Why refresh your website for the new year?
Great cause for excitement this week; clients have been asking us for help to refresh their websites at the start of the new year. What I find so exciting about that is that I didn’t have to remind them!
These smart business owners are focused on making sure all their marketing channels are set up to represent their business accurately and enticingly.
Website updates I recommend – my top 7 tips
- The date in your copyright footer. Some WordPress themes automatically update to the current year; others need to be done manually.
- Broken links. Nothing says “poor, little neglected website” like links that go nowhere or to a 404 error page.
- Check and adjust prices. You may want to review your overall pricing structure. Or simply check that your online listed prices are the same as shown in your offline premises – restaurant, beauty salon etc. Perhaps you have discontinued some products or added new ones? If you are maintaining your current prices, let your clients know – no price rise is always good news!
- Mobile responsiveness. Search figures from July 2014 (6 months ago) reveal that 60% of searches for products, services and information are now made from mobile devices – phones and tablets. How easy is your website to navigate and read on a mobile device? More about what responsive websites are. What’s more, mobile friendly websites are favoured by Google.
- Slow page load time. Page speed is now a factor that Google considers in its ranking process. Two main causes for pages to load slowly include bloated, excessive code and using images that you have not compressed for the web. You can check the speed of individual pages here
- Integrate a blog with categories for various topics into your main website. This helps Google see the richness and relevance of your site and also helps your visitors to find all your useful information in the one place. If you have a blog (paid or free) somewhere else on the web, this is a good time to get ALL your traffic going to your main website. Just copy any relevant posts from your old blog and add them to the blog function on your main website. Remember to delete your articles from their original source so you are not penalised by Google for duplicate copy. You may also want to add a note at the top of your old blog that redirects any regular readers to your new blog.
- Strengthen your calls to action. I encourage you (and myself) to have a call to action on every page and post. Your call to action may simply be to download a free resource that will help your website visitors. It may a suggestion to pick up the phone (or click to call) to make an appointment, to register for an online webinar or a live training event, or it may be a direct request to purchase an item right now. Remember to mix it up a bit. You don’t want to be selling all the time – unless your website is a full on eCommerce site.
Put on your gloves and roll up your sleeves – how to get the job done
So, you have your update plan in hand (or on screen, depending on your preference). Now, to make your website update actually happen! Depending on your resources (time, budget, energy, staffing levels) here are some options:
- Do it yourself – probably not the best use of your time, unless you really need to have an understanding of how your website works.
- Pay the web developer who built your website – a good option if you are happy with their work and they have a fair and reasonably priced maintenance plan
- Delegate to someone on your team
- Procrastinate (not the way to get the job done unless you’re waiting for the start of NEXT year!)
- Outsource to a reliable website update specialist.
Let me know how you go 🙂