Is your website a “fixer-upper”? As a marketer or business owner you probably visit your site on a regular basis, so you may not notice that it needs some updates or a “fresh coat of paint” so that it continues to attract and retain customers and work as a vital marketing tool for your company.
It may be time for a new website, but your budget won’t allow for it until later in the year. Or you are in the middle of some business changes and the timing for a new website needs to be pushed out for several months. If that’s the case here are some suggestions on how you can keep your website fresh until you are ready to plan for your new site.
Times are changing - is your brand keeping up?
Your logo and the collection of branding elements (colors, fonts, images) all impact your website's user experience. Are you where you need to be?
Your logo is very important to your brand and there is often an emotional attachment to it, especially if you’ve had the same one for many years. For that reason, I’ll tread lightly on the topic, however I ask you to give it some thought. Your logo represents your company and if you want your company to reflect growth and reach a new audience, then your brand should reflect it. It’s not to say that you need a completely new logo, but there are ways to keep elements of your current design and freshen it up.
A picture paints a thousand words. What do your images say?
If the images on your website haven’t changed in the past six months, it’s time to give them a second look. The images on your site should reflect your company, resonate with your target buyers, and convey the products or services you sell or offer.
Replace stock images with original photography. Update the hero images on your home and child pages. Make sure they are condensed to prevent slow load times for your visitors, especially when they visit your site via mobile devices. Consider other forms of images other than photography such as infographics, charts, graphs and customer quotes.
Also make sure the images on our site have all of the proper SEO tags so that you're getting the needed value from Google.
Are your visitors speeding past your content?
It’s time to get creative. One way to keep people coming back to your website is to make sure there is new information and something to learn. Updating content will increase your probability of showing up in search terms. Google is unforgiving to sites with outdated or stale information, so reduce your risk of being penalized so you can be found by potential customers.
Using video is a crucial part of marketing and it should be considered for your website. In a previous blog, we talked about the importance of adding video to your website. All data points to the fact that video is not going away, and it is going to become that much more important. Visitors will speed past your carefully worded content, but they will put on the brakes to watch a video.
Website visitors have short attention spans and data shows they skim your content. It’s important that your headlines catch their attention and let them know what you do. If not you will lose their attention and they will move on.
Update the headline in the hero images on your home page. Review your CTAs and update them to new content pieces or offerings. Add case studies, links to research reports, industry statistics or a recent press releases. Do you have an upcoming webinar or tradeshow? These make great headlines or marquee messages. Just be sure to change them after the event is over. Changes such as these will breathe some new life to your site and keep your visitors coming back.
Assess and optimize old website content
Do you regularly review the content on your site? It might be time to visit the Resources or News section of your site and take a fresh look.
Do you still have press releases from three years ago? If so, it’s probably time to take them down.
Did you announce new customers a few years ago, but the news is still important? Perhaps you can work with the account owner to add any new information about that customer, so you can convert the press release to a customer success story.
Press releases about key executives who have been in their position for more than a couple of years should be updated. Have they spoken at a conference or received an industry award? It’s news and you want people to know about it.
If your marketing strategy includes inbound marketing, look at your gated offers and check to see if they’ve had recent downloads. If they haven’t, then it is time to revive the piece, do a new campaign or replace it with something new.
Are you feeling nostalgic? Ask yourself, is this information relevant to my audience? Does it reflect the company’s current direction? Check your Google analytics to see if the content piece is still getting any traffic. Remove content pieces that aren’t reflective of your company’s current value proposition.
Remember that if you remove a piece of content, you may need to create a redirect to eliminate errors from a broken link.
Up your social media game
While you are in the process of freshening up your site, be sure to look at your social channels as well. Updating company profile (including the About Us) along with images will provide some continuity across all your social media channels and your website. Have you posted on these pages recently? It may also be a good time to review your social media strategy or plan a new one.
If you post YouTube content, make sure to monitor it for comments or turn the comments section off. It’s the easiest place to post video and the most neglected when it comes to monitoring for comments and questions.
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Is it easy for your customers to communicate with you? Have you considered adding a chat feature to your website? People visiting your site are looking for specific information. Can they easily find what they are looking for?
If you can answer questions in real-time, they may prefer this option over filling out a contact form or making a call. If your business is one that receives many inquiries a day, you may need to assign a person to monitor the chat on a regular basis. Make sure the chat is monitored, or your visitors will get frustrated and leave. There are several chat applications available. Here is a link to a site where you can read reviews on the various options.
Cross your “T” s and dot your “I” s with a website audit
A website audit is an important activity the will help to maintain the effectiveness of your website. In a general site audit, you check each page of your site. Click on the links to make sure they work and aren’t linked to pages and information that is outdated and no longer relevant. Check the images and content to make sure typos haven’t made their way into your pages. Review your Google Analytics to see which pages are getting the most traffic and where (and how quickly) your visitors are leaving your site.
Have you’ve noticed a significant drop in traffic? Then it’s worth considering an extensive search engine optimization (SEO) audit. This will provide you with a report showing where you need attention on your website. With an SEO audit, you can see where you need to optimize your website to boost targeted traffic as well as areas where you are on the right track.
At LimeLight Marketing, we are passionate about helping you tell your brand story through creative content, web design, digital strategy and more. If you would like help with a website refresh, site audit or would like to speak to us about a new web project you have planned, we want to hear from you.