Setting up a website is one of the easiest ways to expand your business or personal brand, and it requires a relatively small initial investment. Once all the work of setting up the site is done, the focus can then shift to maximizing its return on investment (ROI).
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There are several ways to boost the ROI of a website, and here are five of the most important:
Make it easy for customers or clients
Make the site as user-friendly as possible. If a site is hard to navigate or the most important aspects of the site are buried in hard-to-access areas of the site, visitors will be instantly turned off and most likely leave the page.
This is particularly important for e-commerce websites. Make it easy for customers to select products and go through the shopping cart process. A bad user-experience will kill the ROI of any website.
Content is king
Content marketing is critical to maximize the ROI of a website. This involves producing high-quality content at the site itself – a blog is great for this — as well as sharing relevant content via social media channels.
A periodic guest blog post at a related website or blog can also help boost the reputation of a website with a quality, relevant link back to the main website. Building reputation and authority with content can lead to a huge ROI, but it takes many months to truly reap these benefits – be patient.
Choose hosting solutions that work
Choose the best hosting solution for site. Types of web hosting include shared, virtual private servers (VPS) and dedicated server.
A shared hosting plan is a cost-effective solution for smaller sites and blogs. A dedicated server costs more but will help maximize the ROI of larger websites. It comes down to speed. A dedicated server is able to process many web visitors and maintain performance on websites with hundreds of pages.
An effective strategy if launching a brand new small website is to start with a shared hosting plan and eventually move up to VPS hosting and finally a dedicated server as web traffic and the number of pages on the site grows to a larger number.
On-page search engine optimization (SEO)
Make the website, particularly the homepage, highly visible to the search engines, such as Google. That’s what on-page SEO is all about. It’s pretty simple to optimize your pages for visibility by the search engines.
First, make sure you use relevant title tags (h1) in the title of each page and the same goes for sub-title tags (h2, h3, etc.) to make it easy for the search engines to “see” what the site is all about.
Next, put the most important information closest to the top of the page to ensure it’s seen front and center and doesn’t get lost near the bottom of the page.
Finally, avoid hyperlinking to other pages and sites that aren’t relevant to the website itself. Also, avoid excessive bolding, keyword usage, and linking on every page. Keep the pages simple and relevant – that’s the key.
Use images and video wisely
Photos and video can really make a web page look nice and can enhance the user experience; however, use them wisely. Too many photos or video on a page can significantly slow down the site. A slow website can negatively impact its ROI.
Make sure any photo used is optimized for web usage. Use a photo editor like Photoshop or GIMP to optimize its size and appearance. In general, keep images at a resolution of 72 dpi, save as .jpg file format, and avoid excessively large images.