Useful Ways to Optimize Your Website: Tips & Tricks
Useful Ways to Optimize Your Website: Tips & Tricks
Transcription: Hey, what’s up, guys? Welcome back to the Twin Cities collective podcast. I’m your host genera right field and today’s episode I actually got some suggestions on my Instagram story. You can follow us @TwinCitiesCollective on Instagram but one person reached out and said I really loved to do an episode on making your website optimized. And I thought hmm I don’t think I’ve done an episode about websites by myself before at least like how to set them up how to make them work better. So I thought I’d do that for you. Another idea how it was like just content creation. So I’ll try to kind of incorporate that in to this episode. Okay, So you have a business or you have ah, Blogging. You need to actually start a website obviously. So one of the things we’re going to do is you’re going to choose a platform to host and what I’ve learned over the past couple of years is there’s a lot of differences between the platforms. The four main platforms I would choose between is WordPress, squarespace, shopify and show. Now, the reasons I picked these is they’re all kind of set for different types of businesses. I was thinking about this this morning. Squarespace is definitely more for the small businesses that don’t update their websites too often it’s the ones that want something really easy to change, and it’s just needs kind of the basic website. Where’d press is definitely more for bloggers that want to make a lot of money on you know, those faces. But are the Google ads They want to have a lot more customization with the Blogging? Ah, and where press is nothing more for really, really custom websites. Um, Shopify is definitely more if you want e commerce. So if you’re really just focused on selling products, I would say Shopify would definitely be a really good option and then finally show it is another one that I’ve heard about I have never used. But a lot of big names use it like Jenna culture and just some really bigger, mostly like wedding photographers. I feel like you show it. I just tend to see a lot more of them on that platform. I’ve been using Squarespace since 2015. I was originally on WordPress free one, and then I transferred to the paid version of WordPress. Then I switched finally over two square space, and I’ve helped other people move from word presses, square spaces. Well, just cause I find, especially if you’re a beginner on websites. It’s a much easier platform to understand. However, WordPress is a great option, and they do have some newer things that are coming out that help with making it easier to change things. But basically it’s up to you to pick a platform. But once you pick one, you should really stick with it because it’s kind of a hassle. Then change it over so that the next thing you’re gonna do is you’re gonna have a website framework. So you’re gonna figure out what is your website gonna look like? Ah, you’re going to figure out what kind of pages you want. Ah, what are the things that your website’s going to focus on? The things I recommend doing are about page, a services or products page, maybe a portfolio page and a contact page. Those are, the at least the minimum pages that you need on your website, and I think everyone should have it in that order as well. About services portfolio contact. It should be from left to right that it should how you should set up your Web site. People like to know where they’re looking because they’re used to seeing that on most websites. So one of the things a lot of people do as they are setting up their website. 2. About Page So the first thing they’re going to do is set up in about page and one of the things I recommend with an about pages, is it’s not about you, It’s not a bio. It’s about your business and what you can offer to your audience. It’s about your values. It’s about what they can expect from you. So don’t make it just about you and no one really cares. That’s what I learned at least through a lot of podcasts episodes and blog posts I’ve read about about pages, and so that’s the second thing you’re going to create. 3. Services Page Then the next thing you’re going to do is you are going to create a services page, so that’s going to be probably the meat of your website. You’re gonna have to make it really convert. You’re going to want to make sure that people understand what you offer. You might have several services pages if you have different services that you offer or again, if you’re on online retailer, you definitely gonna have a lot of different products that you’re selling, so you’ve got to figure out a way to organize them by categories. Another option you can have instead of a services pages create a landing page. There’s sites like leadpages and such that you could actually get people to sign up for webinar or a free download or something. That’s another option for your website, but creating a services pages so, so, so important because we need to know what you offer as a business. 4. Start a Blog I mean, I forgot to mention this one, but a lot of people also have blogs. So not every website needs a Blog, but a lot of people have either a blog or a podcast or youtube channel to create content. So the next thing you’re going to do is you’re going to create a blog and make sure that when you start it, you kind of know what the purpose behind the blog is. Now, most people these days are either bloggers or they’re not. A blogger to me is someone who only writes blogs like that’s the reason that they created their website is to write blog post. Most people nowadays, I would say, are a business that have a blog That’s what I would consider myself. I wouldn’t consider myself a blogger, but I do have a Blog. It’s kind of a weird thing. But what I recommend doing is that when you write a blog post, make sure that people will click on it. Make sure that people are searching for it. So this is something I took me a long time to learn. Um, and I actually we’ll talk about this a little bit about the search console, but you’re gonna want to create something that is going to have a long evergreen, which basically means that last a long time. Content what on my most red Blogging post of all time is about the Mall of America. Funny enough, and I actually realized it. I get a lot of pins on Pinterest through it. I get people searching for it on Google, and my blog post about the Mall of America just does really well, and it’s been around since twenty fifteen that blog post and I’ve