New Year, New Website: 4 Things to Fix in 2019

With the new year approaching, it's time for resolutions. As you come up with a revamped strategy for marketing your business, don't forget about your most precious digital asset: your website.

Your website represents the values and quality of your business. It compels people to check you out, hints at what prospect and clients can expect from you, and sets you apart from the competition. Yet even the most well-built website can lose luster over time. Fortunately, there are clear symptoms that say the patient needs a checkup.

Here are some of the key signs it's time to refresh your website.

1. Your content is outdated

Outdated content may turn away potential customers. Before anything else, check if there are instances of expired content on your site. Perhaps your About Us page has a stat that is no longer relevant. Or your blog posts contain examples of startups that closed down a year ago. Information that's now obsolete will reflect poorly on your company, so it's important to review your website thoroughly.

Make it better:

  • Perform a content audit —an analysis of all the content on your website. You can do this manually by reviewing your site page-by-page, but the most effective way is to use a content analysis tool like Content Audit. Such tools present you with a list of essential web pages to review.
  • Identify and replace all outdated references with fresh information.
  • Remove pages that are no long relevant and add new pages as needed.
  • Make sure all content has the right keywords to increase the chance your content will be found.

2. Your visuals don't stand out

Nowadays, people want photos that look authentic. If you only use stock images, you may struggle to attract and retain the attention of your visitors.

Make it better:

  • Use images that look good on a digital screen.
  • Add interest with panoramic or 360-degree shots.
  • Avoid staged images and stock photography —publish high-quality, authentic photos without touch-ups.
  • Incorporate videos into your website. Done the right way, videos do a great job of encouraging people to want to know more about your brand. If you own a smartphone, you probably already have an amazing camera for shooting high-quality videos. Keep them real, fun and raw! Also remember to put all of your videos on YouTube for additional exposure.

3. Your domain name is hard to remember

If you run a business that has been around for a while, it's likely that you named your website after it. However, you may not have given much thought to the fact that your website domain should be easy to type and remember. The good news is that it's never too late to assess if a domain name has any complex or uncommon words that make life difficult for people. Ask yourself, “If I hear this domain name from someone, would I be able to remember it for a couple of months?"

Make it better:

  • Complement your original long and complex domain name (like foodsupplyfordogs.com) with a name that's easier to remember (like dogtreats.pet). With so many unique top-level domains (TLDs) available — like .pro or .info —why settle for a website name that is difficult to recall?
  • Go even shorter with a country code TLD like .bz or .me.

4. Your website isn't mobile friendly (responsive)

Today's consumer devices vary in size like bags of chips — from large to small to extra small. So it's crucial that you have a website that adjusts to different screen sizes; one that looks good on mobile, with easy-to-read content and simple navigation.

Make it better:

  • Use a website builder like Wix or Squarespace, which will automatically adjust on smaller screens and fit the format of the device in use.
  • Use a plug-in to make your existing WordPress site responsive if it isn't already.
  • Ecommerce website platforms like Shopify offer a great selection of mobile-friendly themes that are optimized for every possible screen resolution and non-desktop format.

Think of these website overhauls as laying the groundwork for making good on your marketing resolutions — you'll going into 2019 with a more effective and better-looking website.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2018