by Kevin D. Hendricks
It’s not enough to simply have a website these days. You have to make the most of it. Here are five basic tips to make sure you’re getting the most out of your website:
Don’t Forget the Call to Action
What is it you want people to do on your site? Should they be contacting you? Buying a widget? Coming to the shop? Signing up for something? Whatever you want people to do, make sure it’s clear.
Be Easy to Contact
It should be obvious, but you’d be surprised how often it’s difficult to contact a business through their website. Make sure your contact info is easy to find, whether it’s an e-mail address, phone number or contact form. Use whatever works for you, just make sure it’s there (and make sure you respond).
(Bonus: Here are two free WordPress contact plugins we recommend.)
It’s always smart to give people a way to follow along. The e-mail newsletter is the standard, but subscriptions through a technology called RSS is another way to go (don’t worry, WordPress includes RSS functionality automatically). You can even offer subscriptions through a service like FeedBurner and offer RSS and automatic e-mail notification. The point is to let people know when you’ve got something new to offer.
(Bonus: We use Aweber for our email newsletter solution.)
Track Your Stats
While you don’t need to check your website’s traffic statistics daily, you should definitely be tracking them. Free services like Google Analytics, Site Meter or a number of WordPress plugins make it easy. Set up your stats and then sit back. It’s smart to check in and know how your traffic is trending, but don’t get obsessive. Stats can give you a general picture and let you know if your marketing is working, but keep in mind that factors out of your control (like the weather) also come into play.
(Bonus: Watch a free tutorial video on how to study your traffic stats and refine your strategy.)
Test Your Site
It’s another obvious tip, but it’s surprising how often even major websites have simple errors. I just came across one on a presidential candidate’s site. And confession time: I just found a broken link on my own site that’s probably been there for months. Doh. Test your site. Proof the text. Try the links.