It’s 2017 and things move fast in website tech — it’s precisely the fact that they’re always evolving that keeps me curious and engaged in the field of web design & development!
So let’s talk website tech and what you can refresh this year to stay ahead and have an easier time being found (hi, new client who found me through Google!) and selling your awesome shizz (hint: personalization!).
Refresh this Website Tech in 2017 for a Stronger Biz
As discussed in the January Keep Your WordPress Happy post, Google is now favoring websites with SSL. Meaning that if you add the “s” to your http:// so it says “https://” it’ll be easier for you to show up higher in Google search results. Shazam! They implemented this change on January 1, 2017.
Haven’t done it yet? Me neither! (You know how life gets!) That’s okay. Read the January Keep Your WordPress Happy post for more info on what SSL is and how to implement it — so you can be better friends with Google and make it easier for your ideal peeps to find you. You can even get this website tech for free!
Speaking of keeping Google happy, responsive design is what you need to keep your visitors happy! Most people are on their phones now, so you better have a website that looks dope on all size screens! I keep saying this because I still see people with non-responsive websites.
WordPress makes it super easy to have a responsive website — themes and frameworks from Beaver Builder (which I’ve been testing out lately!) and Divi (which I like less but still neat) to Genesis and beyond automatically give you a responsive website these days. No excuses!
Still unsure of what I mean? Read this to find out if your website is responsive.
The need for speed
Talk about a good UX (user experience)! Website loading speed is super important both to Google and to your users.
(How often have you clicked away from a website because it’s taking too long to load? Plenty often, I bet! And then you shopped from a competitor. And we don’t want that to happen to your website or business!)
Website tech you can use to get loading faster includes:
- A fast hosting provider for your website (I recommend Siteground and Flywheel)
- WP Smush plugin to shrink a.k.a. optimize your images so they don’t slow you down (P.S. Crop them before you upload them!)
- A caching plugin like W3 Total Cache
- A CDN (content delivery network) like Cloudflare (free!) – although paid ones are actually better
You can use a website speed test like Pingdom to see how you measure up before and after you implement improvements ;)
Personalization / Advanced segmentation in your email marketing
This past holiday season, I ran a sale/special on a couple of services: my DIY Website Maintenance Course (Be Your Own WordPress Superhero!) and my Jump-start (DIY Your Website) service/course hybrid (currently in beta as I develop and expand it).
And you know what would’ve allowed me to do a better job pitching these things to the right peeps? Advanced segmentation!
What does this mean? It means personalizing my emails to my subscribers based on their needs and interests to optimize conversions (read: sales!)
It means having an email marketing system that allows you to seamlessly somehow mark each subscriber as interested in X and not Y, or X and Y. So that when you want to promote X or Y, you can promote it to the people who are interested. This means more sales and fewer unsubscribes.
And it’s why I’m switching from Aweber to ConvertKit (FYI I started out with MailChimp in 2013). Because with Aweber, I had no smooth way to track who was interested in what and their tagging system is not great – in fact, it’s pretty confusing and difficult to use when you want to send out emails to people who’ve clicked on a certain thing and not another.
Also FYI, other email marketing services that include a good tagging/tracking feature are Klaviyo and Springbot (much pricier than ConvertKit).
Get jiggy with analytics
Whether it’s Google Analytics (free!) or a paid service, you need some way to:
- Understand your users, who they are, and what they want (demographics)
- How they behave on your website (behavior)
- How they arrived at your site (are those Facebook ads working? Your SEO efforts? Etc.) and what device and browser they’re using (context)
This is how you create content (free and paid!) that they’re going to love >> because you can see what they already love and create more content like it (whether opt-in freebies for your most popular posts or courses that take that content to da next level, yo!).
This is how you create marketing and content calendars that will resonate with your audience so you don’t launch to crickets (sure, marketing best practices matter, but knowing what content is working and what isn’t and what in your website is working vs what needs improving will make a world of difference for your PayPal account!). You’ll know whether the course or service you want to launch is meant for the peeps who’ve been following you — or whether you’ll need to build up a whole new audience for that new offering.
Don’t know where to get started with analytics? You don’t have to do it alone! Here are two killer resources:
- My good friend Cinthia Pacheco at DigiMorph is a genius at analytics and caters to both DIYers and superheroes who want a pro to take it off their hands.
- SEO & Analytics expert Alistair Gill can also take care of you: he offers various analytics services and wrote a fantastic guest post here — The Definitive Guide to SEO for Coaches — brimming with gems to get you ranking higher in Google.