Given the amount of resources you’ve invested in your website, it doesn’t seem fair that the cutting-edge design you paid for last year is already looking a bit tired in such a short period of time. It’s not realistic to expect a business owner – especially a small business owner – to overhaul their website on an annual basis, but neglecting to make necessary updates isn’t a solution either.
The good news? Keeping your site looking fresh and modern doesn’t have to cost a fortune or take up weeks of your time. In fact, making small, but regular, updates is the key to success. In this article I’ll explain how you can keep your digital storefront up to par with your competitors, and encourage your website visitors to keep coming back.
1. You Aren’t Updating Content
Search engine algorithms and humans have one thing in common: they recognize a stagnant website when they see it. If you still have a summer-themed offer front and center in the middle of October or haven’t posted a new blog in four months, you’re sending the message that attention to detail isn’t exactly a priority.
Even if you don’t think that posting a weekly blog, for example, is going to help you develop a regular group of website visitors, the SEO benefits are significant. That means when someone searches for the product or service that your company provides, you have a much better chance at showing up in a favorable search result position. In today’s marketplace, the value of boosting your search engine ranking is hard to calculate, but it’s undoubtedly significant.
The Fix: Post New Content Regularly, and Audit Content Weekly
Take one hour out of your week to review what’s on your site and look for ways to make optimizations. If you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for (which might be the case if you don’t have a background in this space), spend that hour learning about the factors that make a website competitive. This knowledge can save you a great deal of money if you’re able to make basic adjustments on your own.
2. You’re Still Using Flash
Once upon a time, Flash was the gold standard for incorporating captivating visual content on your site. It provided a way to host animation, video, and other exciting visual elements that helped keep the attention of your audience. Unfortunately, if you’re still using it in 2021 (and beyond), it’s doing far more harm than good.
New changes to CSS and HTML coding (non-programmers, here’s your reminder that a web developer is highly valuable) have rendered Flash obsolete. More importantly, mobile devices tend to shy away from sites with Flash, if not ignore them altogether. With the amount of website browsing taking place on mobile devices, this could be a critical flaw that greatly reduces your visibility to potential customers.
How to Fix It: Use Modern HTML Solutions
The evolution of integrated video and animation has led us to HTML5 Canvas, which is the current standard and is preferred by just about every browser and type of device. It’s easy-to-use, highly-adaptable, and has a number of cutting-edge features that allow you to create more engaging visual website elements.
3. There’s No Clear Call-to-Action (CTA)
Let’s be real – the vast majority of your website visitors aren’t going to turn into conversions. With that being said, if you can increase the number of leads that come in from your website on a consistent basis, you’ll have a list of “warm” leads at your disposal. The key to making this happen? Creating a low-friction process that allows users to get in touch with the right people at your company.
Having thoughtfully-placed “Learn More” and “Contact Us” buttons should be considered the bare minimum. If you’re looking to take things to the next level, get creative with both your CTA’s verbiage, as well as fonts and colors. The first step to getting someone to click on your call-to-action is making sure they actually see it!
How to Fix It: Be Specific About the Action You Want Users to Take
Not every CTA should be focused on someone “contacting” your brand. Most users are much more likely to click on something that isn’t going to necessarily commit them to having a conversation right off the bat. For example, signing up for a newsletter or free content subscription (i.e. getting notified when a new blog is posted) is a great way to get someone to enter the ‘top of funnel’ phase of converting. This article provides some great alternatives to worn out CTAs that are likely going to be ineffective.
4. Information Overload
Minimalism isn’t just a home design trend for 30-somethings looking to deal with the fact that life is complicated. Lately, reducing the amount of “clutter” has been a major priority for website UX designers who want to focus on what matters, and leave out what doesn’t. Check out these examples of how stunning web design minimalism can be when done correctly.
First, it’s worth mentioning (again) that more than half of your website visitors are going to be viewing your content on a mobile device. With small screen sizes, space is at a premium, and you can’t afford to waste it with information that could be considered less-than-essential.
How to Fix It: Cut Out Unnecessary Content, Then Repeat the Process
The process for creating the perfect minimalist website should resemble the process of a writer going back and editing a novel: the first revision should involve removing about 10% of the text, then a second revision process should be done with the same guideline in mind.
On top of everything else you’re tasked with as a business owner, updating your website has a way of falling through the cracks. If you’re unable to maintain it adequately on your own, bringing in outside help could be a worthwhile investment. Simply put, ignoring the problem isn’t going to fix anything, and getting in a regular website maintenance routine could save you time and money down the road.
Get in touch today for solutions that fit with your brand’s goals and budget.