Websites have changed a lot over the years. You only need to think back to the days of flashing gifs and comic sans text to remember what the average website used to look like. Back when the internet first became popular, businesses everywhere were rushing to set up their online presence, failing to think about things like customer experience and SEO. Now, the goal of websites has changed significantly, and though organisations still want to draw focus to their pages online, they also want to make sure that they stand out from their competitors for all the right reasons.
In a time when customers expect more than ever from the average business, it's important to make sure that you deliver on every level of UX. An old or outdated website could not only be damaging your ability to make profits, it could even be sending your customers straight into the waiting arms of your competitors. If you haven't made changes to your website in a while, here are a few ways that you can freshen things up.
1. Update Your Copy
Begin by looking at a high-traffic page on your website, and think about how you can change the copy to make it more current and appealing. You might need to add new information, answer any important questions that your customers typically have, and make sure that you have a powerful call to action. Without covering the page in more text than your customer wants to read, think about how you can optimise for SEO, and your reader at the same time.
Remember to make your copy skim-able, so that your customers can find the information they need as quickly and effectively as possible.
2. Use a CMS
If you're still counting on your website designer to keep your information relevant and up-to-date, then you're behind on the times. You should be able to add info to your site as easily and quickly as you like in a CMS solution like WordPress. CMS or content management systems, allow you to update blogs and change images at your leisure. You can even outsource work to contractors and give them access to the elements they need so that they can transform your company website for you.
3. Redesign the Format and Navigation
Try and approach your website from the perspective of a user who's accessing it for the first time. While you're doing this, think about how easy it is for people to get answers to the questions that they might have when they're browsing your website. Can they instantly find information about how to contact you? If they want to purchase your product, how many pages do they need to go through before they get to a checkout page?
In today's fast-paced society, it's more important than ever to make sure that your website is as simple and easy-to-use as possible. If you're struggling to get through your website pages, or you think navigation is too clunky, get help from a design professional.
4. Update Your Images
Browse through some of the most popular pages on your website, and think about the images that are present in those areas. Ask yourself whether you could benefit from updating those pictures to something that's more inspiring for your customers, or something that links back to your brand identity in a bolder, more recognisable way.
The majority of the visitors on a website aren't going to actually read all of the words on your pages. Instead, they'll simply skim through the content that's there, and use the images around to supplement their understanding of what your business is about. Make sure that your images properly describe your brand.
5. Try a New CTA
While you're checking out the copy and pictures on your website, make sure you take a moment to think about your calls to action, and how they resonate with your audience. Are your CTAs visually appealing, and inspiring enough to earn your reader's attention? Are you offering something that your customers really want?
If your conversions haven't been great lately, that might be a sign that it's time to start testing your CTAs and looking for better ways to connect with your audience. A little bit of A/B testing could do wonders for your profits, and help to encourage more conversions on your website.
6. Check on Your Links
Making sure that your website gives your customers an exceptional online experience isn't just about checking that your content reads well and your images look good. You'll also need to take a look at the backlinks and internal links on your website. If your internal links aren't functioning properly, then people could be getting lost on the way to your checkout, or cart. This not only reduces your chances of sales, but it could harm your reputation in the long-run, as people generally believe that bad websites mean bad businesses.
At the same time, make sure that the backlinks that you have in your content, and the links that come back to your website from other companies are all high-quality. If you have low-quality links in the mix, then this could easily damage your SEO authority score, and reduce your ability to rank for your target keywords.
7. Speed up loading Times
Finally, no matter what you do, you should always make sure that your website is loading as quickly as possible. Customers simply won't tolerate a website that loads too slowly, and most will abandon a page within three seconds if it doesn't load quickly enough. The good news is that you can easily check your website speed with a range of tools online today, and see whether your pages are good enough to earn the trust and attention of your customers.
If you're loading too slowly, think about removing any unnecessary plugins or heavy images from your website. Keep your landing page simple too. Remember, if someone finds that your main homepage takes too long to load, there's a good chance they'll look for what they need from a competitor instead.