Life can change in the blink of an eye. The same holds true for the world of online commerce and web advertisement. Each and every year trends change and people begin favoring different visual styles. Surprisingly, they can be subtle enough to go overlooked but also strong enough to subconsciously impact whether or not someone takes action or leaves you behind forever.
In order to keep up with the trends, make sure that you are continually upgrading your website. Doing so will not only attract visitors, it will also increase your results in search engines. Higher user experience matters in the world of search engine optimization. This is important because if you’re not easily found, your online presence will never be substantial enough to be profitable. In order to strengthen your website, work on building up your search engine optimization. Make sure that you narrow down your audience and make a plan for your content based off of your target audience. Successful SEO is the difference between getting found and being lost in the crowd, which is why your website is so important.
1. Update and Optimize Your Content
The easiest way to begin improving your website is by making sure that all of the content you currently have is updated and optimized. By taking the time to seed through these details, you work on increasing your visibility in search results through search engine optimization.
If your website currently lacks a blog, start with that. Adding a blog, and regularly updating it, is one of the best ways that you can gain more traffic and increase your conversion rates. Regardless of what your company does or sells, having a blog gives visitors a way to relate to you and gain free knowledge. People enjoy reading about things that are relevant to the companies they search for and gain a sense of trust when things are personal, honest and real. Plus, blogs are the perfect way for you to increase your search engine optimization through targeting specific keywords.
Don’t overlook your social media profiles either. Update the content regularly, share relevant posts or articles and always make sure to link back to your website. If you don’t already have share and follow buttons, make sure you add them. They are great ways for your visitors to easily like, share and comment on your pages. You can even use helpful apps to schedule regular posts across all social media platforms.
Finally, in terms of content, make sure that everything is kept relevant and up to date during routine website maintenance. This includes anything from main pages, testimonials and even your FAQ page.
2. Be Mobile Friendly
Second to content, you need to make sure that your website is 100% mobile friendly. If it’s not, take our advice and upgrade it now. When people visit a website on their phones, which almost all Internet browsers do, and it does not load well they are going to exit your site and head to your competition. It’s just the way it is. People want fast, responsive websites that can be accessed while they are waiting for their bus or in between meetings.
Make it easy for people to want to visit your site and make sure that it’s optimized for mobile use. If you don’t know where to start with this, take a look at some of your competitor’s sites. It’s also good to know that search engines have started penalizing rankings if your site isn’t mobile friendly. Keeping your site responsive will bring in much more traffic than you’d think.
3. Create Strong Calls to Action
One of the biggest flaws in websites today is a lack of direction. Your site may look great and function flawlessly, but if there is no clear call to action then you’re missing the point. Ensure that your visitors know what to do and include a call-to-action button or very clear, and very visible, statement. You can include a few of them depending on what your goals are, but make sure that they are benefiting your visitors. Give them free education or materials rather than simply telling them to contact you for a free consultation.
The more click-worthy your calls to actions are, the more people that will actually take them. Whichever way you decide to go, try bringing them above your competition. Visit other sites, compare their offers and take yours to the next level.
4. Utilize WordPress
WordPress is quickly dominating the market of web building and for good reason. Websites that run on WordPress are easy to use and even easier to upgrade. You can customize almost everything, access a large pool of other developers and support staff and install plug-ins to help you with everything from SEO to analytics. One of our easiest, and best, tips to upgrade your website includes switching to WordPress.
5. Re-Design Your Site
Web design trends change each year along with the changing tastes and styles of your target audience. Some years it’s all about GIFs and others white space takes control. Because of this, try and update the design of your site on a regular basis. You don’t need to do a massive re-design each year, but make some small changes as you see the market changing. For instance, this year minimalism has made a comeback. Try and add more white space and shorter paragraphs. Utilize bullet points with interesting, and relevant, images or videos. Show your personality through expressive typography and try immersive scroll-loading home pages.
If your website is completely outdated, consider doing a complete re-design. If you go this route, try to create a lasting brand image that can easily be manipulated with web design trends in the future. Luckily if you’re using WordPress, changing your website’s basic design is easy.
6. Clear Navigational Direction
If you’ve ever visited a site and been instantly frustrated because you can’t seem to figure out how to get to where you need to go, blame the navigation. It is often overlooked, but is essential in mapping out the heart of your site. Upgrade your website easily by giving your navbar a makeover. Streamline your content and make sure there’s a clear hierarchy. Additionally, always ensure that your design is responsive so that it remains consistent across devices and browsers.
7. Remember our Contact Information
This may seem like common sense, but there are some websites that don’t clearly have their contact information available. In fact, there are even a few sites that don’t even include anything other than an anonymous “contact me” inquiry where you enter your information and send it through the site. It is frustrating and gives people the equivalent of attempting to call someone and getting an automated robot as a response. Sometimes, all people want is to pick up the phone or send an email to an actual person. Make things easier for these types of people and include your contact information and business address. Not only does this encourage people to reach out, but it also helps with local search engine optimization.
8. Never Stop Testing
At the end of each day, things can change. It doesn’t take long and if you are trying to be a leading authority in your industry, you should make sure you keep up with the changes. The last thing you need to continually do whenever you upgrade your website, and even in between, is to test it. Visit your site every now and then and read what you’ve written, interact with your navigation and see how it all feels.
One thing to pay close attention to is page speed when testing your site. If your website takes forever to load, it’s a problem. Chances are that people will leave before your relevant content loads and you’ll loose the opportunity that they bring. If you can’t seem to figure out why things are loading so slowly, check our hosting sites or run diagnostics.
If there are any unknown 404’s, broken links or poorly worded copy, fix them immediately! There is nothing more frustrating for visitors then going to a website filled with dead ends. If things look like outdated, or if you get a bit tongue twisted trying to read something, then don’t be afraid to rewrite it, even if you just redesigned your entire site. Put the work into continually evolving with your readers and experiences. If you can’t seem to be objective enough, then see if other people can. If you don’t think your friends will be honest enough, you can even have strangers critique you through UserTesting.com. The best part about this site is that you can watch their actions through screen sharing to see exactly how visitors interact with each page.
If you take our 8 best tips to upgrade your website and continually apply them, then expect to be ahead, and stay ahead, of your competition. The amount of businesses that build a website and leave them as-is for years on end is surprising. However, the successful companies are those who evolve with the needs of their customers and trends in the market. Take some time every now and then to keep your website and content fresh. It doesn’t have to be time consuming but it will lead to better SEO results, more traffic and lots of conversions. If you need help with upgrading your website, we’re here to help.