Haven’t updated your website in awhile? We’ve got you. Here are four steps you can take in just one day to easily bring your potentially outdated website into 2017. Take a look and choose:
Speed Over Shine
Make sure it loads fast rather than looks pretty or has a ton of flash. People are likely to click away if it takes more than 3 seconds to load, no matter how amazing your homepage design is, or how much you originally invested in that design. You’ll get better payoff by scrapping it immediately and letting people get to the heart of your content and contact information ASAP. Which leads to…
Contact Over Clutter
One thought born in the time of SEO driven design is that less content and fewer images are better for getting your page ranked higher. Search engines have determined that fewer options make a site more user-friendly and cleaner pages are simply more visually pleasing. However, one thing that gets lost in the mix is the contact information. You still want to make sure that all of your contact information — or at the very least, a link to your contact information — is prominently placed on every single page. Even if that adds a little more clutter to your design, or a bit more competitive content to every page. Who cares how many people are finding or enjoying your website if they can’t figure out how to contact you. Make sure this crucial information is not buried within your site. According to SEO standards, this means it can be accessed in one click, or less, from anywhere on your site.
Fixed Over Fluid
Another SEO rule of thumb for display, is to use a fixed-width display. If you haven’t already, it is time to make the switch! Using a fixed-width display centers and controls how your images and text display on most browsers and screens. While there’s always some margin of difference, it’s the best way for you to optimize how your own website looks to users, and how they engage with it. The alternative to this is the more old-fashioned fluid display, which simply adjusts to the size and shape of the screen that the website is displaying on. It used to make more sense that a user would prefer the website to accommodate their screen, but the common belief now is that it’s visually preferable and delivers a better user experience to display the same interface across all platforms.
Accurate Over Evergreen
It might be tempting to fill your website with content that will last for a long time, especially if you’re a small outfit that doesn’t have the time to constantly manage it. Updating the website may seem like a low priority when the time or tech-savviness of your team is limited, but don’t underestimate the importance of maintaining an up-to-date web presence. Because trust is so vital in a new business relationship, prospective customers may be unhappy to learn that info from your website is untrue. Whether it’s a staffer who no longer works there, a phone number that’s changed, or a deal that’s expired, making these little updates will protect the integrity of your business. One tip is to conduct regular site audits where you check that everything on there is still true – like quarterly. In addition to checking regular site information, freshening up your site with something recent — whether it’s pictures from a recent holiday gathering or a blog that’s updated monthly — it makes you seem relevant, topical, and engaging. Additionally or alternatively, there could simply be a footer with “As of August 2017,” to make people feel like you’re an active presence. The best part is that going in and updating your info periodically is also good for SEO!