Many small business owners struggle with the seemingly overwhelming task of managing their website. There always seems to be so much to do, yet no time to do it all (something we know all too well). This brief primer should help to highlight the key aspects of web site management that will help them gain the most from their website with the time that they have available.
The following 10 tips are key to maintaining a successful website. Follow these and your site will do better. Nothing will guarantee that a website will be successful as there are simply too many different factors that impact web success – but as a general rule these ten tips will always lead to better performance.
3. No Tricks
7. Quality Code
Content is key
All the search engines scan a sites content now – almost ignoring things like meta tags. The more content you have on your site the more the search engines can scan – but there is more to it then that: people like content too. Many people measure a website´s success by the number of visitors it gets – so ask yourself – why would people come to your website? do you offer them interesting and informative information that relates to your product or service? if not, why would they come?
Relevant content and lots of it is a key for a successful web site. There is always room for more content on a website, and you can never have too much. Take this article for example, while it´s fairly useful information for many of our visitors, it´s also additional content for our website – and will serve to help our site do better. Writing articles about aspects of your industry is a great way to generate content. Set aside an hour a day (or at least an hour a week) to devote to adding new content to your website.
Keep it Current
Having lots of content is great – but if it is all three years old it´s not going to look like your site is much of a priority. The search engines actually track this. They monitor how frequently your site changes as they visit it for indexing. The more often it changes the better your rank in the freshness category.
What constitutes change? pretty much anything – which is why keeping a BLOG or adding frequent news articles to your website usually produces such good results. It is also the reason why having something as simple as rotating content and the current date on every page has been shown to make a difference (although the search engines have been getting wise to this kind of tactic)
#3 No Tricks
Don´t try to outsmart the Search Engines – Eventually you´ll loose
Many design firms promise success through the use of tricks, backdoors, and special tactics designed to sneak a website into a top position rapidly. Something, of course, that the search engines are constantly battling to defeat. Why play the game? as the search engines find the cheaters they will plug the holes and a rank (that usually costs a pretty penny to achieve) will immediately be lost.
Rather, follow the recommendations of the search engines – most set out rules for webmasters that outline what they would like to see in a website (incidentally these rules are the main source of research for this document) By following the rules the engines are actually battling all the cheating websites and working to promote the sites that follow the rules – they are fighting FOR you!
Links both in and out must be relevant
There has been a lot of talk about link exchanges – people linking to others merely to gain a higher rank if you are going to link to someone and/or ask them to link to you – ask yourself: is it relevant? Any old link is not going to help you much – search engines will look at who is linking to you – they are also starting to pay very close attention to how many links you have off your website on a page. This is being done to try and drop sites with pages of links (do you have a links page on your web site?)
It is far better to have relevant links in various places throughout your website – on only those pages that specifically address the topic that relates to the page being linked. Unfortunately, you can´t exert too much control over the way that other sites link to yours but it is worth looking at how a site usually links to others before to specifically go requesting a link from them. For example: a link that is your logo isn´t very useful (search engines ignore images) whereas a link containing text, listing the topic of your website, from a related website would be of great value.
Organize your website and everyone will thank you.
Both the search engines and your web visitors prefer a website that is well structured. The search engines due to their very nature (being computer programs) must break down all websites into elements based on the structure of the pages. People, so frequently rushing to find the specific information they are looking for, rarely read through web pages but rather scan headings and bullied lists to find the detailed sections of interest. In both cases a well structured site will be far better received then one that is a mish-mash of information haphazardly thrown together.
This is simple to do – but all too often missed. Make headings, use the correct coding tags for them, organize sections of content into groups, and use bold and bullied lists to present key points. Keep in mind when writing paragraphs of text that most humans will not read them unless they are specifically titled with a headline that matches what they are looking for.
A website that speaks to all is better then a site that only speaks to some.
Tips #6 and #7 are closely related: The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) provides a list of guidelines for how to create websites that are accessible to as many people (and systems) as possible. Think about your website – can someone with a visual disability (perhaps even something as simple as color-blindness) still get information about your product or service? If not, how do you feel knowing that you have just excluded a vast segment of the population from accessing your website?
There are many simple ways that you can ensure your website is accessible to people with special needs. A group of simple tests for the sites content and design that ensure your product or service is presented to the widest possible audience. The specifics are beyond the scope of this document – but be sure that you check with your designer to ensure that your site design and code is following accessibility guidelines.
#7 Quality Code
Well coded websites perform better.
Many small business owners don´t have too much control over the code used to create their website – but it is still important to know how important it may be. Standard compliant code that has been checked for errors is easier for the search engines to assimilate. It is more widely visible across varied platforms (computer types) and in different browsers.
Ensure your web designer is writing standard compliant code that is validated for errors. You can also check your own website using free on-line tools from the W3C (The World Wide Web Consortium – the standards body that administers Internet technologies)
Prudent choice of URLs will impact your web site´s performance
Professional web designers should already know this – but if you are using a content management system to build your website, or portions of it, it is important to understand the significance of the URL used to access pages on your website.
