If you’ve been reading my blog for more than, well…this post…you know the importance of having a strategy around your website. A blog without a strategy is going to waste time without benefiting your business, while a blog with a strong strategy will become your best employee.
However, even though you might read my advice and implement the tips, it can be hard to know just how well you’re doing. So today I have a fun little exercise where you’ll be able to take a look at some parts of your website and rate your own strategy.
Rate your blog strategy
1. How’s your focus?
The first thing we’re going to take a look at is the overall level of focus throughout your website. The goal here is to make it easy for readers to know what you’re all about and to follow a path through your content without feeling overwhelmed.
There are a lot of things we could look at here, but we’ll keep it simple.
Start by considering your website’s goals and write them down on the worksheet. If you’re not sure what your goals are or you have to do some thinking, that’s a good sign that you’re not quite as focused as you should be. Since we want our websites to become our best employees, it’s important that we craft them in a way that will support our specific goals.
Now, do a general scan around your website. Maybe take a look at your homepage, blog post titles, About page, and services. Do all those things complement each other and work together? Or is your audience going to wonder what exactly you do?
If you don’t have a sidebar, skip right on past this one. However, if you have a sidebar I’ve got some questions for you to consider.
How many calls-to-action are in your sidebar? Do those calls-to-action relate directly to your blog and business goals?
Too many calls to action in one spot can do one or more of a few things:
- Overwhelm your readers and leave them unsure of what to do next
- All blend together, leading your visitors to click on nothing
- Work against each other, rather than together
Now take a look at what your sidebar links to. Are you linking away from your own website, leading your readers somewhere else? Specifically look for places that don’t support your goals. (Ex: Displaying your Instagram feed, when growing your Instagram following is a goal is fine, but linking to someone else’s website generally isn’t)
Again, be sure to fill out your worksheet! That’s where you’ll do the actual rating and get your final result at the end.
Let’s move on to your footer. The most common problem with footers is that there isn’t anything there. While you may not be going directly against your goals, you certainly aren’t helping them.
So take a look. Is there anything there to lead your audience to what you want them to do?
Or maybe you do have content and calls to action in your footer, but they don’t directly support your blog and business goals?
Now let’s move on to your navigation or menu. There are really only two ways you can go wrong with your navigation:
- Too many options
- Not enough options
Take a look through each item in your navigation and make sure it’s important enough to be featured so prominently. Would you rather have your readers go to each item than read your blog or view your services?
However, you also want to make it easy to find important pages. I always like to see:
5. About page
Next we’re going to focus on a few specific pages on your website, starting with your About page.
While About pages can seem like a waste of time, they really are important. When you find a new blogger or business owner you like, what do you do?
I know I check out their About page to see what else I can learn about them, their journey, and what they have to offer.
That being said, be sure to include each of the following items:
- A description of who you help and how you help them
- A personal story that tells a little about yourself and illustrates your experience and qualifications
- A picture of you
- A call-to-action at the bottom to keep visitors moving through your website
For some extra guidance on creating an effective About page, check out this post from Kory Woodard!
6. Contact page
While your Contact page should be kept simple, it’s beneficial to include a bit more than a contact form. Having some extra information can increase the page’s effectiveness in more ways than simply having people reach out to you (read more on that here).
Take a look at your Contact page to make sure you have each of the following items:
- A quick welcome
- A brief description of why people can/should reach out
- A contact form as well as your email address
- The answers to any questions you’re asked over and over
- Links to your social media accounts
If you’re a business owner and don’t have a dedicated homepage, you could be missing out. If a visitor is on your homepage it’s likely that they either need or are looking for some extra direction.
Be sure your homepage gives a quick idea of who you help and how you help them. This doesn’t have to be through text, but can be illustrated with branding, imagery, and the different sections you feature.
Most importantly, be sure to provide a first-step that relates to your goals. If someone was poking around your website for the first time, what would you want them to start with?
8. Blog posts
Now, take a look through your blog posts. I wrote all about this last week, but your blog posts should do more than simply provide content.
Each post should:
- Relate to your products and services in some way or allow your audience to get to know you
- Provide value
- Give your readers a call-to-action or next step
9. Audience paths
The last things we’ll take a look at are the paths you’ve laid out for your audience.
Go through each product or service you offer and work your way backwards. Is there a clear path back to an entry point on your website like a blog post, video, or social media update?
If you don’t have a clear path defined to one of your products or services, it’s likely that your audience either doesn’t know about it or isn’t quite sure why they need it.
What’s your blog strategy rating?
After you’ve made your way through this post, be sure to take time to make improvements in the areas that need them.
I’d love for you to pop back in here to let me know your rating and what changes you’re making!