By Michael Cohn, Published November 1, 2014
You are most likely well aware that getting traffic to visit your website is essential to your continued (and increasing) success and that of your business. If your website has been in existence for a while, it is a very good idea to look closely at what you have and to determine what works and what no longer works.
Getting the biggest bang for your buck
If you are successful at attracting people to your website, it is critical that you leverage the interactions that you have with those website visitors as much as you possibly can. It is very important for you to realize that your interactions must be mutual. A one-way street won’t get you very far at all. Not uncommonly, many websites have a large number of either one-way streets or dead-end streets. Either one of those is not good. Interestingly, you may not even be aware of or be able to identify those dead-end streets. Luckily, if you can identify them, you can eliminate them. Once you are able to fix that situation, you will no longer be missing wonderful opportunities.
Make sure that your website pages are all fully functional: You will want to look carefully at each of your website pages and you will want to determine if the pages have everything that they should have on them. One of the first elements that you will need to determine is if you have a call-to-action on every page. Another element that is essential is the presence of internal links on each page. Without providing your visitor with any possible way to begin interacting with you, you will not be able to form a relationship with that person. The internal links will allow you to do that. The call-to-action will ask your visitor to give you something that you need. You will be surprised at how many people are willing to give you what you ask for. Some other valuable elements that you might wish to consider adding to the bottom of your pages are thought-provoking questions and enticing comments. They are all designed to launch a discussion.
Be mindful of how you end your blog posts: It goes without saying that your blog content must be top-shelf. However, if you don’t include some action request from your readers, they won’t come back to you. If you ask, they will most likely give you what you want. There is no doubt that there is a great deal of value in your blog post; however, you can consider it a dead end if it ends there are doesn’t go anywhere else with your website visitors. It is not a bad idea to check your analytics to try to identify exactly which blog posts generated the most traffic and why. If you are able to identify that information, you will be able to mimic that information. When it comes to your links, it is important that you connect your website visitors with your online marketing strategy pages.
Make sure that valuable information shows up when someone searches on your website: When a visitor visits your website, it is very important that the search results never say “No Results.” If that happens, you can definitely consider that a dead end. Of course, you have control over not allowing that to happen. You just need to make sure that your pages have rich, valuable content so that you eliminate the possibility of that ever happening.
Thank You page for lead generation: One measure of your success on a website (yours included) is when your visitors click on the “Thank You” page. So, what happens after that? If you have an effective “Thank You” page, that means that your visitors will understand that something comes next and your visitors will understand what that is. That means that you are turning what could have been a dead end into something much more effective.
Avoid “Page Not Found” 404 appearing: This one is a little tough. Broken links are extremely common and you need to really keep on top of this. You can dictate the language that will appear as a result of a broken link. You may as well get creative and amuse people at the same time.
The objective of your website is to attract visitors and to retain the visitors with whom you have already been interacting. As you are examining your analytics, you will want to identify which areas are not doing well and constant tweaking may be necessary. It is important to remember that the question that needs to be answered on every one of your pages is what the next step will be for your visitors. Remember, a dead-end link (a link that contains no internal links) is the last thing that you want on any of the pages of your website because it does not allow you to connect with your online visitors. It is very important for you to pay attention to your website analytics and visitors. It will take minimal effort and time, but you will get so much out of it.