One of the biggest concerns every website operator should have is no longer being relevant. Maybe it’s been a while since you have made any changes to your website and it’s showing. Your free PDF brochure which was such a hit for the sites launch is no longer so. Online requests for your services have petered off. Moreover the number of new unique visitors is nowhere near where it once was. You need to make some kind of a change; you’re just not sure that you are ready for a full refresh of your website.
Relax. You don’t have to do a full website redesign to get some fresh energy back into your online destination. You may just need to make some smaller changes; call them aesthetic, functional and content-related.
Aesthetic refresh of your website
You might not think there is anything wrong with the look of your site. Do yourself a favor and take a step back. You can even employ the assistance of a brutally honest focus group. Ask the hard questions: does your site look ‘dated’? Is it something small like the colors used? Is it something more prominent like stock images? Do the lettering or borders used evoke mid-90’s? If any of these things are the case then you may need to think about an aesthetic refresh of your site.
Changes you could make may be things like:
- Fresh color palette
- New images from a professional photographer
- Buying newer stock images
- Changing the font
If you have thought about taking new images of your own that could be a good job for a photographer. These images will be yours and yours alone and they will have the content that you want. Fresh images are a great way to refresh your website.
Fonts can be an interesting thing because you want your space to appear cohesive. Therefore using multiple fonts is something that’s not usually recommended. Still you want your website to invoke imagination and wonder; even while hoping to keep your professional evocation.
Color is another thing that’s kind of hit or miss. Even a simple shade lighter or darker can make all the difference. Experiment to really see what works best for your site.
If the visual portion of your website is taken care of, you could be in need of more functional support. Do you have a bunch of individual videos which all take forever to download when people open up your page? Does navigation around your site make total sense to you and little sense to anyone else? These can be reasons enough for visitors never to come back! This is something that’s easily cared for by a few simple adjustments.
- Fixing broken links
- Eliminate cumbersome graphics
- Eliminate slow video links
- Make your site “mobile friendly”
- Create a mobile app for your site
Basically getting rid of all the illogical things about your website can both speed up a users upload time and make your site feel new and fresh.
Maybe your site has got all the aesthetics. Maybe your site has got all the kinks in function worked out. However maybe your website content is what is driving users away. Content can be a fickle instrument; especially if you or one of your aides close to you are the ones creating it. But without excellent content your website will fall limp.
Your websites content should have strong calls to action, be fully optimised around specific related keywords which are relevant to your business and the content needs to be easy and pleasant to read. Your content also has got to be “fresh.” Just because you once had content that made an impact, doesn’t necessarily mean that the content you still have there will continue to do the same task.
Consider content like a hit pop music song. What you were really grooving to ten years ago won’t necessarily be the same thing that the young people continue to groove to today. You need to make sure your content keeps up with the times or else all your website is doing is playing the same old song to the same old crowd.
So some of your content freshening techniques might be:
- Make sure each page has a call to action
- Consider what you want your visitors to “get” from your site; how has your business kept up with the times?
- Rewrite the web pages content on your site; just take the same words and say them a different way.
- Learn all you can about SEO and make sure your website measures up
- Delete pages that are no longer relevant to your company
- Add fresh pages so there are new destinations for new things that your business does.
A website refresh is something that every business is going to need to do. If you don’t keep your online presence fresh, and your customers excited and surprised about the new things you are doing, you are going to become a relic frozen at the point in time when your website came online.
You can make your website fresh and it can still happen slowly. You only need to publish what you’ve done when it’s ready. You also need to be sure that you don’t have an outdated CMS. If you have an antiquated CMS you should consider upgrading it. Your website will run a thousand times better and you’ll have an epic return on investment with a modern CMS.
By Aaron Enright