5 Ways to Refresh Your Website in Under an Hour

Updating your website can seem daunting, but it's an important — and necessary — task for any solopreneur. Just like you wouldn't leave the same window display in a retail store for years, you can't take a set-it-and-forget-it approach to your website. In fact, 75% of consumers admit to judging a company's credibility based on its web design. Clearly, the stakes are high.

Luckily, refreshing your website doesn't have to be a fulltime job. Simple, incremental changes can mean the difference between a site that's outdated and one that's not. Below are five updates you can (and should!) make to your existing website in less than an hour each. Commit to spending an hour each day on the updates, and you'll have an improved website by the end of the week.

Make Sure Your Site Is Mobile-Optimized

Nearly 60% of U.S. web traffic now originates from smartphones and tablets, so there's no excuse for a website that isn't mobile-optimized. Even if you're a B2B company and expect most of your traffic to originate from desktops, you've got to prepare for the possibility that potential customers will use a secondary screen at some point during the path to purchase. In 2018, it's imperative that your site template is mobile optimized. No exceptions!

Screenfly is a free, quick tool you can use to see how your website loads on different devices. Pay attention to load time — 40% of customers will abandon a website if it takes 3 seconds or more to load. You can improve your load time by optimizing image and video sizes, and minimizing the clutter on your homepage. For tips specific to your website, Google the name of your website host and the words “optimize site for mobile." You'll be able to make critical updates to your website in under an hour.

Ensure All Your Hyperlinks Are Working

Thanks to the magic of search engines, customers can land on any page of your website as an entry point. But your services are always evolving, and old content gets deleted — it can be easy to forget about a link on an old blog post that goes to a page or offer that's no longer available. You want to make sure visitors don't get a bad impression by clicking on a dead or outdated link.

Use an automated link checker to quickly scan your website for broken or outdated links. It's free and only takes a few minutes. Remove or replace any broken hyperlinks to improve your customer experience and your SEO score.

Update Your "About" Page

The About page is crucial to your business, because it tells your unique story. It should also answer Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How for potential and current customers. That's a lot to ask — especially for a business that's growing and changing! Entrepreneurs are always refining the way they tell their story.

Carve out an hour to review your About page and look for opportunities to update its language to better reflect your company. If you're not a strong writer, consider enlisting the services of an SEO wordsmith to get your story just right.

Copy Your New “About" Language to Your Social Sites

Customers often research your company in more than one place before making a purchase decision. For that reason, it's imperative that the information on your website matches the other destinations you occupy across the internet.

After you've got your About language as good as it can get, make sure the language is consistent on your social pages (any combination of Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram) and service/listing sites you use (Yelp, Google My Business, Nextdoor, TripAdvisor, BBB, Angie's List, YP.com, etc.).

If you're not using at least three of those sites to promote your business, dedicate an hour to researching them and deciding which ones can help grow your company.

Also make sure the updated language makes it onto your print materials like brochures when it's time to do another printing.

Enlist Friends to Help Out

If you feel like you've been looking at your own website so long that the words are blurring together, it might be time to take a step back.

Enlist three trusted friends or colleagues to give their opinions. You can use this template to ask for help via email:

Hi [_____], I'm making some tweaks to my website to make sure it's easy to understand and customer friendly. Can you please do me a favor and spend a few minutes looking around? I'd really appreciate your feedback and suggestions for anything you think would make it stronger. You can find it at [site URL].

You don't always have to follow their advice but it can be eye-opening to get an outside perspective.

The five updates above will help ensure your website is working as hard for your business as you are. Looking for even more advice? Find out how to get started with your About Page here or how to ensure you're getting the maximum SEO benefits from your site here.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2018
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