Today, one of the essential branding, content and sales tools all ventures need is a website. Most shoppers go straight to websites to look into companies and their wares before even considering entering a store or getting in contact. As such, this collateral must be as effective as possible to help you achieve your business goals.
If you’ve had the same website in place for ages and know it’s not the most updated design or lacks appropriate content, integrations, or other features, it’s best to stop putting off the inevitable. Here are some tips for making over your firm’s website in 2021.
Get Clear on Your Goals
First, determine your goals for your updated website. Are you keen to give it a whole, fresh new look to match a branding change or better fit your current brand, perhaps, or do you need to add features, such as a newsletter signup or online shopping functionality? Is the navigation less than user-friendly, or do you need to include more calls-to-action to improve results?
You might need to streamline pages or add ones, pare back content and graphics so the site doesn’t appear cluttered and overwhelming, or choose more appropriate font or headings. Another big part of redoing your website may be to ensure it’s mobile-friendly. No matter what’s required for the website refresh, get clear on what you’re looking to achieve before you begin, so you don’t forget anything vital.
Use a Heatmap Tool
Before you makeover your site, understand what’s currently working well and where issues arise. Utilize a website heatmap tool to analyze your site’s performance and discover how shoppers browse and buy on it. In turn, you can design a new version that most suits your target demographic.
Heatmap software will enable you to see which pages people check out on the site, which areas of each page they look at (and the bits they don’t), and how long they browse in general. You’ll see how far into the checkout people get before they click away and what they’re reading or doing when they seem to get frustrated and leave your site. The more information you have about these types of things, the better you can revamp your site.
Also, don’t forget to save all your website data before creating a new website. While you might be working on an entirely different platform, developing something new, the reality is that in trying to move over some or all of the content or examine data from the old site, mistakes could happen and you could end up accidentally wiping things.
If you’re using a software developer for the changes, the same could be said of them, no matter how careful they are. As such, back-up all details in at least two spots, such as on your computer and to the cloud. This way, you’ll have the information you need if anything goes wrong. Remember that even if you’re starting from scratch with all new content, graphics, page headings, and the like, you’ll still want to keep the analytics data from your old site.
Update Your Website Platform If Needed
Making over your website provides an excellent opportunity to select a new software-as-a-service template tool such as Squarespace, WordPress, Wix, or another trusted offering. There’s no need to stick with a site created by one particular developer who charges you for every tweak and update.
These days, top website platforms are affordable, easily customizable, and offer good security. They have well-thought-out, user-friendly navigation and display nicely on mobile devices. They also get regularly updated so you can keep adding new features without having to pay extra for the pleasure.
These platforms also make search engine optimization (SEO) more manageable, with built-in elements to make sites more searchable and providing customers with the ability to quickly add metadata and other information to get their site up the rankings. Plus, quality platforms include helpful analytics and reporting options and the ability to integrate social media and email marketing automation.
You can generally choose from hundreds of different templates and change them easily yourself to make them suit your brand and needs. Alternatively, hire one of many affiliated developers to customize things more thoroughly if needed, without getting locked into a single, expensive technical service provider.
As you develop a new website, consider some other things. For example, update your content and graphics as needed, but always keep your business branding front of mind. Use a website host that guarantees a high uptime percentage and can handle plenty of visitor traffic. Also, test everything before you go live. Check that links, forms, videos, and your checkout all work correctly.
A website refresh is a big job that can demand plenty of time and energy. However, it’s one well worth doing to get better results for your business.