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New Year's Resolutions for Your Business

article by: Korey Graham

Happy New Year!

Well, a new year is upon us; the time when we make our resolutions to ourselves, and struggle to see them through. Many of us make such promises as quitting nasty habits, eating healthier, and exercising more; basically, creating promises to make our lives better in one way or another. As business owners we should include some resolutions about our businesses as well, not just our personal lives, since as an entrepreneur they often go hand in hand anyways. Pullout that business plan (you have one - right?) and see where improvements should be made. Your website is probably one of those areas that deserves its' own resolution. It should definitely be given some attention in the New Year; you can be sure that your competitor's site will be!

A good first step to giving your site an overhaul for the New Year is analyzing how it is doing in the search engines. There a several leading search engines such as Google, Yahoo, AskJeeves, and MSN (and countless smaller ones as well) available to the public to search for sites like yours. Reviewing where your site stands on those search engines should be your number one priority. At Inter Kingston we use a system called a Search Engine Ranking Report to provide a detailed look at how you rank, but if nothing else you should be monitoring this yourself, regularly. Additionally, if your site has not been submitted to search engines in at least three months, then it is definitely time to do so. So with this in mind, your first resolution should be:

1. I will evaluate on a regular basis how we rank in the top search engines and our website will be submitted at least 3 times to the search engines during 2006.

Review your content - plain and simple. Does your mission statement (about us) still define who your company is and what the purpose is? Are all the areas of your site clearly described (as readable content) for all visitors? Are the images still current and not from the 80's or alike? It should be enticing and have a specific call to action. So, this leads to your second resolution:

2. I will review and update my content (images and text) quarterly (at a minimum) in 2006.

Are you concerned your customers/clients/visitors are not returning to your site often enough? Give them a reason to come back, a reason to remember your site exists. An online newsletter that can be mailed out to your visitors on a regular basis is one of the most powerful (and subtle) ways to stay in touch. This will not only remind your visitors to continue to visit your site, but will also give new content for them to read. You can also implement a "Send to Friend" feature in your newsletter, giving it more exposure and ultimately increasing new traffic to your site. Additionally, online contests are a fun way to engage visitors and a great way to collect contact information for follow up. The third and final resolution for your website in 2006 is:

3. I will ensure my website allows visitors to interact in a fun and innovative way to encourage word of mouth promotion of the site and to collect contact information from my visitors.

There are numerous easy ways to keep your site new and appealing to all of your regular and new visitors. Don't let your site get left behind in 2006; keep that competitive edge over your rival sites. Make your New Year's resolutions to improve your site, today!

For more information on the ways to improve your site mentioned throughout this article, please contact us.

Korey is a designer, developer and web marketing strategist with Inter Kingston.