social Media efforts seem to drop off significantly.
Three Best Practices for an Ongoing Web Presence:
Content Creation and Updating
Content is the lifeblood of all websites, especially if they want to have a strong search presence.
In order to have any sort of success in search engines, there needs to be text related to those terms on the website. Depending on the sector your business is targeting, you may have to cater your content to specific keywords and terms.
When compiling search results, search engines always consider the recency of the content on a page as a determining factor. Newer content shows you’ve made an effort to keep the information on your website as current and relevant as possible.
We encourage reviews of content around every 6 months and recommend using Google Analytics (and qualified Marketing Agency) to determine how users are getting to your site and interacting with each page. Another great way to add fresh content to your site is through a Blog, which we’ll discuss next.
Blogging and Social Media
Blogging is a fantastic tool for adding new content to your site on a regular basis.
We recommend posting a blog about something related to your services or industry at least once a month, and more if possible. Blog content is seen by search engines as new content on your site, so this is a very easy way to build a great resource of knowledge for users while boosting your search profile in the process.
Don’t forget to link to specific areas on your website that are related to your blog. Not only does it make it easier for a reader to access that information, but it also helps search engines determine how material is related.
Similar to blogs, linking to a related page or service on your website from Social Media outlets is very important. Since your social media account doesn’t directly feed content onto your site like a blog, the links are an important way to get people to view an area of your site that has detailed content on whatever topic you have been posting about.
Social Media outlets are free, so update them as often as you can. Take advantage of the eyes you can attract and make sure to actively engage your users to click and visit the details on your site.
As a consumer, there is nothing more frustrating than visiting a website and seeing their blog or Facebook account hasn’t been updated for 6 months. That just shows me they aren’t as engaged in their business as they should be.
Graphics, Photos and Videos
With faster processors and extremely fast website connections becoming the norm, there are new and exciting ways to gather and create graphics, post images and stream video. That said, there are still some things you should be doing to help your website load as quickly as possible.
For graphics, make sure you are using the proper file format for whatever type of graphics you want to use on your site. Generally, for logos and icons, use PNGs or GIFs and export at 72dpi for quickest load time.
For photos, the biggest issues relate to resolution and photo size. Typical digital cameras (and phones) now have a high megapixel resolution. Most people take the photo from their device, save a copy of the photo and then load it directly to their website. Using source photos without resizing, optimizing or decreasing the DPI can cause some pretty slow loading times, even with a high bandwidth connection.
We recommend reviewing the photo in a graphics editor, such as Photoshop. You can decrease the DPI and image size to something more manageable and then export for use on the site. Though CMS’s like WordPress will help to decrease the size of the photos, we always recommend exporting at the size you intend the photo to be used on the site.
As with graphics, photos should be decreased to 72dpi (web safe), optimized for web use and exported as a JPEG. Combined with the decrease in size, your graphics and photos should load much quicker than they would from their unedited source.
With videos, we suggest using a Video Sharing website such as YouTube or Vimeo.
The benefits of using a Video Sharing website are not having to host the video file on your server, which can take up large amounts of space. Having a Video Sharing site host your video not only allows you peace of mind about file size and associated server costs, but they can handle all the aspects of the technical needs of your video, such as having it play back on a Tablet and Mobile device.
They also allow sharing and embedding of the video on your site and social media outlets with no additional effort, leaving you to concentrate on the specifics of your company.
Search Engines have also started to use YouTube and other video sharing websites for search results, which is another great reason to have all of your video related resources in those outlets.