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Never Stop Building: How To Routinely Improve Your Website

Websites can keep customers informed about product offerings, provide contact information, and offer directions to someone trying to locate a store.

However, they can also serve as major marketing and outreach tools. Good company websites include more than just the basic "About Us" and "What We Offer" content, and serve their readers with relevant, customer-focused information.

A surprising majority of small and medium-sized business (SMBs) don't have a website at all. In fact, according to MarketingLand, just 45 percent of SMBs have a web presence. Despite their reasoning, whether it's cost, resources, or not seeing the need, it's easier than ever to put up a website.

Automated technologies are available to walk newcomers through the process, and many services with website-building software also offer hosting, security, and other essential tools.

Here are a few tips on getting started

Include Great (and Optimized) Content

Never Stop Building: How To Routinely Improve Your Website

A website is only as good as the content on it. It needs to have original, optimized content that will help get recognized and ranked by Google, among other search engines.

Optimized content is content that is relevant to potential customers. For example, if you run an e-commerce site, it's no longer enough to just list your products and their prices.

Identify keywords that describe your products or service's usefulness to your customers, and use them in your content. Google has several tools to help with this, including a Keyword Planner that comes with AdWords, and Google Analytics, which lists (among other metrics) the keywords people type into Google to find your site.

Keywords are important to your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, however, be careful not to rely too heavily on them. Keyword stuffing will cost you in Google rankings. Instead, write naturally, as you would in an informal business letter to a customer you really like.

Google rewards writers for well-written, relevant content, so keep focused on your topic and quality.

Websites Need to Perform Well for Visitors

Never Stop Building: How To Routinely Improve Your Website

Sites that are slow to load or filled with bad links can be a turn-off to readers.

Pay attention to bandwidth, which is the avenue that transfers data from a website to the visitor. If overloaded with data or users all at once, a website with insufficient bandwidth risks slow loading times and potential crashes.

You really can't calculate the true amount of bandwidth your site will need, says GreenGeeks, but there are things you can do to conserve space. Monitor the size of each web page, and use tools that compress graphics, which can take up a lot of space. Website software like WordPress offers many user-friendly compression tools.

Be sure to regularly test your links. You can do this manually, which also gives you the opportunity to revisit your content and make improvements or updates where needed. Automated tools are also available to help identify links that no longer work.

Use Tools to Get Your Website Noticed

Never Stop Building: How To Routinely Improve Your Website

There are a few other tools you can use to help the search engines find your website.

  • Backlinks show what other sites link to yours, and when many sites do so, search engines take notice. Your site will be rewarded with relevancy as search engines spot other sites identifying yours as a good source.

  • Markup generator tools combine the codes embedded in your content to help your site download its information quickly and efficiently.

  • Rich snippets are the short descriptions you see in Google's organic search results. Many companies that provide website building tools and assistance help with this as well. Learn more about this here.