Now is the time to go through your web pages and find opportunities for improvement.
Here are a few places to start:
If you want to add a “Press” page or “Services” page, now is the time to add them. Perhaps you want to add a page with your resume on it or add a link to your CV. What about a media page to showcase some recent rich media? Make sure you’ve checked your SEO plugin for each page and you have everything filled out appropriately.
Take a look at your sidebar. Would viewers benefit from a small reminder on the side of who you are? Or perhaps you’d like to add the RSS Feed from a publication that suits your brand. Try one or two of the following options.
Add Image & Mini Bio
You can add a small image to the sidebar with a mini bio or call to action underneath so that people remember you while they're perusing your site.
If you’re using Wordpress, here’s how you’ll do that:
If you already uploaded your picture, click Media, click on the photo you want to use, and copy the File URL on the side.
If not, Go to Media → Add New and add your image first. (Remember to rename the filename before uploading!)
Then Go to Appearance → Widgets and add a Text Box to the sidebar.
In the Text Box, add this HTML code: <img src="File URL" alt="Your Name" style="width:100%;height=228"> and replace File URL with the URL you copied and Your Name with your actual name. (You may need to tinker with the width, depending on your theme.)
Then add another Text Box underneath, and write something quick about yourself.
Example: Hey there! Want to improve your online presence? Contact me here.
If you’re using Squarespace, here’s how you’ll do that:
- Hover over the sidebar and click edit.
- Hover to the left of the sidebar until you get that sideways-facing droplet that indicates you can add a block.
- Add an image block to add your photo or a text block for text. That's it!
Showcase Your Recent Blog Posts
This is a great way to keep people on your site longer. If they see a headline that catches their eye, that's a huge win!
Here's how to do that in Wordpress:
- Go to Appearance → Widgets and add the Recent Posts widget to the sidebar.
- Decide how many posts you want to show, and that's it!
In Squarespace, all you have to do is hover over in the sidebar and add one of the "summary" blocks and choose Blog as the item you want to display.
Add a Publication’s RSS Feed
Consider adding an RSS feed if there is a publication that suits your brand well. It will look like this.
Here's how you do it in Wordpress:
First Google the publication + RSS Feed. Example: “Forbes RSS Feed”
Find the URL of the RSS Feed you want. If I love Forbes Entrepreneurs, I might take that one. (http://www.forbes.com/entrepreneurs/index.xml)
In your site, go to Appearance → Widgets and add an RSS
Enter the URL, give the RSS Feed a Title, and decide how many Entries you want it to show.
If you’re using Squarespace, just add the social RSS block and follow these steps here.
Add Your Twitter Feed
Embedding your Twitter Feed is another great option because it showcases your latest tweets and viewers may be more inclined to visit you there as well. (If you don’t have a Twitter yet, don’t fret -- you can always revisit this tomorrow after you've built your Social Media Foundation).
If you're using Wordpress, follow these steps:
Go to the Twitter Dropdown Menu on the top right corner and hit Settings
Click Widgets → Create New
Make any changes you’d like -- or keep it as is -- and click Create Widget
Copy the entire generated HTML code
In your site, go to Appearance → Widgets and add a Text Box to the sidebar.
In the Text Box, paste the HTML code
In Squarespace, this is as easy as double-clicking in the sidebar and adding your Twitter.
NOTE: It’s generally a good idea to have some links or social icons in your sidebar pointing to your other web properties. I’m intentionally skipping this now. We’ll go through that process tomorrow after we’ve built your entire Social Media Foundation.
You don’t need a copyright symbol on your website to save your work from copyright infringement -- at least not since the Copyright Act of 1976 -- but it’s still a good idea. Not everyone knows this fact and you don’t want people thinking your material is up for grabs when it’s not.
I’d suggest a simple copyright statement that looks like this:
Copyright © 2015 Ryan Erskine
If your theme allows it, hyperlink your name in the footer to your website. It’s a best practice for SEO and can improve the user experience.
You can add your address, social icons, or anything else down there too! Don't be scared.
Google Analytics is a great way to keep track of your website’s traffic, pageviews, bounce rate, and other important stats. Once you start tracking, you’ll always be able to look back to track growth over time.
If you're using Wordpress:
- Sign in to Google Analytics and add your website.
- Verify your site by copying the code into the Google Analytics section in your All-In-One SEO plugin and you should be good to go.
If you’re using Squarespace, then you’ll benefit from their built-in metrics. But you can also add Google Analytics by following this quick step-by-step guide.
Are there any other images that you’d like to use on your website? Are there any places where another image would fit well? Images are a great way to break up lengthy paragraphs and liven up those big walls of text.
The arm of SEO is long, but it bends toward user experience. You want to ensure that your website is easy to navigate for a random user and that you can access all your pages in just one or two clicks. If you make things difficult for users, search engines will take notice.
See if there are ways you can make the most important pathways easier to access for users. For example:
- Could you make it easier for people to contact you?
- Can people find your social profiles easily?
- Can users learn more about you with a simple click?
→ Try to add another page or two to your site and add them to your menu bar. Services? Work? Media? Press? Videos? Images?
→ Add one or two items to your sidebar to improve the user experience. You can choose your recent posts, an RSS feed, some social links, your latest tweets, an image, call to action, etc.
→ See if you can add something useful to your footer -- perhaps a copyright statement, links to your social profiles, or something else entirely.
→ Link your website to Google Analytics.
→ Add some more images throughout your site to make it more engaging.
→ See if you can improve the user experience in any way.