The first step towards starting a business on the internet is launching a website or blog. But most people are scared of taking this step because they wonder what to do next.
There are aspects like marketing and converting prospects to customers which can prove to be challenging to most webmasters. This is as a result of lack of knowledge especially to new site owners.
On this article we shall go into details on how you can make sure that your site performance is up to the required standards. You will learn of tools and the things you need to do order to better optimize your site, attract targeted traffic and more than anything boost your website performance.
Tools to install:
* RSS Feed: Most templates come with RSS feeds already installed. But in case you get one that doesn’t have RSS feed you should install one right away.
The work of the RSS is to inform people and sites of your updates in a structured manner. In addition, you can observe your site performance by monitoring your RSS feed activities.
RSS feeds also play a major role in marketing your site. With a good subscriber base, you can generate lots for traffic to your site through your RSS feeds.
Something that I have noted on my site is that traffic from my feeds is usually the best since the bounce rate is very low thus help increase conversion rate.
A site you can go to and create feeds for free is Feed Burner (Owned by Google). There are other alternative sites that offer even better feeds. This includes Postrank, Feedity, FeedBlitz, Mint, feedcat and feedStats.
With Feedburner, I’m also able to monitor visitor activities in terms of the pages they visit and how long they stay on my site.
Most RSS feed services come with a counter that shows the number of subscribers. It is advisable to hide this counter when your site is new. But once the number increases to about 500, you can upload the chicklet counter to help in social proofing.
* Site visitor analytics: There is no way you will improve your site performance if you are not tracking activities on your website or blog. Therefore, the first thing you should do once you launch a blog or website is to install a visitor analytic tool.
It is recommended that you place your tracking code on all your web pages. The best place to position your tracking code is at the footer of your site.
Most webmasters concentrate on the number of hits they get in a day but there are other metrics that are even more important. This includes monitoring visitor loyalty, bounce rate, conversion rate and keywords bring traffic to your site.
All these are parameters to look at in order to improve your site performance. For example, monitoring keywords that are bringing traffic to your site will help you to better optimize your content.
* Call to action tagging: What determines a site performance is the action that people take when they land on your site. Any webmaster or blogger would want his site visitors to leave comments, tweet, +1 or share his content.
First, you need to install social buttons on all your pages. If you are using wordpress for blogging, I recommend you try a plugin called Sharebar.
Secondly, you can use Google Analytic to monitor your social activities.
Call to action monitoring is vital since it helps you to forecast and know which kind of visitor is valuable to your site. This will ensure you target the right people to come to your site.
You might be wasting time generating traffic from search engines, yet your target audiences could be on facebook.
* Webmaster tools: This is another tool you are supposed to install on your site even before you get your first hit. Webmaster tools ideally track your site data, impressions, keywords and sites linking back to your pages.
Note: Webmaster tools are not perfect since the results they display are not accurate. You will gather more accurate reports from Analytic tools than webmaster tools.
Things to do:
1. Create a list of keywords to target: This is a basis SEO principle that all website have to adhere to. Before you set out to create your blog or website, list the keyword phrases you intent to rank for.
Measure how your site is performing in these keywords periodically by using tools such as Rank Checker (Free), Rank Tracker and Web CEO.
The advantage of planning on the keyword to target is that it will help you to create relevant webpages. Also you will avoid the issue of targeting one keyword too many times at the expense of other keywords.
Remember, the more keyword phrases you target the more search engine organic traffic you will drive to your site.
It is advisable that you seek to rank on keywords that have low to medium level of competition but still have high volume of traffic. Note that it is easier to rank for long tail keyword phrases since they have low competition.
Search engines get millions of queries every month on almost every topic you can think about. Therefore, use tools like Google Keyword Tool to determine the keywords to target.
2. Connect with other people in your niche: If you want to improve your site performance you cannot run away from connecting with the right people. Visit media outlets like facebook, twitter, blogs, forums and offline seminars and seek to link up with the top guys in your niche.
