When you're running your own website, there are a lot of things to keep in mind. Keeping on top of everything can get confusing and time consuming, especially when you're trying to balance it with your other urgent business tasks!
We've highlighted 5 key things which you should really keep an eye on in order to stay focused:
#1 - Domain name renewals
Don't let your domain expire!"
Your domain name is like your business card - it's what people type in to arrive at your website (such as www.yourwebsite.com). You may think you've purchased your domain outright, but this isn't the case; you will generally have purchased it for between 1 to 5 years. After this period has expired, you'll need to renew it in order to keep using it, otherwise it'll become unavailable. So make sure that doesn't happen.
The worst case that could happen is that someone else purchased the domain after it expired and would then be able to control what appears on that web address! Most domain registry services should email you to warn when the renewal date is approaching, but you should make sure you know who is responsible for the domain and ensure they're on top of keeping it in your control.
#2 - Updating content
Content is king when it comes to search engine optimisation (SEO)."
In order to generate more leads to your web site it is key that your website appears in the first few results of a user search. To ensure that it's beneficial to optimise your site for search engines. While SEO nowadays is becoming more and more sophisticated to ensure the basics, one of the best ways to to optimise your site is regularly update your site with relevant content. That way your website is always fresh, interesting and up to date and will answer any relevant questions a user is looking to find on your website.
#3 - Analysing visitor trends
Understand who is coming to your site and what they do when they get there."
Tools such as Google Analytics allow you to visualise not only how many people are arriving at your site, but also where they're coming from and what they look at once they're on your site. Analysing the stream of visitors will give you important insights as to which areas of your website might need improvements and which parts already work fine. You can also see which search terms people generally are typing in before arriving at your site which makes it easier to optimise your site for those searches but also double check if your optimisation is on track. Analytics are very powerful and provide a lot of useful info.
#4 - Keeping on top of conversions
Having the most visited site in the world is useless unless your customers engage with you and convert to a lead or a sale. A common mistake is to think that a lot of web traffic is desirable as high traffic can still lead to no sales. - Meaning more benefit can be had increasing the conversion rate of a website rather than trying to more web traffic to the site. You can use analytics tools to measure conversion.
The call to action (whatever that may be according to your business model) should be plain and clear and you should concentrate on making it simple for your visitors to do whatever it is you need them to do. This could be getting in touch with an enquiry or purchase a product or subscription.
#5 - Website improvement
Focus on the future."
Where do you want to be in 5 years? 10 years? The internet is going to play an ever increasing role in our day-to-day lives, and you need to make sure your website isn't left behind. Whether you update your site continuously in small increments over time, or make larger changes every few years, you'll want to keep your site relevant and in line with your customer's expectations. Otherwise, you'll find that visitors shun your website in favour of other sites which do offer what they want.