It’s a great feeling when a website launches and we can all appreciate the result – but the work doesn’t end there. Successful websites are constantly re-evaluated, tweaked, and improved. Part of my job as a web designer is helping clients choose the perfect design solutions to create websites that will support all of their strategic needs and goals. As companies and goals change, it’s important to make constant improvements so that your website can keep up.
If that sounds like a lot to manage, don’t worry! There are simple tips you can use to maintain a successful website that will continually reach and conquer your marketing goals.
Does it reflect your brand’s story?
A website should reflect the company it represents – not just in its content, but also in its look and feel. A website that hasn’t been reviewed or updated in the past year is overdue for some love.
Consider adding custom photography to your site. Stock photography doesn’t hold the same authentic feel as custom images, and stock-like or out-of-date photos can make your content look dated – or worse, irrelevant.
A consistent and professional look and feel to your site will build credibility and authenticity. Photos that don’t look genuine, a design that looks dated (or worse: is broken) will damage your reputation – and potential customers will go elsewhere. If your site isn’t shown love and care, then your visitors will make the same assumptions about your offerings.
Does it support your business goals?
Your site should be clear, easy to navigate, and make it easy to understand your product or service. Like any other marketing activity, your website should also have a clear goal. That goal can range from building brand awareness or generating more sales and leads (or more qualified leads) to attracting talent, email signups – all of these are measurable barometers for your website’s success.
As your marketing objectives and goals change, so will the goals of your site. It is important to reevaluate your site’s success, and realign it with your strategies to make sure it’s working as hard as it can to support all areas of your business.
What does data say about your website?
Google Analytics and other user data can give you insights into how your site is performing, and where it needs improvement. Insights such as your bounce rate, time on site, pages per visit, and user flow behavior are easily obtained, and using this data to optimize and refine will give your site a huge boost.
There are endless ways to tweak the UX of your website, such as adding clear calls to action or internal linking to guide a user along their way.
How can you make it stronger?
1. Update your site to be: More findable
Add new content to your website at least once a month. This will give you huge SEO benefits – as well as keep visitors coming back to your site.
Don’t rely solely on your News (or Blog) section to be the home for new content on your site. Aside from a blog there are many ways new content can be added. Case studies, new team member bios, events, FAQs, interviews, transcripts of podcasts/videos, repurposed and user-generated content are all great ways to add fresh content to your site.
Case studies establish credibility behind what you say that you do. They don’t just showcase your services; they offer a transparent look at your process and outcomes, which is a great insight for potential leads researching your company.
2. Update your site to be: More relevant to your audience
If you thought updating your site was all about adding content, colors, images and features – think again! Removing content from your website can reap huge rewards.
Content on your site should be:
- Targeted and relevant to your audience
- Helping achieve the goals for your business
If it isn’t serving all of these, then it is time to reevaluate. Give the content an update, pare it down – or just get rid of it!
If it’s there for the only reason that you think it’s ‘cool’, or ‘it’s always been there’, it should go. You don’t want to cut the color and personality of your site – but you do need to cut the excess that isn’t serving a strategic purpose.
3. Update your site for: More conversions
Google’s current algorithm rewards sites with higher conversions. It’s a double win! Higher search rankings, more visitors and more conversions. Good UX and higher conversions will help your Google ranking!
Google knows people are coming to your website for something, be it information, an answer, a product or service. If those visitors are regularly taking actions on your site like contacting you via your contact form, making purchases, downloading content, or finding the information they want, these actions tell Google that your site is useful! As a result it will be ranked higher. If a user is returning to conduct the same search again, Google knows your site didn’t deliver.
4. Update your site to be: Speedier
If your site is slow or sluggish, you are losing visitors (and hence potential business opportunities). Your site should be optimised for performance on a regular basis – excess code, images, and animations can all slow down your site speed.
Delays as small as half a second lead to a 7% decrease in conversion and engagement – and the increase is exponential. Performance rock bottom is just 8 seconds for most sites, meaning performance is so bad it isn’t worth measuring. Eight seconds is not much time considering users on slower connections like cellular and even dial-up (yes, that is still a thing). There are also new tools and technology to improve how fast your site loads being released regularly.
Hopefully, these tips for maintaining a stronger website have helped you feel confident and ready to give your website the ongoing love and attention it deserves. It will take time and effort, but it will be worth it when your website continues to drive those marketing goals. Ready to improve your site? Contact us.
By Damian Jolley, Designer