10 New Year’s Resolutions for Small Business Website Owners

1) Make your site more search engine-friendly.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a must, not a ‘maybe,’ if you want your business site to be found in Google. If you have a great-looking site that no one can find, it’s not doing its job.

2) Add a blog or podcast to your site.

If you like to talk (or write) about your business and you’re good at what you do, a blog or podcast may be just the thing. Both of them do one thing very well – they encourage visitors to come back to your site again and again. And they’re so easy to use! (I’m a huge fan of WordPress). Blogs give you the advantage of adding a new page of fresh content to your site every time you post, while a podcast is like having your very own radio show.

3) Remove a blog from your site.

That might sound odd – but if you have a business blog and haven’t committed the time and effort to post fairly regularly, it’s probably better *not* to have one at all. If your last post was in 2005, consider removing the link to the blog for the time being. It reflects poorly on your company and makes it look like you don’t keep up with things.

4) Write articles about your industry.

Whether you’re a retailer, an architect, or a coach, you have a unique take on your business. Writing articles about it that you can both publish to the many free article syndication sites and post on your own website or blog both establish your expertise and create links back to your site – which Google likes a lot.

5) Give your site a makeover.

If your site is more than a couple of years old, or if it’s never had a facelift, now is the time. A more modern look and feel can give your site new life and make a better first impression. In addition, a redeveloped site can often benefit search engines and human visitors too, with cleaner, leaner code, faster loading times, and easier updating and maintenance.

6) Learn more about your visitors.

Google Analytics is a traffic analysis tool that does much more than just tell you how many people are visiting your site. You can learn, among other things: how much time they spend on each page; what navigation paths they follow through your site; where they come in and leave; what part of the country they’re in; and what links on your home page they’re clicking on. If you use Adwords for PPC marketing you can also learn how much revenue each product on your site is earning and how many have been sold in any given period. Google Analytics is free and easy to use.

7) Break up your content.

Even if you already have a lot of good content on your site, breaking it up into bite-size chunks is always a good way to increase readability. Studies show that people don’t often read websites – they scan them. Think headlines, bullet lists, pull quotes and short paragraphs rather than long uninterrupted text.

(Yes I know this is a lot of uninterrupted text but this isn’t my website. This is for readers, not scanners…)

8) Change the copyright date.

Don’t forget to change (or have someone change for you) the date on the copyright notice that should be at the bottom of your web pages. No, that won’t help you get more visitors, but it looks unprofessional if you forget to do it!

9) Make the product look great.

If you’re selling products, and the images aren’t that fantastic, consider having them redone by a professional. It makes a big difference in the credibility of your site and gives the buyer more confidence that the product will really meet their needs.

10) Consider video.

If you’re selling a product or provide a service that could benefit from visual instruction, think about having a short how-to video made. They’re easy to post on your website, and can do double-duty for your traffic if you also post them on sites like YouTube or Google Video.

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