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Things to think about…when updating your website
Standing out and being seen online has never been more important. So what can you do to ensure your most powerful brand awareness and lead generation asset gets noticed?
Here we share our template to help you give your site that competitive edge…
- Determine what you actually need to do
- Don’t lose site of the customer journey
- It needs to look good
- It has to function right
- Consider other tools that can support your efforts
- You need a content plan
- Don’t forget your SEO
- Schedule regular updates
- Think long term
Determine what you actually need to do
Companies update their websites for many reasons:
- General maintenance, such as applying security patches and fixing broken links
- Updating the blog with fresh content
- Tweaks to help boost organic SEO
- Trialling something new using A/B testing
- Complete revamp
When you know the scope of the update, you can allocate the appropriate time and resource to getting the project completed in a timely fashion.
And if you’re looking at a complete revamp, use the opportunity to evaluate whether you’re on the right platform to meet your needs, and employ the assistance of an agency to ensure your new site launch has the best possible chance of success.
Don’t lose site of the customer journey
Websites exist for a purpose, and it’s easy to get carried away adding new content and tweaking little bits here and there. But before you know it, you’ve created a mess that damages rather than supports your promotional activities.
75% of consumers admit that they judge an organisation’s credibility based on how their website looks, feels and fits with the customer journey. So always start by considering what the customer wants to take from your site, and make sure accessing that information is as simple as possible.
It needs to look good
It takes 0.05 seconds for someone to form an opinion about your website, which determines whether they stay or click away.
Start with the obvious design things, like the overall look and feel, colours and page layout (including words, pictures, headings, white space…).
Check your navigation. Have you tried to be clever because you want to be seen as different? Or have you named your pages as your audience would expect? Remember, it’s all about the user experience, so keep it simple – don’t make them think.
Make the call-to-action (CTA) clear on every page. Simple CTAs will draw the user through your site one step at a time. Think baby steps – ‘click to read the case study in full’ is a lot less scary than ‘click to book a demo’.
There’s no excuse for not making your site accessible to all.
And also responsive; more people access the Internet on a mobile device than they do on a desktop computer, so make sure you’re catering for your entire audience.
It has to function properly
Depending on what your business offers will determine the exact functionality you need on your site.
Think…can the user do everything they want/need to do online? For example, sign up for a demo, make a purchase, or speak to someone on livechat? Or is forcing them to pick up the phone to talk to someone going to make them click elsewhere?
And then test whether the functionality works as it should. There are lots of ‘trendy’ sites online today that look exciting and engaging, but if you can’t scroll through the pages, it’s a bit pointless because people will click away.
Once the usability testing is complete, consider how you are going to feed this into an improvement plan.
Consider other tools that can support your efforts
Google offers a whole suite of free products to assist you with keyword planning, analytics and boosting your online presence.
And then there are numerous third-party plug-ins available to you, for example, Yoast assists with SEO.
Make a list of all the things you’re not confident about, and the things that are critical to converting people and ensuring your site’s success. Then search for the right tools to fulfil those requirements.
You need a content plan
Content is what’s going to get you noticed online. It’s what’s going to draw people into your site, keep them there, and convert them. To be effective, your content needs to be high quality, which means it needs to be interesting, useful and engaging for your audience.
Content is a vast subject, so think about what you need:
- How will you present information on your web pages? Words, pictures, videos…
- What tactical pieces will you produce to boost your natural SEO?
- And what overtly promotional content will you create to give your PPC campaigns the best chance of success?
- How can you best engage the audience by demonstrating you understand them and the market in which they operate?
Don’t forget your SEO
You may have produced the most wonderful website in the world, but if your SEO isn’t on-point, it’s not going to be found. The sad truth is that 30% of people click on the first search result…and less than 1% make it to page 2 of Google.
Just because you create it, doesn’t mean that anyone’s looking. There’s a science to getting your site found online, involving keywords, site structure, metadata and URLs. If in doubt, call in a specialist.
Schedule regular updates
Your website shouldn’t be a one-off activity. It’s a powerful marketing tool that requires a lot of investment, in terms of your time, effort, and money. Give it the love it deserves, allocating regular time to take care of the general maintenance, adding content and testing new ideas to improve its performance.
Think long term
Your website should evolve with the business strategy. Marry the strategy with your website development plan. Perhaps you’re not ready for ecommerce today, but what can you do to plan for its arrival on your site over the next few weeks/months/year?
Getting started with Process Bliss – free template
Click on the link below to sign up for your 14-day trial, and we’ll populate your account with this template for free.