The New Year is all about re-evaluating and that means it’s the perfect time to refresh your website. A lot can change in the space of 12 months so it’s a great opportunity to ensure you’re attracting and retaining the right kind of customers.
January is an ideal time to review your website and how it’s performing so it’s in line with your business objectives. Here are our top tips to refresh your website so you can position yourself ahead of the competition.
Perform a website audit
Your first port of call has to be an audit. Think about your target market, how you attract new clients and encourage repeat or lapsed customers. Consider what clients and prospective clients visit your website for.
- How easy is it for them to find the information they require via a desktop or mobile?
- When are your call to action and social media channels visible?
- Where are your social sharing buttons?
Review the content on your website to see what copy, images or keywords should be updated. Links should also be looked at to ensure none are broken and functionality must be tested across all browsers. Consider how you drive traffic to your site, generate leads and whether your website accurately reflects your business goals for 2017. This might also include updating case studies, asking clients for testimonials and creating an editorial calendar for blog post content.
If you need professional assistance with an audit, we can perform a free website audit to assess your performance, mobile-friendliness, SEO and security,
Analyse the CustomerJourney
Once you’ve undertaken a review of your website, you need to take a look at the typical customer journey. Put yourself in the shoes of a prospective client and imagine what information you might be looking for.
Is your website easy to navigate from the landing page or will prospects need to hunt around for what they require?
They might click away if they’re time short. Ask colleagues and friends who are not familiar with your website to review the customer journey too. More often than not they’ll spot things which could really improve your website usability. Your website should always be refreshed with your target audience in mind. At the very least, they will want to know what your approach is, whether you have the necessary expertise and how knowledgeable your team is.
Update your SEO
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is fundamental to the success of your website. As search engines refer users to websites that have the most relevant information, content, performance and authority really are critical. Consider the text, titles and descriptions on your pages, the speed of your website and how easy it is to navigate. Authority is also a key factor – are you considered an authority in your field and does your website reflect this? As a specialist, you’re expected to reflect that level of expertise and, if your site has enough in-depth information, it can be considered an authority site.
Authority is also a key factor – are you considered an authority in your field and does your website reflect this? As a specialist, you’re expected to reflect that level of expertise and, if your website has enough in-depth information, it can be considered an authority site or at least have authority pages and these URLs are the ones that top the search engines results pages (SERPs).
One example is this page about cycle tyre sizes – Written by the former CTC’s technical officer, it was often remarked about as “being far too long” and “nobody’s going to read that” but then it was their top traffic page for years!
Review your Analytics
Many of you will have reviewed Google Analytics data on an ongoing basis. At this time of year, it’s important to understand how your website has performed over the last 12 months. This should include the number of visitors and dwell time plus how many pages have been visited, most popular pages and conversion rates. This information can help drive your content moving forward.
Using Analytics you can segment your visitors to see:
- Whether they’ve reached you from desktop, mobile or tablet devices
- Which channels drive the most traffic – paid, organic traffic, social media or direct visits.
- The behaviour flow once visitors land on your website – where they go from which landing pages
- Has the bounce rate gone up? Which pages and why?
Look at what has changed over the past year, you’ll probably notice that mobile traffic is on the increase. This will give you insights into where you need to channel your efforts in order to stay customer-focused.
Conduct a Competitor Review
Before you embark on a website refresh, it’s essential you conduct a competitor review so you can identify your point of difference. Consider how each competitor is positioned, how easy their websites are to navigate and how up-to-date the content is. Evaluate what works and what doesn’t as well as noting specialisms and location. You can also get a feel for what they’re like through case studies, a blog and social media channels.
Again, if you were thinking of performing a website audit on your own site, see if you have time to audit the competition. A professional audit can take time, so consider outsourcing the task to your friendly local design agency…
Now Refresh Your Website
Once you’ve reviewed your website, you’re ready to refresh it for the year ahead. If you have any design, digital or search requirements, feel free to contact Hampshire SEO and digital agency Clever Marketing on 01276 402 381. We are more than happy to do the heavy lifting and be your digital marketing department, providing expertise in SEO and PPC to increase your visibility and boost your traffic.