moved it from multiple websites that I’ve changed domains and everything. But when the reasons is because it’s so searchable, people are looking for that kind of content, even though I don’t I don’t really do anything with the Mall America. I just kept it cause it’s bringing me a lot of great, you know, traffic to my website. So making sure that you have a great blog post title. There’s a lot of websites like Co-Schedule has a headline planner. You can figure out what you should call your blog post, but you wanted to be something that people are searching for because that’s how they’re going to find it. Another thing you’re definitely gonna want to have is images. Never, ever write a black post without a single image. You have to have at least one that’s is pitiable, I would say, create at least a square version and even create one that’s a little bit longer. That’s perfect for Pinterest. Um, the reason you do this is because you want people to pin it from your sight. You could pin it yourself, but you also want people to actually save it and pin it themselves from when they actually find your Maybe they stumble upon it on Google and they want to save that information. They can pin the image to Pinterest cause Pinterest by far is one of the best ways to get traffic to your Blogging. Another thing you’re going to want to do is you’re going to want to add at least three calls to action in each blog post. The reason you’re doing this is you’re going to try to keep them on your website. A lot of people stumble upon blog’s through different ways, whether it’s social media through Google Pinterest, and they may have never heard of you before most of times. And so by actually doing things in that blog post to get them to stay on your website, they’LL become more invested in you as a person and as a brand. So you’re going to want to either tell them to check out other Blogging posts, tell them to sign up for your email list all of those things. You’re definitely going to want to try to get them to do one of those. So when you’re writing a Blogging, think about it strategically, you’re gonna want to try to get people to read it, but also engaged with you as as a business or a blog. So that’s another thing you also want to do that throughout your website. 5. Creating links Making and creating links that also go to other pages on your site makes it easier for people to stay longer. That helps your bounce rate that helps people just stay on your website longer and potentially find something that they didn’t know they were looking for. So you’ve got your blogged, your about pager services page. 6. Contact Page Then you’re going to also create a contact page. This is really important if you want people to actually reach out to you. There are a lot of ways to create a contact page, and I’LL talk about this down the road, but you can actually have a scheduler as well to actually have people book a call with you and we’ll talk about some of the platforms you can use with that, but you definitely wanna have their name their email, so that you can actually contact them back, as well as the title of the message and the message itself. Most website platforms offer a contact page form that you can embed into your into your website. That’s probably the easiest way. One thing I don’t recommend doing is actually just leaving your Email on your Web site. The reason is is because you can get a lot more spam that way. People actually just search Web sites all day long, looking for e mails so you might get a lot more spam. If you just leave a link to your email, that’s just something I’ve heard before. So you definitely want to make sure you have, like, a form instead of an email. 7. Add Alt Tags to Photos Another thing that you’re going to want to do to optimize your website, and this is something I’m really bad at. And it’s something that I’m really working on, and that is adding descriptions to each of your photos. Now photos two. Google are just pieces of content. They don’t know what they are because Google is not smart enough to look at the picture and say, Oh, that’s picture of a dog. So you’ve got to tell Google what that picture is, and it’s something that searchable so you could say golden retriever dog. That would be the description you’LL add that to that photos all to tag. That’s something you should do for every single photo on your website, no matter what. I think it’s really, really important especially for Blogging images, because when they click that Pinterest pennant button, whatever you’ve written for the all tag is going to be that description that they’re going to pin right away. So if it’s just like image two, three, four, that’s what here is going to show up on Pinterest and you don’t want that. So you definitely want to make sure that each of your photos has a tag at all today. And you can Google how to change those. Every platform does it, either in their media library or on each photo. You can, say, add alternative text. This is also great for people who are, you know, maybe our blind or using some sort of disability platform where they can actually have it read to them. So that’s really helpful for those types of people as well. 8. Add social media links & instagram blocks Another thing a lot of people don’t add, and I find this odd is they don’t add their social media links to their website. Sometimes I have to search really far to even find, like a link to their Instagram to their Twitter facebook have that on every single page. So maybe put it in the footer, Um, and also If you have a good Instagram, maybe get a plug in or add your Instagram. With squarespace, you can an Instagram block and on WordPress, you could download different plug ins that allow you to show and display your Instagram on your home page or across your footer. I do this for our footer because and it shows up on every single page. And then when they click on one of those pictures, it sends them straight to our Instagram. This is a really easy way to add some pictures to your website very easily oh, that’s another thing is making sure that they can find your social media from the home page as well as every page that they’re on, because if they want to remember you and they’re on your website, make it easy for them to follow you on social. 