10 Simple Ways to Improve Your Blog or Website Today

how to improve your blog

As you probably know, the Web has quite a competitive landscape these days. Every niche has thousands of blogs and websites competing for the same visitors. If you want to get a piece of that pie, you need to constantly improve the quality of your website.

Luckily there are many simple strategies you can use for that purpose. Below you’ll find 10:

1. Update your Theme or Template

responsive web templateWhether you use raw HTML/CSS or a CMS like WordPress, updating your current template is just a matter of browsing a trusted marketplace until you find something that you like. More importantly, you’ll be getting a professionally designed template for a modest investment (as low as $15), so this is one of quickest and easiest ways to actually improve your site.

2. Update your SEO Knowledge

Google is by far the largest traffic source you can have, but it’s also a tricky one, because its algorithms change pretty much daily. Even if you know how SEO works, therefore, once in a while it would be a good idea to get a refresher and learn about the latest trends in the field. The guys from SEOMoz publish a list of updated ranking factors every year (here is the 2014 edition). That is a good place to get started.

3. Improve Your Writing Skills

As you probably know, your content needs not only to be juicy, but also well written, else you’ll end up losing many visitors along the way. That is why you need to always be working on your writing skills. BBC has a Learning English section on its website. There you’ll find many resources. Another useful website for this purpose is called Daily Writing Tips. Every day they publish a new tip about punctuation, grammar, spelling and the like.

4. Make Your Site Mobile Friendly

Mobile is the biggest trend we have seen in years. Just consider that the first smartphone was introduced in 2007 (the first iPhone) and eight years later we already have more mobile than desktop Internet users! Google already made clear that it’s essential to make your site mobile friendly if you want to get good search rankings, so make sure you are doing just that! Luckily you can use a tool offered by Google itself to make sure your site respects the necessary criteria.

5. Make Your Site Load Faster

google pagespeedAnother important aspect of your site’s performance is the speed it takes to load. Given the explosion of mobile Internet connections, which might not be that fast, having a fast-loading site is paramount. There are two good tools you can use to test how you are currently doing: GTMetrics and Google PageSpeed. Both will give you a score and also a report with directions on how to improve. Some changes are pretty straight forward, like group different CSS files into a single one, or loading JavaScript scripts at the footer instead of the at the header of your website.

6. Use Images

Many website owners focus exclusively on the textual content. This is a big mistake. Several studies suggest that websites with relevant images across the content tent to engage the users much more efficiently. This means that by using images you can boost the overall time users will spend on your site. You can use resources such as Morguefile to find free stock images for your site.

7. Use Video

I probably don’t need to convince you about the popularity of video on the web. What you might not know is that producing and using video on your website is quite easy and could help you get more visitors in the long run. All you need to get started is a web cam and some creativity. There are many open source software you can use to create screen casts  and edit your videos as well.

8. Start Building an Email List

mailchimp vs getresponseAn email list is one of the most efficient ways to drive traffic to your website. If you sell a product or service, it will be even more valuable, as you get the chance to engage your email subscribers over time, and this will make them much more likely to buy from you. Again, building an email list is easier than what you might suspect. All you need is to sign up with email marketing provider such us MailChimp or GetResponse. Most of them have free plans you can use while your list is small.

9. Make It Easy for Visitors to Contact You

Visitors will contact you for several reasons. Some will have questions about a specific aspect of your website. Others will complain about something that is not working or that they couldn’t find. Others yet will suggest things you should implement. As you can see, such feedback is very valuable, so make sure that it’s dead simple for your visitors to get in touch with you.

10. Make Your Content Searcheable

Search is a fundamental aspect of the Web, so you should always have a search bar prominently displayed on your website. Most Content Management Systems offer this feature. If yours don’t, you can use Google’s Custom Search integration, giving your users with search results provided by Google itself.

 

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