The point of a blog is to engage readers and keep them coming back for more. The point of a website is to educate readers on who you are and what your business or service can do for them. Your ultimate goal should be to combine your website and blog into one seamless, beneficial experience for your readers so they want to hang out and stay awhile – and then come back again later to hang out with you some more.
Both websites and blogs should provide readers a simple way to get the information they need or want. They should be super-simple to navigate, pleasant to look at and easy to read. Plus both should quickly give readers a snapshot of your credibility and authenticity. My Happy Hour Effect website educates on who I am and what I do with easy links right to my blog and other pages where I provide ongoing, engaging, ever-changing content to reinforce the expertise I highlight on the website.
Here are 5 key tips to create your fantastic blog and website:
1. Use clear and simple navigation header names like About, Books, Products, Services, Speaker, Newsroom. Many people try to be clever and name their site pages something unique but if it’s unclear where that link will take them, you cause confusion and many will leave your site. By all means get creative, but not so creative that readers don’t know what to do or where to go next.
2. Keep the content fresh. Search engines rank sites with fresh content better than sites that never change. Update your bio regularly, add new products or services, include a schedule of events and ensure you add new posts to your blog at least once a week – more often is better. And don’t forget to keep your content language simple. Avoid big words, fancy grammar and overly academic terms unless your target audience relates to that type of language.
3. Display social media links prominently. Nothing frustrates me more when I’m seeking out info than when I can’t find the links to a person or company’s social media pages. In today’s world, these links to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+ and others add instant credibility and searchability. Many search engines rank some of these social media sites too so there’s another reason to create and include them.
4. Add personality. Your readers want to know the person behind your product or service. Include personal stories, anecdotes, case studies and photos to give your fans a glimpse into your world. This builds trust and authenticity – two important factors that consumers consider when deciding where to spend their money.
5. Include imagery and video. Every single page and post should include some type of visual or graphic. Photos, videos, quotes, infographics and visual lists all work well to draw in readers. Plus images are highly engaging which leads to more Comments, Tweets, Shares, Pins and Likes on your content.
What is your favorite or most popular part of your own site? What can you do to improve your least favorite or least engaging part?
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