5) Staying Current: Mobile site, updating and blogging
So, your site has been created, has well-written content, has an SEO strategy and has been properly indexed. What else is there to consider? Just because you have a website, it does not mean you can simply forget about it. There are still things to do to help you succeed on the internet. Let us proceed by asking some questions because questions are probably more important than you realize when it comes to SEO (discussed below).
Why should I make my website mobile friendly?
In January of 2014 a survey discovered that 90% of adults in the US have cellphones and 58% have smartphones. As smartphones allow you to access the internet almost anywhere you go, it is no surprise that having a mobile friendly website is becoming very important for any business. (A mobile friendly website is formatted to look good and be responsive to smartphones and mobile devices.)
But what is more compelling is that since October of 2013, 55% of all online retail happened on mobile devices. If your website is not mobile friendly then there is a large part of the market that is not getting easy access to your products or services. Thus, making your site mobile friendly is definitely something to consider.
Why is updating my website important?
Let us talk about what updates are. If your site is old and looks out-of-date/dated then it can be a good idea to upgrade by having a new website made. Websites that look old do not help clients have faith in your business. However, for many websites the updates that are needed are much smaller. Updates can be as simple as making small additions to your website. We will discuss what those small additions can possibly be below.
Updating your website is important for two reasons. The first reason is that search engines are always updating their algorithms so it is a good idea to have occasional updates to keep your site current and searchable. This will require studying SEO developments or talking to someone well versed in the field. The second reason is that search engines give preference to active sites that regularly add content or update themselves. Think about it, if you had to recommend a service to someone wouldn’t you go with the person who is active in the community instead of the business that has not made a sound for a year or two?
How should I update my website?
Search engines like to see that people update their websites by adding things to them. But there are many different ways to go about adding something. Before going into that, let’s see how often you need to update. For most businesses it is impossible to do a daily update. There is no time and it is not altogether necessary. What is recommended for most businesses is biweekly or monthly, depending on what you can do. If you can perform updates daily or weekly, great. But they need to be quality updates otherwise it may hurt your ranking.
Here are some ways to update your website to help increase your ranking:
Blog: If you have a blog on your website then you have a great tool at your disposal. You can talk about pretty much anything on a blog, but as it is connected to your business you probably want to keep all of your updates somehow connected with your line of work. You may want to have the advice of an SEO expert or have them write blogs for you to make the update a strong addition. But just updating your blog regularly is good in and of itself for your website so try to write when you can.
News: Very similar to a blog but devoted to news on your company or your industry. This is a great way to regularly update your website as the information will probably have SEO strength as it is connected to what you do. Also, if many people come to trust your news updates for industry information then this can have a significant impact on your search engine ranking.
Reviews/ testimonials: If you have a section on your website committed to having testimonials or reviews then make sure to try to add some on a regular basis. Reviews are excellent in creating customer confidence and you could even create links to other websites that review your company.
New pages/content: This is one of the best strategies you can have for updates because a page that is well optimized for search engines can give you a significant boost in rank and bring clients your way. You can write a page on a new product/service, further explain an existing product/service, or divide and expand on a page that has multiple topics.
Landing page: There are many different definitions of what a landing page is. Some people use it to mean any webpage while others say that it is a page with a form on it. In my company we use it to distinguish between webpages (the pages on a website that you can navigate through) and pages that act as a gateway to a website for SEO purposes. These pages are not readily visible on the website itself but are meant to be found through search engines to lead people to the site.
One example, you are marketing to three different cities on your website but there are other cities you would also like to market to. Instead of stuffing your webpages with more cities and possibly lowering your ranking because you are keyword stuffing (placing too many keywords on a page), you create a page specific for a particular city and a particular subject (roofing or something). The reason the page is not a main page on the website is so that the site doesn’t look odd for having the same service for multiple cities e.g. Atlanta roofing, Hunter Hills roofing, Chamblee roofing, Tucker roofing.
Thus, by landing page I mean a page that people can find via search engines but do not clutter up the look of your website.
Gallery: Though not as effective as adding new written content, in terms of SEO, adding more pictures to your photo gallery has its advantages. Well titled images will be indexed in search engines and through those image databases a website has the possibility to be found. Beyond this, pictures give prospective clients a taste of what you can do and enhance the image of your company (no pun intended :)).
Social Media Links: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – these are some of the most popular social media networks. What is great about them from an SEO perspective is that they allow you to create another platform to promote your business. If you are looking to update your site then create a profile on a social media site and then link it to your website. However, these social media sites should not be left dormant after you make a profile, so remember to occasionally add updates.
Are you already on those three social media networks? Don’t worry, there are quite a few out there. You can go to a website like http://namechk.com/, type in the name of your company and see what other social media networks are available to you.
There will be some that do not apply to your business. For instance, a roofer has no real reason to make a profile on a social network devoted to video gaming or recipes, but there are many others that could be very useful.
FAQs : Frequently asked question (FAQ) pages allow you to answer questions that your clients will have about your business and provide a space for further information which may not fit on other pages. Updates can take the form of adding a new question and answer to an existing FAQ page or creating a new FAQ page.
What makes FAQs an important piece of equipment in a website’s SEO arsenal? It is because so many people are searching the web with their smartphones or, to be specific, the voice recognition software in smartphones. This software allows you to ask your phone questions and then it will search the internet for an answer. So what happens if you have that exact question and answer on your website? That’s right! You have a chance of the person landing on your website!
When you see a blog, webpage, or news article posing lots of questions it is not just a writing style, but a purposeful SEO strategy.
The Bottom Line: It is suggested that you make your website functional for mobile devices as searching the web on these devices will only get more popular.
Even after your site has gone live you will still need to put some of your time into it every once and a while. If you do not then you will not be maximizing the potential of your website.
It is best to keep the idea of updating your website in the back of your mind at all times. As you go through your day, take a picture of a project, make notes about a possible article, summarize an article, or give your opinion on changes in the industry. Whatever you do, remember to show search engines that you are an active member of the online community.