The start of a new year is a great time to reset and make some plans on what you can accomplish over the next 12 months. While some people use New Year’s resolutions to focus on their body and mind, it’s critical not to forget about a key part of your business: your website.
Why Should You Resolve to Update Your Website?
These days, the digital world is constantly evolving. This means that the state of your website is continuously changing thanks to changes in online security, website accessibility, and, of course, Google’s ongoing algorithm updates.
There’s also the simple matter that Outdated websites simply don’t cut it with your users. According to one study, 81 percent of users think less of a brand if its website isn’t updated. Regular updates can help ensure that your business’ website is up to date with current technology and trends so that your online presence doesn’t fall behind your competition.
How Often Should You Update Your Website?
Even the best websites need an update from time to time – in fact, the best websites are the ones that are regularly updated. The answer to this question can depend on what types of updates your website needs.
In general, it’s best to do a website redesign or some other similar revamp every three years or so. Regular redesigns every few years will help you avoid the pitfalls of an outdated website. These warning signs can include:
- A lack of traffic, leads, and conversions
- Poor user experience
- An outdated design
- The absence of new security features
- Slow page speeds
Even if you just finished a huge website project last year, there are still plenty of opportunities to make your website even better than before. Little fixes can go a long way toward improving the performance of your site. As such, it’s beneficial to make website updates every year to set up your business for continued success online.
What Can You Do to Update Your Website?
If digital marketing is an important part of your business, you’re going to want to spend some time and energy on your organization’s website. Fortunately, there are several resolutions you can make that will help you get the most out of your website this year.
Find and update old information.
Old news is bad news for your website. Incorrect or outdated information can confuse and mislead your users. These issues can come in many forms, so take the time to audit parts of your website for old information, such as:
- Old site content
- Outdated images
- Broken links
- Contact information
Get rid of old, unnecessary files
Speaking of outdated information, there’s a solid chance your web server has some extra baggage. Take a moment to clean off old or unused files from your web server (or have your web design firm do it for you).
Check your plugins, themes, and CMS
Software can go out of date over time. Take some time to check and see if any of your website’s plugins or themes need an update. In addition, you’ll want to be on the lookout for any updates for software applications like content management systems and ecommerce platforms release. If you see that there’s a new version of some key software, you’ll want to make sure your website is up to date.
Review your current website design
Even if you don’t quite need a redesign, you can still Review your site for any opportunities to improve the user experience. Investigate your site to see if there are any quick design fixes that can immediately refresh the look of your site. Be on the lookout for blurry images, old brand assets, or outdated videos. Make a note to remove any meaningless, flashy, or otherwise useless features that don’t directly benefit your visitors. Just because something worked in the past doesn’t mean it’s relevant now.
Optimize your site for page speed
In a world of instant gratification, it’s critical that your website loads quickly. Half of users expect your site pages to load in two seconds or less, so a few relevant updates are well worth your time. Here are a few ways to work your way to a quicker website:
- Optimize your website’s images
- Keep the number of fonts and variations you’re using to a minimum
- Reduce the number of HTTP requests
- Increase bandwidth to accommodate increased demand
- Review and address any server limitations
Check your website’s data
Data is a critical tool for any enterprising business. This information plays a pivotal role in understanding your audience’s behavior and what you can do to update your website accordingly. One great resolution is to not only review your existing data, but also make site updates based on this information.
- Perform a yearly review of your Google analytics (or start using it if you haven’t already)
- Better define goals and conversion metrics for the new year
- Add heatmaps to review how people engage with critical site pages
- Conduct A/B tests to see what is and isn’t working on your site
- Check out other tools that help you understand your website’s visitors
Check out the competition
Imitation is the greatest form of flattering. A bit of market research may give you some new ideas of how you can update your website to better accommodate your users. Conduct a competitor website analysis to spot any new ways that you can create and share valuable information, pages, or content that support your goals. At the very least, you may come away with a couple of ideas of what you can do to update your site in meaningful ways.
Update your SEO tactics
While pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a powerful tool for your business, organic search is still a critical digital marketing tactic for the vast majority of businesses. Search engine optimization (SEO) best practices continue to evolve over time, so it’s important not to get stuck in the past. As such, revisit your SEO strategy to focus on tactics that are currently both relevant and extremely useful.
- Ensure that your website is able to be indexed and crawled by search engines
- Update pages with proper title tags and meta descriptions
- Write high-quality content that is relevant to specific search queries
- Ensure that your website is responsive and easy to navigate
- Build high-quality external links back to your site
Audit and update blog content
Quality blogging is a great way to educate audiences, build your brand, and generate quality leads. However, it’s easy to keep thinking about the next great blog post instead of providing some tender, loving care to your old content marketing efforts. A blog content audit allows you to look back at your past efforts and improve the long-term performance of your website.
- Refresh under-performing posts to help them perform better on search engine results pages (SERPs)
- Combine posts that are written about the same topic to avoid content cannibalization
- Update any posts with out-of-date information to help them stay relevant
- Remove irrelevant posts that don’t impact your business goals and objectives
Stay Ahead of the Competition with Regular Website Updates
In a way, updating your website is like a car. Sure, your car may work for a while, but it’s only going to perform better if you undergo regular maintenance and get fuel every so often. Better yet, that brake change can help you avoid a disaster.
Of course, some car repairs and website updates aren’t all that simple, even if they are extremely important. Whether you’re pressed for time or need to turn to the experts, Aztek can help. Our experts can conduct a web assessment to identify not only how your website is performing, but also how you can resolve to improve it. Contact us today to see how we can help you grow your business online!