When it comes to your website, you probably spent a lot of time designing it and making sure it accurately promoted your business. But after time has passed, what worked when you started might not work as well today. Remember your website is usually the first stop potential customers make to learn about your business and what you have to offer.
First impressions are everything. 75% of consumers admit that they judge a business’s credibility based on their website design. This is why your site must be up-to-date both in looks and content.
A complete website redesign is costly both in money and time, so a scaled-down approach is a website refresh. Think of a refresh like sprucing up your house. You keep the foundation; but change things like paint color and flooring. For a website, this can include adjusting the fonts, updating your content and imagery — without modifying the site’s overall structure.
A refresh is a more economical approach than a website redesign and can still give your site the boost it needs to stay current and impactful. Here are five ways to refresh your website:
1. Improve the Quality of Your Content
Did you know that it only takes about 50 milliseconds for users to make up their minds about your website? That’s not very long to get your message across. An easy way to refresh your website is to make sure your content is concise and as engaging as possible.
Review the quality of your content by asking the following questions:
- Is it informative, interesting, helpful and well written?
- Does it accurately sell your products or services?
- Are you telling your visitors everything they need to know?
Don’t forget to revisit your old blog posts, white papers and other thought leadership content. Does any of it need to be updated with new facts and angles? Remove anything that feels dated or repetitive and replace it with new updated information. If pages are no longer relevant, delete them.
If you are not using testimonials, then start. Testimonials from former and current clients are an excellent sales tool. Who better advertise for you than your existing customers? Ask your clients for a quote you can use to brag about your services or products.
2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
When refreshing your website, look at your SEO. The Google algorithm is constantly changing, and you need to make sure you are following best practices. This will help your site continue to climb in the rankings.
Some easy SEO updates include:
- Optimize titles, URL and descriptions
- Improve website loading time
- Make your website mobile-friendly
- Check for broken or old links
- Linking to reputable sources
- Seek out new backlinks and remove undesirable ones
3. Update Navigation
When refreshing your website, make sure you look at your navigation from a first-time visitor’s perspective. Is your main navigation intuitive? Can visitors quickly find the information they are looking for?
The best way to figure out an optimal navigation structure is to use a heat mapping tool like HotJar. These types of tools record how users not only interact with your website, but how they navigate it. Once you see how your users behave, you can update your navigation structure and provide them a better experience.
4. Analyze Your Call to Action Buttons
A call to action (CTA) is a prompt on a website that tells the user to take some specified action.
Check to make sure that you have various relevant, intriguing and action-inspiring CTAs throughout your site. Some examples of CTAs include “Buy Now,” “Join Now,” “Download Now,” and social sharing buttons such as “Like us on Facebook” and “Follow us on LinkedIn.”
More importantly: make sure your CTAs are well designed and placed where visitors can easily see them. Without a clear and well-placed call to action, your visitors may not take any action. Remember that CTAs are most effective when they look like buttons.
5. Re-Examine Your Design
When a user lands on your site, are they excited by what they see or does the site feel dated?
One of the easiest ways to refresh your site is to update elements like layouts, images, fonts and colors. Before deciding which elements to tweak, review your website and determine what sections have aged gracefully and which sections need improvement to help keep your website looking crisp.
There are several design elements that you can update up to get a positive first impression from your visitors:
Change out images and update with new. Make sure images align with your brand and are visually appealing.
Selecting clean and simple fonts can significantly impact the design of your site and make it look sleeker and more modern. To save money, consider Google Fonts. They have 100s of fonts to choose from and all are free to use.
Minor changes to your page layouts can have a considerable effect on your website’s usability. Significant layout changes may not possible in a refresh since they would require code updates, but simple things like white space and font sizing can be. Make sure that your content is easily readable and, make sure to have a clear font hierarchy with elements like headings, subheadings and paragraphs.
A website refresh can go a long way in improving your website presence. A good practice is to review your site once a year. Updating your website’s looks, usability and content makes your site modern, friendly and reflects your business’ goals.