The other day I was working on this site to make it faster. Because of this, I began to reflect on what I have learned in the last two years while trying to develop and grow this site. My “ahas” directly apply to any effort to create an effective website. Here are my “aha” moments/observations::
Subscribers Are More Important Than Visitors
I get on a lot of email lists. But very rarely do I subscribe to a site or mailing list. I’ve touched on this before, but when someone likes your content enough to subscribe to it, that’s significant. Those subscribers are incredibly valuable. Treat them kindly.
Most sites don’t have content that’s good enough to subscribe to. I still feel content is king. You need to make sure the content on your website is really compelling and/or useful, even if you don’t have a subscribe function.
Time on Site Is the Most Important Metric
Hits is the worst website metric ever. I’ve found that the number of hits your site gets is irrelevant. If your hits go up for the wrong reason, your bounce rate will increase and the average time on your site will drop. A much better metric is average time on site. If people spend an average of four or more minutes on you site, I think that’s good. It means they are engaged with the content. If the average visitor spends five or six seconds on your site, you really need to work on increasing that number. In my opinion, it should be your top priority.
One of my biggest struggles with this site has been speed. Today, speed matters. Recently, Google updated their algorithm to take into account the speed of your site. So, if you have a slow site, your google ranking will be hurt by this.
Your Webhost Can Be Your Worst Enemy
If speed matters, your webhost is going to be a major factor. The problem is that most web hosting business models revolve around overselling. They promise more bandwidth that they can handle. So when a few of their customers actually use a significant amount of bandwidth, the whole system slows down. That’s because
In my opinion, this practice is actually quite criminal. But nobody ever calls out the web hosts on it.
I hope you find these aha moments/observations helpful. What are your website marketing aha moments? Let us know in the comments.