Ready to set New Year’s Resolutions for your website? Salesman and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said, “A goal properly set is halfway reached.” At Taylor Digital, we share this philosophy and have seen first hand the benefits of mapping out specific goals for each website we design. Our relationship with our clients usually goes deeper than just the initial design. We have team members ready to assist with SEO, content updates, social media campaigns and more.
We’re working with our clients (and within Taylor Digital) to set website goals for 2017. Our checklist may not be filled with the most glamorous of tasks, but it’s incredibly rewarding to have your website boosting both your business and your bottom line.
Here’s our checklist for a website tune up:
- Content – How often does the content on your site change? How often should it change? There’s no hard and fast rule. The timing can be industry specific, depends on your branding and your indexing strategy.
One of our recent clients needed a new look and feel for their website. While that meant bringing in our design team, we also worked closely to update content to reflect significant changes in the organization’s overall mission and vision. And then we took it one step further.
This particular organization is working hard to make a name for themselves as a go-to resource in their local, Southern California healthcare community. With this goal in mind, we worked with their communications team to insure ease, immediacy and flexibility in content updates. Translation? Breaking news can be uploaded to the website and then shared via social media in just a couple of quick steps. For the client, this serves to establish their authority as a thought leader in the industry.
To evaluate your company’s needs and establish best practices, remember to take a look at your site from a user’s perspective. Is it clear what’s being sold or offered? What’s the call to action? And then (and this is an area where we can help) think about your site from a search engine’s perspective. Fresh content means new keywords and indexing. But make sure you keep quality high – search engines will love you for it.
- Ad Words – Keywords are an important component in Adwords. Make them work for you. Pair up analytics with Adwords so you can track how people are finding you, what they’re looking at on your site, conversion rates and ROI.
It’s not difficult to get set up on Adwords and you don’t have to allocate a large portion of your budget to see an impact. If you don’t hire someone to help you with setup, do take time to read and understand best practices. We recommend taking a look at the list of questions we’ve developed around setting up Adwords and PPC campaigns. It’s helpful for making ongoing adjustments too. The Google Adwords site is also helpful. Keep in mind that just as you target how you spend your Adwords budget for maximum ROI, we work with our clients at Taylor Digital to provide useful services at a reasonable cost.
- Social Media – Whether you love social media or aren’t sure you understand the return that comes from Liking and Retweeting, social media is here to stay. 70% of Americans have at least one social media account and that number is growing. But only 13.5% of CMOs felt they could demonstrate a quantifiable return from their social media budget. While marketing experts might have a hard time quantifying their company’s return from social media, I did let Facebook do some shopping for me this holiday season. ,
I needed a gift for my teenage niece. She’s a big reader, but picking a book she hadn’t read seemed unlikely. I’m not sure how Facebook algorithms teased out my dilemma, but the perfect gift showed up in an ad on my Facebook page. I got my niece a crazy, cozy blanket from a small company that I’d never heard of before. I can see her now curled up with a good book, but I didn’t order the blanket directly from the Facebook ad. I went to the site, saved the link for when I was ready to shop and then ordered just in time for Christmas. The CMO wouldn’t see a Click Through sale, but the ad was still effective.
We help clients build user engagement with their social media platforms through targeted campaigns and old-fashioned storytelling. We encourage you to take some time at the beginning of this new year to freshen up the look and feel of your social media and consider where your goals for social media may have changed based on advances in the technology and the evolution of your company. We can also help you target a specific campaign, post to social media, coordinate campaigns with SEO and develop strategies for your company.
- Editorial Calendar– Our Director of Content, Bonnie Lewis credits disciplined use of spreadsheets for the measurable increases in social media engagement stats for clients she’s working with directly. As a content marketing company in Southern California, we’ve got stiff competition and that’s one thing that pushes us to develop successful, replicable strategies for our clients.
For most companies, the editorial calendar has to be nimble enough to respond to changes in the industry and developments within the company. The calendar needs to feature sections that will consistently appear on the website and social media platforms. The social media manager needs to track what posts and stories are getting the most hits. How to juggle all these balls without dropping? A spreadsheet.
You’ll determine the basic column layout according to your needs. Bonnie’s tip: Keep up with the calendar. Look at it every day and update it. Don’t get behind. It gets overwhelming and then no one fills it in. With the editorial calendar in place, Bonnie and her team schedule posts for clients, organize material and get necessary feedback and can assess quickly where they need to plug in specific campaigns. Voila! Contact us today if you’d like some help getting set up or readjusting your editorial calendar.
- Security – We got you warmed up on the other target areas and saved security for last. It’s critical – and the truth is that most people avoid it. Security updates can be imposing and it can feel like there’s a lot to know. Start simple.
Are you still using your cat’s name as your password? When a site requires a capital letter and special character, do you start with a capital letter and end with the asterisk/exclamation point/@-sign? Are you using the same password for multiple accounts? Check out Wired’s top list of Do’s and Don’ts.Of course, security is more than just passwords. As a website development company we work with a range of clients who have special industry needs. Some of our healthcare clients have to comply with strict HIPAA regulations. For clients dealing in wealth management, security around financial information has to be top notch. We’ve boned up on changes coming from Google for 2017 around secure and non-secure sites. The good news is that it’s cheaper and easier than ever to make your site secure. At Taylor Digital, we also offer a Care package plan (that’s useful and won’t break the bank!) to all of our clients.
The New Year is a perfect time to take stock and see what needs updating and refreshing on your website. Or give us a call and we’ll go over your goals for the upcoming year and then do the work for you.