Many people we talk with about their websites haven’t touched them in years. They feel that once the site is up it should just work and doesn’t need to be improved. We know everyone is very busy so we’ve made some notes about quick (and some not so quick) things to do to keep your site up to date.
Whether you would like to increase interaction, get more page views, get more clicks, or just make your website look more professional, these tips can help.
Choose one tip to do weekly or monthly and make it a priority. This will keep you from having to redesign or rebuild your website as frequently. There is no hard rule of thumb but generally websites last three-to-six years. By keeping your site up to date, you can extend its life and get more out of it.
These tips are listed by category for easy review.
1. Update the fonts and also increase the width of the page. As monitors are getting bigger and better, narrow width websites look dated and unprofessional.
2. Update Images. Look critically at the images/photos and update them if they seem out of date (is that person on the flip-phone wearing bell-bottoms?) There are lots of new stock photo libraries available, some even offer free or very low-cost royalty-free photos (we like thinkstockphotos.com for very cost-effective photos, take a look)
3. Have a designer review your site and recommend minor updates.
4. Update your call-to-action buttons with better text, (not just “click here”).
5. Add call-to-action buttons in a sidebar or at the bottom of the page.
6. Review your call-to-action statements. Do they explain the benefit of continuing to remain on your site?
7. Enlarge your call-to-action buttons.
8. Change the color of your call-to-action buttons.
9. Add a call-to-action on every page.
10. Move your call-to-action button so there is space around it – also re-positioning it can improve click through.
11. Respond to every contact form. By using a marketing automation program to capture your email signups, you can automate the follow-up response and never be late. Also, you can segment the list, so the follow-up is relevant to what the visitor was looking at on your site.
12. Add some meta tags to your blog posts for keyword phrases you wish visitors were able to find you for. Keep in mind the content must match the keyword phrase.
13. Add SEO tags on all images. These are called ALT tags and can be added to each image, either in your WordPress library or if you have an HTML site in the image code.
14. Social content for SEO. Check your LinkedIn and Twitter posts and make updates so that they include your top keyword phrases. Social posts often show up in searches.
15. Turn a presentation you have given into a video for your site. Some easy ways to do this are using Join.me or Go-To-Meeting and record the presentation. You can then save it as an MOV or mpg4 file, you can upload to YouTube then embed in your website. A video will also give your SEO a big charge.
16. If you have a small website, one of those long scrolling, one-page websites but want to get more traffic, break the site up into more pages. Keep in mind, each individual page can only rank for two-to-three keyword phrases.
17. Add local pages, which are pages with information specific to local markets. This will help your Google Ranking if you have separate pages for each location of your business.
18. Make sure your site says what your company does, right away.
19. Look at competitors’ sites and make sure your business is clearly differentiated.
21. Run a link check. Broken links can be frustrating to visitors and you can lose clients. Here is a reliable, free service: http://www.brokenlinkcheck.com.
22. Update bio photos. If you are a professional services firm, having current images of your staff can be very important. Seeing the faces of the professionals helps prospective clients to make a connection.
23. Update bios. Update content for staff bios by adding new services, current clients, and capabilities to help tell your company’s story.
24. Rethink your home page message. Does it adequately tell your visitors what you do and the benefit of working with you?
25. Create more new content. This can be a weekly blog or it can include adding a white paper to your site so you have a strong call-to-action. Both pieces of content will boost your site’s SEO and engagement.
26. Don’t have time to create new content? Find a guest blogger. Look at what companies and individuals you work with that will benefit most from your success. Ask them to provide content about their expertise.
27. If your website isn’t already mobile friendly, make an appointment to get that done. Approximately four out of every five visitors on consumer sites are on a mobile device, and seven out of 10 visitors to business-to-business sites are on mobile.
28. Speed up your site. Run a test here at the Google Speed Test. Some things you might not be able to fix, but anything you can do to improve the speed of your website will make the user experience better.
29. Ask your programmer to check if you have any old redirects on your site, and then check your Webmaster account to see if any sites are still linking to those pages. If not, get rid of them. Redirects slow down your site when not needed.
If you have any questions, we are happy to talk with you about these website tips and can help wherever needed.
Post by Barbara Irias, Senior Manager with Placemaking Group.
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