These top guys in your niche can really help boost your online presence and increase the value of your site. By following their activities you will learn new things to help boost your site performance and stay up-to-date with the events in your niche.
You have to come up with a strategy when seeking to connect with other people on the internet. Before you get to the top most guys, first form a connection with others who are on their way up.
Create a list starting from the top guys in your niche coming down. In your list, make sure you include all contact details such as emails, twitter accounts, facebook fan page, blogs and websites.
These connections will help you in building backlinks through guest blogging or just requesting tactfully for backlinks. With proper approach, you can also get this people to view your site and you just never know some of them may help you promote your site or become clients.
3. Design Compatibility with different browsers: An element that can really affect the performance of your site is loading time. The faster your site loads the better your site performance will be.
Considering that most people browse the internet using Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera and Chrome, you can use a tool like Cross Browser Testing to check your site compatibility with different browsers.
These are tools that will test to see whether the layout of your site and images are attuned with different browsers.
4. Site Crawl Simulation: Something that you will discover that affects site ranking include things like broken links and error in coding.
Apart from ensuring easy navigation for your site visitors, eliminating coding errors will help search engine to crawl your site content with ease.
5. Create an email list: One thing that most top bloggers and webmasters regret is failing to create an email list from the word, go. Therefore, rather than waiting until your site traffic has increased; start building your list immediately you launch a website or blog.
There are many ways of building a contact list; go through the email addresses you already have and pick the people who know you personally. It could be people you have influenced in one way or another or people who own you a favor.
On your site, make sure you also have an opt-in form where you can capture your prospects’ email addresses. For visitors to leave their contact details it advisable to offer them something in return, this can be in-form of a free eBook, newsletter or software.
You can also capture your visitors email addresses by installing an RSS feed on your site.
It is amazing how sending a single email to your list can greatly improve your site performance. This is especially so if you are trying to promote a new product, content or launching a new website.
6. Open social accounts: Going by resent SEO trends, social networking is going to contribute a great deal to a site overall performance. If you thought social media is powerful, you are yet to see its full impact especially in online marketing.
Therefore, as a webmaster or blogger make sure you open accounts on at least these 4 social media sites:
But for you to take full advantage of the internet resources related to social media marketing, you will also need to open accounts on other sites like:
Slide Share e.tc.
Remember the more sites you register in, the higher your online visibility will be. Set aside a budget to also do press releases to further spread the word around about your site existence.
On every site you register, take time to fill out all the necessary profile details about your site. Rather than copy pasting the same details in every profile, carefully draft different profile details for each site making sure you include different keyword phrases you want to rank for.
Most importantly, add a link pointing back to your site, this in the long run will help boost you SEO ranking and also generating referral traffic.
In addition, connect with the right people in your niche to make sure that your content finds ready audience. It is from your active participation in these social sites that you will improve your SEO ranking through social signals and thus increase your site awareness and performance.
A simple way of updating your social media account automatically is to interlink them. This will save you time of visiting each of these sites to update them.
Bonus tip: You need to periodically measure your site growth and the only way to do that is by setting targets. This is the only way of telling if you are making any progress.
Setting goals helps you to decide what needs to be tweaked thus improve your site performance. You cannot expect to succeed in online business or any other business for that matter without having clear and set targets.
Therefore, gauge your site performance on a regular basis. Have short (weekly or daily) and long terms (monthly or yearly) goals to help you measure your progress.
- Some of the goals and targets you can set include
- Tweets to post on daily or weekly basis
- Number of articles you intend to read on a daily basis
- Number of twitter followers you intent to have after a six months period
- Number of people to have in your email opt-in list, or RSS feed in one year.
- Number of site traffic you plan to attract to your site after six months
- Number of posts you need to generate on a daily or weekly basis.
The secret to succeeding in making money through blogging or operating a website is through tracking the growth of your site.
Is there something you think has been left out in this article that would help in improving site performance? Kindly feel free to add it by posting in the comment section appearing below this post.
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Author: Stephen Kavita