Search engines look at the address of every page on your website and try to extract key-words from the content of the url. For example, you may have a page about “Widgets” on your website called “somewhere.com” creating the page with a filename of widgets.html will give a better keyword rank then page6.html this is also true of sub-directories on the site somewhere.com/widgets/… being better then somewhere.com/files/…
This is a fairly subtle point but makes a significant difference for most search engines. It can also make it much easier for people that are typing in a URL to access a specific page of your web site. If you really want to target a key phrase consider purchasing a microsite for that phrase. An inexpensive secondary web site that can be tailored to focus on a specific key phrase or concept.
Looks do matter – but perhaps not the way you think…
In the grand scheme of things the “looks” of a web site in the classic sense are not really that important – honestly! once people have looked at a website for a few minutes they will quickly discard their first impression (based on looks) and move immediately to asking – is this site giving me the information I need – and can I find it quickly (going back to tips #1 – content and #5 – structure)
So what are we on about with style? simple – ensure the style of your site makes it easy to read. Avoid things like black backgrounds with white text (inverse text is harder to read) ALL CAPS (humans read by identifying word shapes – writing in all caps forces people to read every letter and quickly becomes annoying – plus on the net it is used as an typographic method of indicating you are screaming) You should also check your website using a color blind test to ensure that visitors with the various types of color-blindness can still actually read your navigation.
Selling a product – better make sure it looks good
If you are selling something that has a visual representation – then professional looking photography is key. Even a multi-million dollar resort will not look good if the photographs are amateurish. If you care about what you have to sell, then it´s worth investing in some professional photographs to show people what you have. Remember, on-line people can´t get a hold of your product – so you need to give them some really good photographs so that they can feel confident that it meets their needs.
How does Google determine domain age and How important is it for Website Authority? & Some Extra Helpful Tips for Establishing Authority:
How does Google determine domain age and and How important is it for website authority?? Does Google look at the whois data or do they rely on the crawler? e.g. When they first indexed the website. Check out the great tips below:
Helpful tips for establishing website authority:
Now that we have looked at some of the benefits of having an authority website in the previous post, you may be wondering what you need to do to accomplish this for yourself. Here we’ll take a look at a number of professional recommendations that can all help towards this goal. Ok, here we go!
1. Have a Blog on Your Domain
As I have already mentioned, building website authority takes time and effort. One of the best ways to keep your target audience entertained or interested and prove to them that you have valuable knowledge and information is to blog. A blog is great for encouraging people to keep coming back to your site, which is critical for building authority. With a blog, you will be able to show readers that you are an expert in your field. Over time your blog archives will develop into a valuable library of content that attracts search engine visitors.
Blogs are great for building links from other websites because bloggers tend to link to other blogs, and interesting, helpful articles will be shared by your readers via links, e-mail, and social media. If your business has a simple website with only a few pages about your company, your services, and your staff, it’s unlikely that a lot of other websites and blogs will be linking to you. The content is just not rich enough. Having a blog drastically increases the amount of content on your site, which means more opportunities for inbound links.
An increase in content and inbound links will likely lead to an increase in search engine traffic. From my own experience with my sites and those of my clients, I have found blogs to be an incredible opportunity for increasing search engine traffic.
Probably even more important than the links or increased traffic, blogging gives you the opportunity to connect with your visitors and customers in a way that is not possible with just a static website.
The personal nature of blogging is great for helping others to see what you have to offer, but also for building trust, which is critical for gaining authority. Yes, there are some downsides to blogging. Maintaining a blog that is updated regularly will take some time and the results will not usually come right away, but if you can put in the effort and be patient the benefits will become apparent.
2. Know Your Audience
Blogging to build your authority is more than just posting personal information, or the same content that can be found at many other blogs. In order to work your way into being an authority in your industry, you will need to first have a very clear idea of your target audience and what they need from you. Find ways to use your blog to give them information and resources that will be helpful to them and you will prove to be a valuable resource.
3. Go Above and Beyond
Building website authority is not easy. Only a small percentage of sites in any given industry will ever achieve a status and reputation that could be considered authority, and naturally those will be the sites that go above and beyond the others in the industry to become the most valuable resources for visitors. If your goal is to establish a high level of authority, then take a look at the other websites and blogs in your field and see what they are doing. Think about what you can do to make your website stand out as unique and more valuable. If you are doing the same things and publishing similar content as all the other sites, it will be difficult to ever separate yourself from the pack.
4. Publish Content Consistently
If you’re blogging on your site, then it is important that you make an effort to publish posts on a consistent basis. This doesn’t mean that you need to publish something every day or that you have to publish on specific days of the week, but always be working on new content and avoid going long periods of time with no posts. Posting consistently will help to build momentum and to keep your subscribers and readers coming back. Building authority is much more difficult with sporadic and infrequent posting.
