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5 powerful (and free!) ways to improve your arts website in the new year

5 powerful and free ways to improve your arts website
This new year has been more of a hold-steady than a shake-it-up kind of transition for me.  If that's where you are, too--still working towards a goal, not ready for a new one--this blog post might be useful to you.  Sometimes it's not in the cards to get an entirely new website, but your old one could use a little facelift, right?  In that spirit, here are five easy and free ways to improve your arts website and kick off the new year right.

1) Update!

Is your best and most current work online?  Do you have great documentation? Testimonials? You don't have to exhaustively add everything, but if you've been working hard the past few months and not sharing your work, now's the time to show what you've been up to. 

2) Tame that menu!

For all the rigid structure us web developers try to impose, websites are organic entities and they grow as they damn well please.  Which means sometimes our menus get a little out of hand. 
Menus teach your visitors what your site is about. Make sure your menu is giving them a conceptual model that is relevant to your business needs. Trim down the excess, and reorder as needed. 

3) Add a mailing list sign-up box!

Get those visitors on your mailing list already! If you're using any of the main mailing list options (Mailchimp, ConstantContact, Aweber), they will provide you with a little code snippet to do this.  If you're manually managing your mailing list, stop right now and get on a mailing list service.  Your free time and your business will thank you. 

4) Write a blog post!

I'm guilty! I've written one blog post in three months. Probably you think I've disappeared because well, I kind of DID disappear.  Don't disappear from your site visitors.  The whole point of a website is to let them know what you or your organization are up to. 

5) Sign up for Google Webmaster Tools already!

If you haven't done this, go sign up for Google Webmaster Tools today. It's free and it tells you so much about what Google thinks about your website.  You can learn all sorts of stuff, like: Content keywords (what Google thinks your website is about), search queries (what people search for when they find you), who is linking to you, and more. Go to google.com/webmasters/tools and follow the instructions. 
That's it.  I promise these five ideas will give your website a little pep in its step, and make you a little happier with your home-on-the-web.  
p.s. Are you on Periscope? I'm @sparklingrobots there. Follow me! I want to follow you! I just did my first broadcast this week--where I talked in greater depth about these topics. It was terrifying and exhilarating!