With a New Year comes a new look. This should also apply to your website. A website refresh doesn’t necessarily mean a complete overhaul, however. It can be as simple as updating the call to action (CTA) buttons on your site, updating the header image on your homepage, and adding new content. Here are five ways to freshen the look and feel of your website for 2020:
Content creation takes time, but unfortunately, you can’t just do it once and then cross your fingers and hope it’s good forever. Updating your content is a vital piece of your website refresh. Because information and SEO practices are constantly changing, your content has to constantly evolve. At the beginning of each year, you should scour your site for outdated or irrelevant information and replace it with well-written updated content that is search engine friendly.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is also evolving all the time. Your keyword strategy from 2016 might not be as effective in 2020. For your website refresh, create a new list of potential keywords—primary, secondary, and long-tail—for use in the New Year.
Do your research. What is your target audience searching for? How can you use Google search queries to freshen site content? Use a tool like Google Keyword Planner to determine the best words for use in your new page titles, image alt tags, and CTAs.
You’ll also want to review the short and long-tail keywords that are performing really well for your website. If they’re doing their job helping your site rank, and are still relevant to your products and services, keep using them.
Part of your website refresh should be offering new gated assets such as whitepapers, e-books, or product catalogs. Your call-to-action triggers should align with your newly-generated content and be a part of an overall content creation strategy.
Placement of call-to-action triggers on your website is just as crucial as the content. Make sure they are eye-catching and positioned so that site visitors can easily find them.
Things like banners, rotating slides, and your website header image contribute to the overall look and feel of your website. Design elements that were hot at this time last year may not be so hot this year. Outdated graphics tend to give the impression of an outdated website. Invest time in updating graphics, so the first impression your website makes is a positive one. Also review product images and videos. If you have a long product list, it’s easy to forget to update images and product features change all the time. Scroll through your product pages and make a note of necessary product or stock images that need to be updated. This is also a good time to consider enhancements, such as additional videos, that can capture attention. Keep them short—less than 90 seconds—to take site visitors’ busy schedules into account.
This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s dreadfully easy to forget to update that little copyright date within the footer of your website. It’s an easy one to check off your list. Do it first thing and then you won’t have to worry about it for the rest of the year.
One thing that you want to watch out for is the navigation. Customers aren’t very happy when they have to search through endless menus and internal links to find what they’re looking for. You may be familiar enough with your site already to easily navigate it, but what about new visitors? Your website should be easy enough for customers to find their way around, even if they aren’t very experienced with technology.
Get a fresh set of eyes on your website to test the site flow and make sure everything is easy to find. Make sure you do this for both desktop and mobile, since the navigation can vary depending on the device used to access your site.
Sometimes, for whatever reason, links can become broken—especially if you’ve been making changes to your site. Before you go live with your updates, make sure you conduct a link audit to ensure all links are in working order. Even if you haven’t changed anything to your website, you’d still want to take this step, since you never know when something can cause a link to stop working.
Do this for both internal and external links, as other websites you link to may take down pages or change URLs. Ideally, you’d do this more than once a year, but since you want to update your website anyway, now is a great time to make sure your links aren’t bringing up a 404 (Page Not Found).
If it’s been a while since you’ve updated your website, you may have outdated information on your about page, staff page, and footer. Addresses, contact information, and staff members can change over time. Even if it’s just updating the number of years you’ve been in business, it’s worth taking time to check and make sure everything is up-to-date and accurate.
Also take the time to look at your company’s mission statement, strategies, and goals. As you grow and evolve, you may want to convey a different message about your brand than you had when you first began. Make sure your brand messaging aligns with who you are and what you do now.
You’ve probably done a lot of new things since you’ve last updated your website. Showcase these by adding to your portfolio, or creating an online one if you haven’t already. If you’ve started working with new clients since your last website refresh, you may want to consider adding a testimonials section to highlight the good things your clients have to say about you. Also be sure to add any awards you’ve won or certifications you’ve achieved. Highlighting your credentials can go a long way.
Follow these nine tips and your website will look ready for 2020. If you’d like more guidance or assistance with your website refresh, click here to contact us. We’ll be happy to help you plan and prioritize a website refresh strategy.