With more than two billion websites on the internet, finding a way to stand out from the crowd and ensure potential customers visit yours over your competitors’ can be tough.
It’s never been easier to take your business online and build a strong presence, but there’s little point in doing so if your website is outdated or neglected. Consumers are spending more time on their devices than ever before, with ecommerce activity booming, and you only have one shot at making a great first impression.
Fail to do so, and potential customers will be straight back to Google looking for a rival business with a better-looking website.
Below, we’ve rounded up some of the best ways to keep your website fresh and up to date.
1. Add a blog and post content regularly
Perhaps one of the most effective ways of keeping your website fresh is to add new content regularly. It gives users an incentive to return time and time again and offers you material to share on your social media pages, pushing followers back to your site.
Content marketing is now a $412.88 billion industry, with businesses of all shapes and sizes investing in blog posts, videos, and resources to keep visitors on their pages. It’s simple: offer visitors real value, and they’re more likely to stick around, check out your products and services, and share your content with their connections.
They might even bookmark your blog, subscribe to your mailing list, and enquire about your services if they like what you’ve written. Content marketing is about building authority for your business - once visitors see you as a reliable, trustworthy source, they’ll trust your brand and will be more likely to convert into a customer.
2. Integrate your social media channels
The chances are you’re already on social media, so why not integrate your channels onto your website homepage or landing page to show visitors what you’ve been up to? Granted, you will need to maintain your Twitter and Instagram profiles and keep them populated with new material, but it’s an easy way to ensure that your website looks different every time a visitor arrives. There are countless benefits to using social media for small businesses, too.
If you’re not active on social media but still want to harness the power of a Facebook post, you could show off some of your recent reviews or brand mentions. According to Nielsen, 92% of people trust recommendations from a peer, and 70% trust a recommendation from someone they don’t even know. Embedding a complimentary tweet from a satisfied client will persuade new visitors to stick around, and you can refresh mentions as you earn new ones.
3.Update homepage for seasonal events
Whether it’s Easter, Summer, Halloween, or Christmas, there are so many ways that you can give your website a lick of paint for the season. Ecommerce businesses should piggyback off of trends like Black Friday and Cyber Monday to maximize sales, building landing pages and homepage banners to promote limited-time discounts, but businesses in other sectors can still benefit from making seasonal changes to their websites.
Not only does it prove your firm is active and switched-on to the seasons, but it allows you to show off your company’s personality, have some fun with your branding, and promote services in new, exciting ways.
4. Give your web design an annual MOT
When did you last view your website through a critical pair of eyes and make some notes on changes you’d like to implement? Every year, perform an “MOT” where you check over your website and identify areas of improvement. You might spot new things after reviewing your competitors’ content, or your company’s objectives might have changed and you want your website to reflect them accordingly.
Make a list of your top priorities - for example, it might be time for a new logo, colour scheme, or team photograph - and work through them with your web developer. And after several years, you might decide that it makes more sense to overhaul your website with a new look rather than patching up an older, outdated design.
5. Audit web pages, metadata, and product listings
As well as giving your website an annual “MOT”, it’s vital that you audit web pages, product listings and metadata on a regular basis. When you’re busy running a business, it’s easy to neglect the little details, but failing to keep your website up to date with accurate information and product descriptions can be costly.
For example, you may have changed the formulation on your handmade soap products. If you fail to update those details on your site, customers could complain - or worse still, you could run into legal challenges if changes to ingredients could affect your customers’ health.
Likewise, if you’ve moved to a new address, a member of staff leaves the organisation or you streamlined your services, inaccurate information can reflect badly on your business, making it look like you don’t care about the user experience.
Though you don’t need to go through every page with a fine-tooth comb every month, we suggest that you review your content whenever you make a big change to your business.
6. Invest in website maintenance (plugins, security, etc.)
Many business owners fall into the trap of thinking that, as soon as their website launches, they can leave it alone and forget about it. We’ve already proven why that isn’t the case, but we must also stress the importance of WordPress website maintenance.
The truth is that websites need to be cared for and maintained on an ongoing basis, from updating plugins and software to backing up your data and offering tech support when something goes wrong.
Failing to keep your website properly maintained could result in cyberattacks or broken contact pages or checkout pages, resulting in lost revenue and potential GDPR breaches.
Server monitoring is also important; if your website is inaccessible to a potential customer, the chances are that they’ll assume your business no longer exists, and look elsewhere.
7.Repurpose content on your website
Finally, repurposing older content is a great way to keep your website fresh. If you’ve been blogging for a while or you’ve created free resources like eBooks and white papers, consider reviewing these on an annual basis and refreshing them with the most up to date statistics and findings.
Use analytics to determine your most popular blog posts, landing pages, and product pages, and consider repurposing some of your content to “pad out” those pages and further increase their value and relevance to your users. The better your content is, the more likely users are to stick around, reducing your bounce rates and increasing your conversions.
At TyMedia, we offer a range of services to help SMEs keep their websites looking and performing at their very best. From maintenance and development to landing page creation and graphic design, we’ve got you covered. Click here to arrange a free consultation today.