Does your website have a heartbeat? How to create traffic on your website

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Are you excited about getting a beautiful new website for your business?

Working with small business owners and associations, I know how much fun it is to launch a new site, with gorgeous imagery and really great content. You have your calls to action, your blog page, a great Contact page, maybe a video or beautiful gallery of your products…it’s finished, it’s online and you’re stoked!

The thing is, this is only the beginning! I repeatedly tell my clients that their website is a living thing, that needs to be feed, in order to flourish. What do I mean by that? Before the internet, businesses had brochures, pamphlets, ads in the Yellow Pages, paper! These print assets costs a lot to produce and businesses were traditionally slow to re-design or re-print, given the cost. They waited until every last flyer was distributed before they changed or revised the design. Many business owners see their website as digital version of their brochure. Partly because they believe that the time and money invested in the website creation is sufficient and they should not have to spend any more on it, and also because often they do not know how to manage their site and fear that they need to be ‘techie’ or know how to code, in order to maintain their site. So, for these and other reasons, many business owners think that once their site is built and live, that’s it, they simply need to sit back and wait for the email queries to come in.

Wrong!

Your website is a living thing that needs to be fed and watered in order to have a heart and help your business thrive.

A website that is not fed and watered will quickly languish on the rarely-visited pages of a Google search listing. And I am talking about pages 2, 3 and 4! So, what is feeding and watering your site? Well, in order to be found online, Google and other search engines look for sites that have a heartbeat, that have regular, new, relevant, fresh content,

But I have put all my content on my site!

I hear you - you don’t know what ‘fresh’ content I am talking about. Here are some ideas:

1 - add new customer testimonials from time to time on your site

2- use your social media channels to drive visitors to your site, by putting a link on your social media posts

3-write a blog. I know, you probably think you don’t have time, or don’t know what to write about. Write about your business, what you know about, what you enjoy doing. Don’t worry to much about keywords and so on, just write! Make it interesting to your audience, your customers. Your business is about solving their problems. So write about how you can do that and if your write regularly, they will hopefully visit your site regularly for updates and share it with their friends on their social media

4- Create a free giveaway on your site, that you can promote via social media. A free ebook or a pdf download that will be of use to your clients.

5-Use great blog headlines. Without a compelling headline, even the most comprehensive blog post will go unread

6- Post content on LinkedIn. LinkedIn has become much more than a job board. The world’s largest professional social network is now a valuable publishing platform in its own right, which means you should be posting content to LinkedIn on a regular basis, with a link to your site. Doing so can boost traffic to your site, as well as increase your profile within your sector of activity.

7 - Adding video content to your site can be a valuable asset in both attracting new visitors and making your site more engaging.

I hope this information is useful to you. There is a ton of information online on how to drive traffic to your website and keep it fresh with content. Yes, it takes time and sometimes a financial investment (if you pay for ads on Google or social media, for example), but without a heartbeat your site will soon end up in the internet bin along with the old brochures and fliers.

Relief - My Degree is Complete!

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So, I’ve completed my degree in Digital Technology and Design, in a year. It’s been a hectic but invigorating learning experience, even if it was sometimes a bit rushed! It’s not easy packing 20 hours of learning into a week on top of a full time job.

I chose the Marketing and Sales stream of the degree, as I quickly realised that the Design stream covered a lot of what I studied before- photoshop, illustrator and the basics of html and css. The marketing and sales stream really enabled me to really get to grips with digital marketing and the sales module was an eye-opener too. The year allowed me to fully realise what I enjoy, what I am good at and has helped me define where I want to go from here.

So, if you are considering going back to college, I would say DO IT! This is the second time I have taken up further study in my 40s and I am already considering what I will study next. It’s fantastic to be learning new, relevant skills and knowledge. It’s good for the brain but also good for my self-confidence as I go out into the world of work more curious and more determined than ever to make my mark!

Time To Get Writing!

Only four weeks to go til I finish up my BCs degree in Digital Technology and Design, so my plans to start blogging have been put on hold til I finish that. Still, I thought I would get the ball rolling with this first short piece!

It’s been a productive year, to say the least, and I have learnt so much that I’m really excited about putting it all into practice. I’ve worked on great design jobs and recently launched a new website for Composer and Pianist David Munro. I took a short term contract in an internal communications role to see how I liked that, I’ve been involved in the most amazing Debussy centenary festival “Ireland’s Tombeau to Debussy”, and of course I have been studying Global Digital Marketing, Tech Sales, Agile Methodology, Entrepreneurship, Innovation and so much more, as part of the degree course. My brain is brimming with new ideas and information - it’s just great!

Anyway, more to come on all of that. I just thought I’d put this out there, to get started!

Thanks for reading!