“It is a truism to say that the dog is largely what his master makes of him: he can be savage and dangerous, untrustworthy, cringing and fearful; or he can be faithful and loyal, courageous and the best of companions and allies.”
Sir Ranulph Fiennes
Put in the hard work training your website and you will be rewarded. The success of a website is dependent on the amount of love and care you give it. Yes, you will have to put a lot in, but it will be worth it. If you’re in charge of managing your company website, then this set of articles ‘How to train your website’ will help you be successful in your role.
Please note, it has been assumed that your website has good basic health already. That is, it has been set up with SEO in mind and has all the basics, such as a site map, proper header and title tags etc.
Feeding your website (aka content)
The food you feed your website has to be correct for it. Just like there are breeds of dog out there that require certain nourishment for their long silky coats and others who need more protein, websites are the same. The better you know your website, the better you’ll become at working out what ‘food’ is best. Food, aka content, for your website can come in many forms. For example,
- Blog posts
- Updated content
All will help keep your website healthy.
The right food for your website
It goes without saying that the content that you post has to be relevant and in a suitable tone of voice. Make sure the tone and style suits the nature of your business.
When thinking about content for your website (and I’m focusing on written content here), there are several important factors you need to ensure before you even put finger to keyboard.
These are outlined below but you can find the full article about writing a blog post here >*
Before your start writing content for the web
- Choose your keyword/s carefully (more about keywords here >).
- Establish what images you’re going to use and get permission to use these if necessary (e.g. if you’re looking to take these from Flickr).
- Know what action you want your users to take at the end of your blog post
- Are there any people or organisations that you could link your content to? Even better, could they link back to your website? Getting high quality links to your website is great for SEO.
* Whilst the title of this article explains that it’s about writing a blog post, most of the points are also applicable for writing any content for the web.
When to feed your website
Your timings for writing content and releasing it can be critical to your traffic.
For example, if you’re responding with a blog post on a current event, publish it as soon as possible. A blog post that goes live a day later, even a couple of hours later, can be old news.
If you are producing ‘evergreen’ content (evergreen content is content that remains relevant regardless of the time of day, time of year etc. for example, an article entitled ‘Top Ten Healthiest Vegetables’ is applicable all year round, as opposed to one entitled ‘Best pubs to go to for St David’s Day’), do some research and find out when your target audience are most often online and release it during those times.
Feed your website with new content often, and regularly.
TASK: Put together a Content Planner. Depending on how often you update the website (at least once a month, if not once a week is best), write a list of topics / blog posts / new content titles that you plan to post throughout the year. And stick to it.
Don’t forget that depending on the time of year, your topics may change to reflect that. For example, think about what people may want to know more about during different seasons such as summer and winter etc. And also events and occassions, such as Easter, summer holidays, weddings, starting a new school, the new year etc.
This template includes a few of the main events that are celebrated in the UK to give you inspiration for blog posts. This is really to be used as a starting block for you to add your own, relevant events. For example, not all companies will find it useful to know that ‘National Stress Awareness Day’ is on the 2nd November.
Loving your website
A website will work much harder for it if you love it. Even if you don’t, pretend it’s covered in fluff and has big cute eyes.
Talk to people about your website – why is it so great, what can it do for people etc. If you’re enthusiastic, it’s likely that other people will take notice.
Is your website fully-trained? Well then, it’s time to move onto the next lesson, ‘Exercising your website’ >