Here’s the final installment in our Building A Beach Body Website series. Take a look at the introduction here, Part 2 on identifying problem areas here, Part 3 on measuring site performance here, Part 4 on site speed here, Part 5 on optimizing images here, part 6 on accessibility, and part 7 on taking classes here.
You’ve made it. You wanted to make your website better, and you achieved your goals. Your website is faster, more profitable, and even looks good. When you think back on how far you’ve come, you’re quite proud of yourself. But if you have any experience with getting in shape, and just as quickly falling back out of shape, you know that it’s not easy to maintain your ideal weight and body shape. If you want to avoid having to start over in a few months, you need to find techniques to keep in shape without wearing yourself out. Here’s what you need to do.
Use Analytics to Your Advantage
With web site analytics, you can measure almost everything, from visitor metrics to site load times. By keeping track of how your site is performing, you can make sure that you continue to hit your goals. Use weekly or monthly reporting to track your performance, so if you’re falling behind on your site goals you’ll know before it’s too late.
Motivate Yourself With Competitive Exercises
Earlier in the series, we discussed techniques to check out the competition when you’re deciding what improvements to make to your site. Set up a monthly schedule to check up on everyone else’s websites, and make sure that they’re not adopting new techniques to increase sales and speed. While you’ll want to focus on keeping your own site up and running, it can’t hurt to check out the competition too.
Develop Goals and Rewards
While you may have used goals to keep track of your progress as you improved your web site, you were probably eager to get rid of them once you got the results you desired. But, without goals it’s easy to find yourself set adrift, losing track of what you need to do to make your site better. Set goals on a monthly basis, and you won’t fall behind. But what are goals without rewards? If a better website was enough of a goal when you were revamping your website, now that you’re back to treading water it’s easier to let goals slip. By setting up your own rewards—whether it’s a percentage of your site’s revenue or just personal—you can keep yourself motivated to make site improvements.
Ask A Friend To Check On You
No one likes a nag, but sometimes it’s helpful to get some advice from someone who’s not involved in the day in and day out operations of your site. Ask a trusted friend to do a quick evaluation of your site. You can ask them to try using certain problematic elements—shopping carts, graphic searches, blog archives—or you can let them use the site blind and report to you what they think you’re up to with your site. If a good friend lets you know that your site doesn’t feel as springy on their home browser as it should, you’ll take notice and try to get it back up to speed. While getting your website “beach body” ready is a real accomplishment, in order to get maximum payoff from your efforts you need to be vigilant about keeping your website in shape. By tracking your progress with analytics and scheduled reviews, and staying motivated by established goals and rewards, you’ll ensure that your web site will be fit year round.