Your website is done. And it works. So you don’t need to think about it anymore. Visitors will come – hopefully in droves. But things don’t go quite as planned and visitors make for the exit faster than they arrive. If they even find your website in the first place… One thing is for certain: your website shouldn’t be the same tomorrow as it is today, because the competition doesn’t sleep. Nor does Google and, least of all, your visitors.
Try something new.
Website operators quickly fall into the trap of an uninspired daily routine. The site seems more and more humdrum and dusty – and visitors begin to catch wind of this as well. So try something new from time to time! For example, create a video instead of a blog article. Or change your writing style. Sometimes it’s ok to write in a laid back, playful style. Other times you need to be serious. Or cartoonish. Satirical. Journalistic. Dreamy. Get out of your comfort zone and jump into the deep end. See to it that you create variety! Because you’re visitors like to be surprised. And this is the only way they will come back to you.
Seek out inspiration.
If you want to communicate content, launch your word processor and start writing. Or to create an infographic, open up Illustrator or Photoshop. Now turn the whole thing around. If you want to write, start with a picture. If you want to create an image or graphic, start by describing it. Sketch out your ideas on paper or write an e-mail to yourself and explain your ideas. Then think about how you would explain it to your grandmother or a small child so they understand. What if you were addressing the boss of an insurance company? Or the regular at the local bar who is more interested in his after-work beer than the internet? This will help you discover ideas for a better or at least a different approach.
Imitate your role models
Of course, we’re not talking about simply copying them. But it’s simply a fact that there are always people on the internet who are better at certain things than you. Try to figure out why. Is it a matter of style? Of internal structure? Of design? Try to analyze their approach and their results. The question is not “Do I like this?” but rather “Why do I like this?” As a result, you’ll have a few new tricks up your sleeve to help your own website evolve further.
Would you want to read this?
One of the most annoying things well-meaning friends can say is “And where’s the line of interested readers?” Be honest with yourself. Is your topic truly interesting enough to share with the world? Would you be interested in reading what you wrote yourself? Content may be king, but some kings are complete bores. Yet there are some whose escapades people are always interested in reading about. You have Prince Constantijn, Head of Cabinet to the Digital Agenda Commissioner on one side. And then you have Prince Harry of England, who enjoys flashing his hindquarters to the world every so often, on the other. Who do people find more interesting? Exactly.
Draw attention to your content
Sweat on your brow, you’ve written, improved, revised and rewritten. And now you click the ‘Publish’ button and done! But is that enough? Can you rest assured that someone will stumble across your content at some point? Not quite. Content marketing also involves attracting the attention of the target audience to your content. It’s definitely worth taking time for this – especially for pages you are especially proud of. Consider who might be interested, where you encounter these people on the web and how you can approach them there. Your first attempt might not be a resounding hit, but you’ll get to know your audience better and better every time.
Examine your successes
There are two types of website analytics users: those who log in hourly to see what’s going on, and those who download the tool only to forget about it right away.
It’s worthwhile to perform a brief analysis again from time to time. Can you identify certain patterns in users’ behavior? Are there specific pages where visitors spend more time? Are there similarities in the structure, content, form, length or topic? Take these findings and create a sort of “recipe book” containing content ideas and style guidelines. Refresh content on a regular basis (news flash: new is always good!) and incorporate your insights.
Don’t believe everything you read on SEO blogs. Some of it is terribly outdated nonsense. Stick to Google and other reputable sites such as moz.com/blog. Try out new things now and then, such as writing styles and the order of the navigation, type and presentation of images and so forth – and assess the results. Take confidence-building measures (client testimonials and logos, awards won, money-back guarantee, free trial versions, etc.). Simplify responses by assisting customers step by step through to the final purchase (optimized call-to-action). Double-check your forms and links on the page (there are practical tools for this). Update the graphics and layout. In other words, once your website is finished, the real work begins. We hope you have plenty of fun in the process!