In my own work, I have found that it helps set up a posting schedule for each week. I plan posts a week in advance so that I know what needs to be done. This also makes it easier for me to work ahead. This approach can also work for businesses that have several different people writing for the blog. For example, if you have three people doing the writing, rather than everyone just posting whenever they have something done, assign a specific day each week or a particular date of the month to each author. Planning will help make sure that the blog is not abandoned for long periods of time.
If there is no one at your business who has the time to write blog posts on a consistent basis , another option is to hire freelance writers. You can post a job listing at the ProBlogger job board or any other site that showcases freelance writing opportunities. Writers can be hired for reasonable prices and your site can benefit from the content that is consistently added.
5. Network with Others in Your Niche
Those who run authority websites are typically very well-connected in their industries. Likewise, every successful blogger has a strong network of other bloggers. If you want to build your site’s authority, make an effort to be active in the online community of your industry. Get to know other bloggers and business owners and you are likely to make some valuable connections.
Being well connected can lead to positive recommendations, collaboration and joint venture opportunities, increased in-bound links, and generally a higher profile and increased recognition within your industry.
Let a GetPopularFast SEO & Social Marketing Expert help you increase your website authority today!
6. Build Links
I talked earlier about how blogs can help to build links, but the subject of link building is of critical importance for improving the authority of your site. Links drive traffic to your site, both in terms of click-throughs and search traffic, and therefore it should be a major point of emphasis in your marketing efforts.
Building links is a subject that cannot be covered adequately in this post, but here are some basic link building tactics that you can use for the purpose of improving authority.
Guest post at other blogs
Writing for other blogs is one of the most under-used marketing methods available. Most bloggers are always in need of good content and open to publishing articles from other bloggers. From your perspective, writing for other blogs will provide an excellent opportunity to get your name in front of a targeted audience and to get a link back to your website (most blogs include a brief author bio with a link on guest posts). While it will take some time to write the posts, the free exposure and link is more than worth the effort if you are choosing blogs in your industry that have a similar audience as yours.
If you are interested in guest posting but not sure where to start, first work on finding other blogs that cover similar topics as you and have a well established audience. Once you have some blogs in mind, put together some ideas for posts. Next, contact the blog owner through a contact form or via e-mail and simply ask if they are interested in receiving guest posts.
From my experience, you probably won’t see huge results in terms of visitors from any one guest post, but the cumulative effect of several quality guest posts on influential blogs in your industry can be great for your name, recognition, and reputation.
Marketing your blog with social media promotes website authority
One of the most common methods for link building is through the use of social media sites like Digg, Reddit, Delicious, and others. These sites can help you to get your content valuable exposure, which often leads to links from other bloggers who found you through the social media site. The effectiveness of link building through social media has died off a little bit in the last few years, but it still brings significant opportunity and should be a part of your overall marketing plan to increase your website authority.
Social Media Marketing is another very big topic that can’t be covered in depth in this post, but to get started you should select a few social media sites (probably 2 – 4) that are a good fit for the content that you publish at your blog. Visit the various social media sites to get a feel for their audiences and what types of content they prefer. Also, don’t forget about niche social media sites which have smaller audiences but also have much more targeted traffic. Become an active user at your social media sites of choice rather than just submitting your own content and never voting for anything else.
As you use the site regularly, you will learn more about the tendencies and you can start to craft blog content with the audience in mind. Then as your content becomes popular at social media sites, users of those sites will see that other users have found your content to be valuable, and you will be able to establish some authority. Consistent success with social media can lead to a lot of traffic, links, exposure, and authority.
Focus on Quality Over Quantity
As bloggers publish new content and link to posts from other bloggers, they will link to the posts that are outstanding for one reason or another. Maybe it is an opinion piece that sheds new light on a topic. Maybe it is a tutorial that teaches something of interest to readers. Maybe it is a collection of resources that helps readers to find things that will make their lives easier. Whatever the case may be, this type of content cannot usually be written quickly. Make an effort to prioritize the quality of your blog’s content over the frequency of posts. If you have to make the choice between publishing one really good post per week or three average posts, go with one good post. Keeping exceptional content on the blog will allow you to be able to attract more links from other websites and blogs. This high level of quality in your content is needed in order to establish a high level of authority.
7. Get Around, Get Out There!
Part of establishing an authority site is being in front of your target audience on a regular basis. Rather than focusing solely on the content of your blog, make an effort to be seen, and be active in other places within the industry. This includes writing for other blogs, getting involved in the comments at other blogs, being an active member of social networks, using forums, or generally being involved wherever you may be able to interact with your target audience. All of these things can help to increase your exposure, and over time it will give you the opportunity to show that you have a lot to offer the industry.
8. Help Others Whenever Possible
Whether it be through your blog posts, comments on your blog, e-mail, Twitter, or any other method, any time you can help people you are working towards building more authority and respect. People remember those who have helped them in one way or another, and this is one way to prove that you are able to have a positive influence and that people should pay attention to you.
9. Be Different
Authority websites are not like every other website in their field. There is something unique about them that makes the site more valuable, more interesting, or more helpful to visitors. Make an effort to be different and offer something that others cannot.
Article Topics: website authority