The year is quickly drawing to an end, its the time of the year where the festive spirit is high, the e-commerce online transactions rapidly surge and potential customers flood your websites looking for the best deals and updates. But how can you maintain this high when the New Year arrives?

Five Ways to Give Your Website a Refresh

Keep your Social Media Active and Relevant

Running a website can be a long-winded task, you've got a blog to update and then you've got to stay on-top of all your social media to ensure your customers don't see an inactive company that rarely updates and connects with its customers.

Social Media is such a powerful tool, more and more businesses are adopting to using it on a regular basis. It not only provides your customers with real-time news and updates, but it allows you to connect with respected people in your industry sector. You can post your latest news on Facebook, share it on Google+ and then have some professional comments on LinkedIn.

Although using social networking websites can dramatically increase the traffic to your website, be cautious that you aren't simply spamming every single social network with the same content and, if you're using Twitter, ensure you're actually sending on tweets that your customers want to read and see, with content that's relevant to your business purposes and customers interests.

Read Through Your Existing Content

Having rich, high quality, unique and relevant content has become such a powerful search engine optimisation (SEO) factor that search engines, such as Google, have been pushing forward over the past year. We saw the Google Hummingbird update that started to reward webmasters with engaging content on their websites, whilst negatively impacting sites that replicate content and has no true value to it.

If your website has been running for a while, you'll of gathered up a large collection of content and pages on your website that may not be relevant to your websites keywords or up-to-date. Simply reading through your content will allow you to identify areas where you can include your websites keywords and allow you to add more deep-linking to newer, more relevant content, into your existing pages that are already indexed and appearing in on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

Taking advantage of an effective content marketing strategy will massively help build your brand awareness - whether it involves you simply experimenting with new ways to promote your content and increase its share counts on social networks or the style of writing to your content; its tone, is it funny, quirky, are your customers encapsulated into your content?

Evaluate Your Websites Analytics

A website will only be as good as the time you're prepared to put into it. If you've not stayed on top of your website this year, take a look through your Google Analytics (which you should be) and look at your performance data - are your key pages that you're trying to push, actually doing as well as you'd like?

If you're running analytics on your website, are you recording events? A great way to identify how your visitors are actually engaging with your website is to track their movements. If you want to know how many people are sharing your content, record an event every time a visitor clicks the share button and then compare this with the data you see in social media sharing tools such as AddThis (or, use a manual counter like SharedCounts) - are there any discrepancies?

Google Analyitcs will provide you with a knowledge bank of great resources to identify exactly who your visitors are, where they're from, what they're most actively viewing and what's not performing as well. This will give you a great idea of what content your visitors love to read, and what you should promote and push forward in the year to come.

Evaluate Your Websites Optimisation and Performance

Website have been gradually increasing in size with larger, more complex CSS and Javascript being used, and a sharp increase in the volume of images used - which is great for your visitors who get a more aesthetically crisp and visually stunning website, but what good is that if your website is slow to load and lags when under high load due to all the increased demand?

Your websites loading time and optimisation has an impact on your websites SEO and its position in SERPs, so its crucial you work behind the scenes to optimise your media and tie-in any external aspects of your website into a more solitude less-intensive version.

We put together 14 methods that you can use to optimise your website loading times and performance.

Add Microdata to Your Website

Microdata, Structured Data or Rich Snippets are a brilliant way to provide search engines with a semantic meaning and thus understanding of your website, its hierarchy, content and media. It allows you to define a new level of scope into your code whilst not affecting what your visitors actually see.

Though there is no official comment on the affect microdata has on your websites SEO, it has no negative effects and allows search engines such as Google to manipulate your content on its search listings - if you're running an e-commerce website you're able to show the price of the product, the aggregating rating, reviews and any offers available.

We put together an article that discusses in more detail what microdata is, how to implement it and its affect on your websites SEO.

A Message from Us

We want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We hope you have a safe and enjoyable holiday season and see in 2014 in style!

Web Design and Development Chester, Cheshire

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