How to keep your website fresh

by Desmond Menz posted in Website and Blog Essentials


Let's start with a question. Do you have a blog or website? If not, then take the step and get 

one. Don't be put off by thinking it's complex; it's not.


One of the simplest blog platforms is Blogger, Google's own blogging 

system. It's a good entry level system, easy to set up, it's free, versatile, and 

it could be all you'll ever need regardless of how successful you become. 


Blogger has a good level of security. There are many very successful people using just 

Blogger for their online business.

I've written previously about Wordpress and the escalating hacking problems confronting 

that platform, and causing a lot of anguish among its millions of users. 


In this article

  • The value of writing frequently
  • Look at your metrics and make changes to your website
  • A Home Page makeover


Write frequently

Writing a quality blog post every two weeks about your niche or interest, or about your 

ebooks or reports, or about anything of value for your readers, is a great way to market 

yourself and all your offerings and ultimately to get more sales. And it's also fun.


If you keep adding fresh content to your blog or website, then the search engines will know 

that you're serious about your business. The search engine spiders will continually crawl your 

site for new and quality information. And that is the name of the game today.


Writing frequently also gets you into the habit of writing, and we know what good habits lead 

to. Good habits will result in greater exposure of your info-products, affiliate offerings, list 

building, client relations, general reader interest, and ultimately more income. 


It's amazing what frequent writing can do for your personal development. Your thought 

processes, deductive powers, literacy, story-telling, sentence structure, and word 

knowledge - just to name a few - will all benefit. 

Write regularly … and watch what happens!


Examine your site structure

Have you ever looked closely at the Home Pages of some popular sites, or maybe sites that 

you go to frequently? There's no single formula for the design and structure of a home page, 

but it has to be recognised that to get people to stay on your site the home page is the 

gateway to your online property.


It not only has to look good - just like a well-designed book cover - but it also has to work well.

If you've visited my Home Page lately you would have noticed many changes. This is the 

third significant change in the last six months. There are also changes "behind the scenes" 

on every page, and I'll come to those later.


Why did I make those changes? Google Analytics gave me some useful information about 

where people were landing, what they were clicking on, and what pages they were reading. I 

needed improvements.


So, the first page that needed a makeover was the Home Page. There were too many 

information items on the page and too many "calls to action". Here's what was there.


Go back in time

I unwittingly created more complexity than I needed to. But to see what my home page 

looked like several months ago, I went to Wayback Machine, which is an Internet archive. 


Back in January 2013, my home page was more graphically inclined, and it was simpler in its 

layout. I wasn't satisfied with it, so I made changes, but that's when I erred in trying to make 

things simple. I mistakenly departed from the "Ultimate Heat Map" layout that Michael 

Campbell (a well-known Internet Marketer) produced. The Ultimate Heat Map is based on 

research about the movement of a person's eyes when they land on a website or web page. 

I'll discuss this at another time. 


If you want to see what your site looked like in the past, go to Wayback Machine. Type in the 

web address of your site or any page and you'll get your results.  

 

Here's New Times Home Biz home page prior 

to the last series of changes I made. 


HINT - If you make changes to your home 

page it's wise to capture and save an image of 

it before changes are made. 

I didn't do this prior to the last change I made, 

so I'll just have to wait until Wayback Machine 

displays my previous home page layout. 

This could be a month or two.


For future reference, I captured three images 

of the earlier home page, converted them to 

jpg format , and then placed them together in 

a Pages document to form a single image.


[Note - I use Mac iWork Pages rather than 

other alternatives such as Open Office or MS 

Word.]



This image shows how my home page appeared several months ago. 

For the next version I removed the video which I had made myself using iWork's Keynote 

(similar to Microsoft's Powerpoint). Other elements removed were the small slider in 

the left sidebar and product images.


The pathway to change

Let's get straight into it. Here are the essential criteria for good home page design.


  • The Who and What - in a few seconds (because that's all we have to keep people on our site), answer "who I am", "what I do", and "what can the visitor do at this site".
  • Connect with the target audience, show a compelling value proposition.
  • Keep it simple, have easy navigation, make it mobile-optimized.
  • Have clear calls to action - for example, a subscription offer and other product offers. 
  • Constant change - this means keep testing various layouts, add aspects that reflect the needs and problems of the visitor.
  • Good overall design using the principles of the Ultimate Heat Map - effective use of layout, white space, colours, fonts, and images. 


                                   OTHER POSTS YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN 

                                    The essentials of Google      Write something that sells

                     Beware of Registered Trademarks       Becoming an affiliate stripped bare


Making changes to my Home Page

If you go to the present Home Page, you'll see that I opted for a very simple and clean 

layout and with just a few elements, but this time they're in a more logical order. 

And, I think, a better presented order.


The slide at the top introduces 6 images that cycle for a total of one minute, with the main 

objective of introducing the "who" and "what", making a connection, keeping it simple, and 

having a call to action. 


These slides were made with The Logo Creator, an amazing piece of software that I've been 

using for several years for all sorts of website graphics of any size, including headers (such 

as the one on all pages of New Times Home Biz), book cover and report graphics, and 

product content graphics.

Don't be deceived by the name The Logo Creator - it can create far more than logos. And 

there are Mac and Windows versions.


The slides were then mounted into Sandvox's "Object" plugin and presto, there it is. I made 

each slide fade out to the next, and stay visible for 10 seconds, long enough for the text to 

be read.


If you're using other platforms, such as Blogger or Wordpress or a wysiwyg website builder, 

then a similar plugin would be available if you wanted to make your own slide combination.


The next element is a graphic with text about what New Times Home Biz provides. 

Easy to Do. Everything You Need.


Following the Ultimate Heat Map method, I placed my redesigned Subscription form on the 

left hand side. 


The final element is a graphic made with The Logo Creator again, and is accompanied with 

some brief text and links to the two free e-courses - 


cleanAbout You … all about getting the right mindset, persistence, and online assets


cleaneBook Biz … the what, where, who, and how about creating an ebook business - 

including the power of Kindle.


Testing the changes

Making all these changes will count for nought if I don't test and track what's happening with 

my site visitors. This is where Google Analytics comes in. I'll be closely watching all the key 

metrics to see the results of my efforts and to see what else I could do to improve my site.


Constant Improvement = Future Income


In The Essentials of Google I covered many of the fundamentals of getting your web 

property Google-ready.

When writing blog posts, articles, and web content it's a very useful strategy to go back over 

your previous work. It acts as a refresher and a reminder of how far you've progressed. And 

importantly, to see if any of your content can be included in an info-product that you put on 

Kindle, into other marketplaces, or into your own store.


Let me know your thoughts on this article. What changes have you made to your site? What 

was the difference to your metrics?

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