Your website is the center of your online business. It’s where visitors come to learn more about your company and its services. When providing such high value to your consumers, you should regularly update your website. The digital world moves quickly — you’ll want to keep up by tweaking your site as you go. Here are 10 of the best ways you can stay ahead of the curve:
1. Checks and Inspections
The first step you should take is to look over your entire website. While it may sound tedious to do so, it will help you in the long run. By inspecting your site, you’ll see what is and isn’t up to date. Then, you’ll have a better idea of what requires a refresh. You’ll want to look for:
- Outdated information and content
- Broken links
- Formatting and design errors
- Coding issues
- Missing or low-quality images
- Plugin updates
As you comb through your site, keep these factors in mind. Any issue can turn people away, but keeping your website running smoothly in every aspect will keep people on your site for longer.
Security and privacy are two critical factors when it comes to a website. Users want to know your site is safe — as does Google. Chrome will alert users when the website they click on isn’t secure, which will turn people away.
For the best protection, you can get an SSL certificate and switch to HTTPS. That way, users know your site is secure and trustworthy.
Additionally, a web application firewall (WAF) can provide security and protection on your end. This firewall prevents hackers and other cybercriminals from infiltrating your site. You can also choose who has access to your website.
3. Accessibility and Design
Your website must be accessible and easy to use on all levels. The design should be simple so users can navigate your site without interference. However, you’ll also want to think about accessibility in terms of disability.
For instance, if you have video content, you can include captions so those with hearing impairments can have the same access. Overall, including accessibility for disabilities will expand your reach while considering others’ needs.
Anyone, regardless of ability, will click away if your site isn’t accessible with a user-friendly interface. If you keep everything simple and easy to use, you’ll see the results.
4. Mobile Friendliness
Mobile internet usage is a growing trend. Many people access their favorite sites, apps, and social media platforms right from their phones. By 2025, about 72% of the world will use only their phones to access the internet. Due to this high usage, your website needs to have a mobile-friendly version.
Sometimes, the desktop version of a site doesn’t translate well when it converts to mobile. This conversion can throw off the formatting, which deters people from engaging. You’ll want to make sure your mobile site is just as easy to use as your standard version. People can then make purchases and engage while on the go.
5. News Section
The world changes rapidly. Trends fluctuate, and products go in and out of demand. Your business will change, too — you’ll have different products, services and deals throughout the year. To keep your customers and visitors in the know, you can add a news or updates section to your site.
Consumers like to know what’s going on with the companies they shop from. In your news section, you can provide business updates about progress, new and noteworthy deals and products, commitments to social movements, and future plans. This section builds a connection between you and your customers, fostering better engagement along the way.
6. Google Analytics
If you’d like to grow your company, Google Analytics is a beneficial place to start. This resource will track your website’s traffic and provide you with actionable data in many different forms. For instance, you can see your most popular and engaging pages, conversion and bounce rates, and site visitor locations.
You can take this information, which often comes in the form of charts and graphs, and use it to update your site. Which pages need work? What is helping your most engaging pages do well? Consider the factors that make up each statistic and then apply them to your site.
Keywords are the search terms that pull up your site and webpages after someone conducts a search. Users enter a few relevant words into a search engine, and your website pops up somewhere in the results list. Keywords are critical because, without them, people wouldn’t be able to find your platform.
To update these, you can research the best keywords for your site, products, or services. Also, consider what terms you would search when looking for the kind of content you offer. If you sell clothes, for instance, you can get specific with something like “women’s denim jacket.” You can then organize these search terms into more specific labels and categories to include more keywords.
You can advertise in many different ways — a necessary step for growing your business, no matter the size. Google Ads are a great place to begin if you’re already using Google Analytics. You can also turn to social media, like Facebook and LinkedIn, to post ads.
Beyond these platforms, you can use a more personal approach for your customers. If you haven’t already, you can start a newsletter sign-up list. Advertising through email becomes easier when you send correspondence to people who are already loyal to your company.
Whichever method you choose, digital advertising is an excellent opportunity that can bring in returning and new traffic.
9. A/B Testing
Updating your website is a matter of trial and error sometimes. You can try something new, but the direction it takes depends on how the audience receives it. A/B testing lets you optimize your new strategies so you can see how to integrate these website features successfully.
For example, say you’re testing out a new advertising style that involves video marketing. You create one short and one long video, both with essentially the same content. A/B testing enables you to test both videos with your audience and compare the results. You can see which one gets more views and engagement.
10. New Layout
Sometimes, you just need to start from scratch. Since the online world changes constantly, you’ll want to keep up. If you haven’t updated your website in several years, it may be time to do so. Taking this route requires a commitment, but it can completely revitalize your online presence.
You can focus on things like visual appeal, new coding, website speed and marketing. When you start over, take elements from your old site that worked well and keep them. You may even find solutions you didn’t know you needed, like accessibility features and social media integrations.
Making Changes for the Future
These website updates are critical for the present. They set you apart from your competitors and give your site the winning edge. However, they also prepare you for the future. Each new year will bring transformations. When you stay ahead in the present, you’ll be ready to excel in the future.