Whether your blog is popular or you are just a beginner, there is always some room for improvement, and 2017 is a year for improvement.
So why not do a few additional things and pledge to bring out the best?
Keep Your Website Relevant in 2017
1. Fix Pixelated Images
If you are wondering why the images on your blog pixelate, here’s why:
Computers tend to resize an image in order to “upgrade” the picture’s resolution. Hence, the pixels of an image change. Also, the pixel size may get slightly tweaked according to the dimensions of your blog page.
So what needs to be done?
And if you find that irksome, stick to Microsoft Paint and Adobe Photoshop. But make sure you always check the pixel-scale of an image before you publish it. The simplest way to do that is to right-click on the image and check in Google images. Google will give you the dimensions of the picture.
Photo Courtesy: Apple
Also, try to use images with sharply contrasting colors/bright colors.
Image sharpening also helps to a large extent.
Pay attention to the images you use on your website. This will be very important for 2017.
For more on images, check out:
- 10 Absolutely Free Websites To Download Stock Images
- 20 Awesome Tools for Creating Engaging Visuals for Your Blog & Social Media
- YouZign 2.0: Create Stunning Blog & Social Media Graphics
- 5 Best WordPress Plugins For Finding Images From WP Dashboard
- 5 Powerful Reasons To Add Images To Your Blog Posts
2. Make Your Website Accessible To Everyone
Gone are the days when a reader could only use a desktop to access a web page.
Today, your reader may own any string of gadgets:
- A tablet
- A phablet
- A notebook
- A netbook
- …or even a smart TV
On the other end of the spectrum, I still come across people using QWERTY keypad phones with Symbian OS.
You don’t know what your reader is using to read your blog. You also probably don’t know about the number of readers you’re losing because of the lack of system/file support.
This happened when I tried to cross-check a site on Internet Explorer:
Yes, there are many people who still use Internet Explorer. I know, it sounds primordial, but if these users can’t access your website, you may be losing potentially faithful readers.
I know you probably don’t want to pay attention to making your site visible across “outdated” platforms.
Even WhatsApp has decided to call off system support on certain phones and operating systems. And yes, they do realize the number of users they could lose. But they can afford it.
They are paying more attention to maintaining their large-scale system. Hence, they have to occasionally “trim the fat”.
But you can’t! And you shouldn’t.
Engaging with every reader is the reason why you have a blog in the first place.
P.S. The statistics show that dominance of mobile over desktop will occur in 2017. So select your framework wisely.
For more on accessibility, check out:
- Check How Fast The Mobile Version of Your Website is Loading: Free Tools
- 5 Free Responsive Testing Tools To Test Website Responsiveness
- Best CSS Frameworks To Create Responsive Website Design
3. Check The Date
I want to emphasize this point.
I’ve come across many blogs recently, and a familiar question started haunting me: Why do these blogs not have “publish” dates on their posts?
You shouldn’t assume that by not publishing the date, your blog will become evergreen. That’s not how it works.
Furthermore, these posts usually do not perform well in Google Search analytics.
Suppose you visit a blog for the first time, and you click on a link to some post. You’re probably looking at the title and the date. If you don’t find the date, you probably just assume it’s an old post anyway, or the site is no longer active.
There is no proof anywhere to see how fresh your blog is. Hence, the blog does not get easily picked up in search engines.
P.S. Don’t forget to attach a plugin to share the post on social media platforms. This way, Google will see that the blog has some recent activity.
For more on this, check out:
- The Effect Of Date Stamps On Blog Traffic [Case Study]
- How To Automatically Share Old Blog Posts On Social Networking Sites
- Why You Need To Edit Old Posts On Your Blog : Practical Tips
4. Make Your Blog Understand Your Readers
This is where metrics tools come into the picture.
Keep an eye on the visitor count, and measure the effectiveness of every blog post.
Keep a record of your growth. Check the number of views of your blogs. Try to understand what is popular on your blog and why it’s popular.
After all, the first and foremost intention of publishing your blog post is so that people read it.
Communication with your readers is important. Make use of social media. Be prompt and precise in your replies to comments. In case someone criticizes you, take it with a pinch of salt and a lot of grace.
And yes, do not hesitate to remove or block inappropriate/obscene comments, usernames, or links posted into the comments section.
For more on understanding your readers, check out:
- How To Add Google Analytics To WordPress Blog
- Want To Record How Visitors Are Using Your Website? Try Inspectlet
- 5 Twitter Hashtag Tracking & Analytics Tools
- Top Rated Social Analytics Tools
5. Make Your Website Legit
Whether it’s the silly click-bait title of a post or a passive aggressive sales/marketing pitch, don’t ruin your blog in an attempt to “trick” readers into taking an action.
Readers are smart, and so is Google. If you want better visibility of your blog, stick to the normal protocols. A “bake-off” strategy for a blog will never find genuine readers or loyal followers.
