inspire your blogDon't you love when you visit a website and you feel inspired!? You don't have to be a web developer, graphic designer or social media master to inspire your visitors too!

15 Tips to Freshen up your Website:

1. Get Social!
If you don't have links to your social networks… time to add them. There are many plug-ins for wordpress and other platforms that can be easily integrated. Not only will they liven up your website with some color…most important they will enable your visitors to connect with you via other platforms you are using.

2. Get Blogging! If you don't already have a blog, add one! If you already have one, use it! Google and other search engines love fresh content. If you are a small business or entrepreneur and have an html site, you should consider using WordPress. It is easy to setup and customize. Many agencies can help you setup and install a basic blog for less than $1000.

3. Freshen up Your Color Palette. If you already have a branded color palette, are you using it? If not, get out the pantone colors you originally selected and start using them. You can select photos, treat fonts of headings, special interest text etc. A little bit of color goes a long way in improving user experience and click thru ratios. Use color to guide your viewers to the most important content.

4. Freshen up Content! If you haven't updated your content since you built your site a year ago… or even in the last 3 months.. it's time! Take a walk thru your own website pretending to be a member of each of your target audiences. Or ask a friend to do the same thing. Count the number of click-thrus it takes a user to get to the recommended content. Chances are you have content that could be removed, thus improving user experience. If your go to market strategy or product portfolio has evolved be sure to update content.

5. Add some photos! If you don't already have a Flickr account… get one! If you don't have pics of your team, your customers or your partners…take some! Link the Flickr account using your social media widgets I mentioned in #1. Photos are great to highlight your customers and give them some free visibility as well as help prospects and customers get to know your better.

6. Become a Video Star! You don't have to be famous or an American Idol winner to really leverage video to maximize your site search engine optimization and inspire your visitors! If you don't have a video camera, pick up a flip for less than $200! The key with social and viral videos is don't over plan them. Keep them raw, real and fun! Also link these from your site!  If you don't already have one, setup a You Tube channel.  Add all of your videos on You tube!  Setup playlists and also subscribe to videos you like from other sources.  I like to favorite them so my viewers can view them when they visit my You Tube channel.

7. Add a Survey! Get your visitors interacting and learn about them at the same time! Create a survey about a topic of interest to help people learn. I like to use Poll Daddy as it integrates well with WordPress. There are many others out there. Many email service providers also offer survey features.

8. Add Some New Buttons or Graphics. Download some new buttons, icons or graphics. I like ThemeForrest for graphics and icons.

9. Check for Consistency! This is a simple step you can take to improve the readibility and increase return visits to your website. If a site is inconsistent it is more difficult to read and often frustrates most viewers. Check for consistency with fonts, font treatments, colors, paragraph spacing, use of graphics, placement of similar graphics.

10. Optimize for Conversion. If you don't already objectives for your website, create them! Ensure your top objectives are being met. A top objective for most website owners is to build a subsciber list. Ensure your opt-in list is easy to see, works like a charm and doesn't take the user too much time or clicks. Whatever your top objectives are, they shouldn't be less than 1 click away! Top objectives should be viewable from home page if possible.

11. Get Real! Assess your tone of content. Do you sound too corporate? Just because your site is for business, doesn't mean it can't be inspiring. Again, focus on core objectives and ensure the tone of your entire website is reflecting the desired tone. I have seen many small businesses lately have sites that are far too formal for their audience. You can still be serious and talk to your customers like people versus robots. Use similar language as to what you would if you were talking face to face.

12. Add Audio. Record a short audio recording. It can be as simple as a weekly update or a generic opening to your company. In addition to adding to  your website or blog but also post it to your other social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

13. Update your Website Theme. If you are on WordPress for example it's fairly easy to update your theme. Do a search on Google for themes. There are many great free and premium themes. Some of my favorite theme sites are Themeforest, Woo Themes, Thesis, iThemes in addition to several others. If you lack the skills to do such or don't feel comfortable taking on such a project, leverage the skills of an agency or consultant. Contact me offline if you need help.

14. Invite Guest Bloggers. Leverage your network of colleagues and business partners. Ask them if they can create a guest blog post on your website. This will add credibility to what you do while also assist in building good relationships with strategic partners.

15. Add Some Humor! Add some funny video, audio or even photos. Write a funny blog post, video tape a funny employee or customer. Why not get out your flip camera and create funny video series that makes people laugh a lot and educates them on your brand a bit.

Remember, the best way to build a brand and a loyal following is to INSPIRE and CONNECT with your target audiences. Don't just focus on the objective of ACHIEVING a sale.

Focus on how you make your customers feel with every touch including the visit to your website. Maximize each and every opportunity as if it were your first and last!