For many, this is the time of year to begin planning and budgeting for your website and online marketing. So allow me to help you spend that :) ... gee, so funny right? Sorry. Its Halloween. So let me take off my clown mask and provide some top-line ideas that I hope will increase traffic, engagement and ultimately CONVERSIONS in 2015.
ONE > RESPONSIVE DESIGN REFRESH
Is it time for a web design refresh anyhow? Most brands redesign every three years.
Responsive Design If you haven't already, now really is the beyond the time to make the move. Check your analytics and you'll see just how many people are visiting your site via mobile.
Parallax Scrolling Effects Still new are parallax effects that allow us to trigger movement and effects as the user scrolls. Great tool for cool transitions and to highlight key page elements.
TWO > SEO
I am continuously surprised how many sites are not properly optimized for search. This is low hanging fruit that you REALLY should grab. And remember, that SEO is constantly changing. Last year Google not only redesigned the SERP page, but Penguin and Panda introduced new rules to react to also.
This should be an annual line item.
THREE > NEW FEATURES
- Geo-Smart Promotions : Push unique hero and secondary promotions to visitors based on WHERE they are.
- Updated Photo Gallery : We redesigned our galleries based largely on Google's image search. Endless scrolling of images with larger thumbnails that enlarge within the page (vs pop-up or new page) and includes share and commenting functions. You can also now create your own galleries and place them on any standard content page. Example: Peek'n Peak
- Instagram Gallery : Create your own Instagram Gallery and pull either an @ccount or #tag. Administrators have an approval gateway (or not), and can choose which images get highlighted. Similar to our new Photo Galleries, thumbnails enlarge within the page and the page scrolls endlessly. Here's an example: Bromley.
- propCMS 3.5 : We've redesigned the administrative interface of our CMS. Responsive deign will allow administrators update the site via mobile, and overall the new design offers usability improvements. Additionally, we've added multilingual.
FOUR > PHOTOGRAPHY
Photography is powerful. Good photography will probably make the largest difference when it comes to making first impressions and connecting with your audience. So hire the best photographer you can afford, and then use it wisely across all channels... Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, G+, Blog, etc.
FIVE > CONTENT
First, sharpen your ax and cleanup your exiting content. Odds are you are using too many words to say what you need, and you may have content that is no longer relevant or accurate. As you retune, consider that most people don't read. They scan.
- Grab your axe and cut cut cut.
- Write for brevity
- Write for people first, search engines second (consult your SEO expert)
- Use bulleted lists
Now once you're done cutting start publishing timely and relevant content regularly. Here, a blog is key. This content then gives you something to share across social and email channels. Google loves blog content and as long as the blog is connected to your website, the entire site will benefit.