Also, do not copy content from someone else just because their content is doing very well. Search engines are not fond of content duplication. Apart from that, you could find yourself at the tail end of a lawsuit.
Create a unique identity for yourself, your blog, and your company.
For more on trust, check out:
- How To Build A Personal Brand (and why you need one)
- How To Build A Trustworthy Blog For The Long-Run
- 9 Social Media Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Brand And Business
6. Keep Your Site Secure
This is something most bloggers around the world ignore.
But bloggers need to understand that a single data breach can do enormous amounts of irreversible damage. Non-secure plugins can lead hackers into a surplus of valuable information about you and your blog (especially social media).
It is not uncommon for hackers to tamper with the data on blogs. Hence, it is mandatory to take timely backups of your website.
For more on security and backups, check out:
- How To Secure A WordPress Blog: Beginner To Pro
- Best WordPress Security Plugins To Protect WordPress Blog
- How To Automate WordPress Database Backups
- Best WordPress Backup Plugins For Automated Backups
- Building A Safer Web: Why You Should Migrate To HTTPS from HTTP
7. Update Your Website To The Latest Technology
These days, setting up a blog has become extremely simple. This means that more and more people are setting up internet property.
That’s why you need to do your best to stand out among the crowd.
Rather than sticking to the staple PHP WordPress settings and HTML layout, start looking beyond the basics. For example, there are certain script settings for GIFs and vlogging (video blogging).
It is high time you bid adieu to the old-fashioned page setup. If you need to pay money for an updated style, don’t hesitate to do so. You need to understand the long-term implications.
Moreover, keeping your blog updated will boost the authority ratings in Google Search, placing your blog at a better rank.
The metrics always work in the favor of easy to access and technically upgraded pages.
For more on updated technology, check out:
- [Official] AMP Testing Tool by Google: Test Your Website Today
- The Mega Guide To Configure Facebook Instant Articles for WordPress
- Launch A Beautifully Designed WordPress Blog In The Next 15 Minutes
- 12 Ultra Modern Tools That Every Digital Marketer Should Know
- Top 10 Digital Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2017
8. Keep Your Act Clean
To avoid a Google-levied penalty, make sure that you erase those spammy links associated with your blog.
If you find it difficult, make sure to reach out to the Google team, and they will help you clear those cookies and spam.
Also, keep a track on affiliated associations. Make sure that all association goes beyond just being a source of income. The affiliated website should add value to your blog, or at least provide readers with a genuine connection.
Make sure that you are aware of Google rules and penalties. In case you have linked to something, make sure you cross-check with Google in order to avoid being blacklisted.
Also, inform the sources about the need to remove the links. (Most blogs and websites don’t bother to do this, but remember that you need to be professional. Hence, as a duty on your part, do inform the sources about removing links.)
P.S. Keep an option open for your readers to delete their cookies. Search results vary depending on their cookie presence.
For more on links, check out:
- How To Remove Spam Backlinks Using Google’s Disavow Links Tool
- 12 Best Practices To Generate Backlinks To Your Website
- Link Building Mistakes To Avoid While Building Backlinks
- OpenLinkProfiler: Free Backlink Tool To Check Unlimited Backlinks
- 7 Ways To Get Quality Backlinks
9. Never Ignore Social Media
Yes, I’m going there. And yes, you can never ignore it.
Before we move deep into this subject, let me tell you that social media is a source of income for a lot of bloggers. Whether you are a fashion blogger or a food blogger, a car fanatic or a wise-head, you cannot deny the fact that social media is a game changer (love it or hate it).
Currently, Facebook is a hub for more than 20 million small businesses across the world. And the count is quite similar for other mediums and platforms.
Of course, not everyone can be as efficient as Rand Fishkin or Sam Hurley when it comes to Twitter marketing, but just because one medium does not work for you, that does not mean that others won’t either.
Give each of them a try, understand what works for you, and you will realize that social media can do wonders for you.
For more on social media, check out:
- Top 5 Brilliant Ways To Promote Your Small Business On Social Media
- Social Warfare: The Only Social Media Sharing Plugin You’ll Ever Need
- Best Social Media Desktop Tools For Mac OS
- 9 Social Media Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Brand And Business
- A Guide For CMOs On The Integration Of Social Media With Traditional Marketing
10. Content Is King
I shouldn’t have to say it, but content is king… and data is queen.
Never forget that.
For more on creating good content, check out:
- Make Your Blog More Professional In 15 Minutes
- Content Marketing: 6 Essential Elements You Can’t Ignore
- How To Write TOP Content If You’re Not A Native English Speaker
- How To Make A Content Marketing Strategy That Works
- Five Writing Tips To Connect With Readers At A Deeper Level
Make 2017 A Great Year For Your Website
There are currently many handy blogging tools and plugins that can help you achieve your blogging objectives. And we’ll expect to see more in 2017.
Each year, try to bring a visible change to your blog. That way, you will always find a way to keep your visitors engaged.
If you have any more tips to add to the list, leave a comment and let me know!
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