9. Add an email opt-in or call to action Okay, this is the one that most people forget to do, but it’s like the most important one that’s adding an email. Opt in. So even if you don’t do email marketing right now, you still want to start collecting emails? Um, you could do this in multiple ways. I would recommend offering a free download or a lead magnet, but you can even just say sign up for a newsletter. I mean, even if you don’t send one out on occasion, just adding that to your Web site allows people to you get their emails. That’s really one of the most important things you can get. You can use emails in many ways, but just adding something to get people’s emails is something. If you don’t have it, put it up there right now and there’s so many easier ways to do that. There’s platforms that allow you to embed an email capture, but most websites have an option to do it internally with their own platform system. Ad Break 10. Add additional ways to book you (acuity, dubsado, pure chat) Okay, I mentioned this earlier, but there’s some other additional tools that you can actually use to have people reach out to you. I use three of them. Um, actually, two of them. I used to use one of them, but I don’t use it anymore. That’s acuity, scheduling, dubsado and pure chat. So acuity is something that I recommend if you aren’t using a serum. But you still want to book clients, you can embed an acuity scheduler into your website. And what this does is allows people to schedule a time to either talk with you. Um, work with you. It just basically allows people to instantly No, when you’re available and can set it up so that you’re both on the same page. You have a time a location, a date to talk. It could be a phone call could be in person. It’s, however, you set up acuity, scheduling the nice thing about acuity and square spaces that you can get acuity pro for free if you’re on squarespace. So a lot of people have used acuity. The other reason why used acuity was Instagram now has a booking button with acuity scheduling so you could actually send people straight to your acuity from your Instagram. So if you’re not on something like dubsado, I highly recommend acuity because they’re super, super easy to use. Okay, I used upside when I mentioned this before, but they’ve recently added some features that I love even today. As I’m recording this, they just added a new feature where you can see where your leads are coming from by asking a question, and it categorizes that. And for me, that’s super helpful, because I never know when people come to me. I’m like, Where did they hear about me? I have no idea. Asking those questions is so important to know where your leads are coming from. So Dubsado, what I used upside of four is I I use it. Instead of having a regular contact thing. I actually embedded dubsado lead form, then it adds it to my CRM or my customer relationship manager. This allows me to track them. I can send them farms. I can send them invoices, schedulers, all of those things that I need to keep in touch with my clients. You can embed dubsado, and now you can actually embed proposals, which was like like business changing for me, because people can pay their invoice straight through the Web sight, which is so awesome, So just setting up all of these different things allows it so much easier for you to not have to chase people down through e mails. The other one that I use is called pure chat, and there’s a lot of chat apse where you can install them. And then if people are on your website and they want to chat with you, basically, it sends you a message in their app that somebody is on your website and they’re wanting to chat. I like your chat because it’s free and there’s not a lot of ones that are free, and I only get maybe one chat a month. It’s really not something a lot people use, but when they do, I can be on it and I can respond to them like a text message. It’s super super helpful. So those are the additional things I’ve used in the past that allow me to connect and communicate with my audience. 11. Set up Google Analytics, Search Console & heat map Okay, moving on to the next one, setting up Google Analytics Search Console and heat maps. So these airways that you contract your website. So while this episode’s about optimizing, this is really the best way to optimize your website. If you have a website you need to track who’s going on your website, how long are they staying, where they come from? How all that stuff could be set up in Google analytics Now Google Analytics is free. You just have to embed some code into the header of your website. You can Google how to do that. It’s really not as difficult as it used to be. And they’ve made it really, really easy for every platform to do it. You have to have a Google accounts. I would set it up with the one that you’re using. If you have a Google email, um, and what you can do, you should take about twenty four hours to get going. But what it does is it tracks everything. It tracks the rial time of who’s on your website right now. How long they stay on your website? Which pages they look at This is so helpful to you to see. Okay, well, what’s working and what’s not on my website. More recently, I’ve rediscovered search Console. I never really used it before, but oh my gosh, Is this help for helpful for creating content that I can see which terms people are searching for and which which pages on my website they find by searching those terms. So for me, one of the things I did was I actually looked up. Okay, what are people searching for when it comes to Instagram in Minneapolis and I’ll be honest and say a lot of people are looking for Instagram worthy things. So last week I decided to start a Siri’s where I talk about Instagram worthy places, restaurants, coffee shops, because I know people are searching for that. And when people search for Instagram worthy things, I want Twin Cities collective to pop up in the top ten on those search results. I’m just honest like I want that traffic, because Instagram is by far my my topic. I wanted to be the Instagram hub of Minneapolis. That’s just like one of my goals. And so, by using search Console, I could actually kind of hack what people are looking for and really have those specific he terms that people are searching for in Google and be one of the top ones that people are doing. So that’s just why I decided to do those specific post, because I think that it will help me. It will help my audience. I think people are looking for that, And so, by being able to provide it, it’s something that I probably would normally wouldn’t write about. I feel like it’s a great way to get new audience to our site and also help our current audience find out about new places in the Twin Cities. Another thing that you might want to set...