Seven ways to know when it’s time to update your website

Hello gorgeous business women!

I know, I know, this is a sore subject for you heart-centered entrepreneurs (even more if you’re a solopreneur like me!). You worked so hard on your website the first time (and every time you’ve revised it), and it feels like it was just yesterday that you launched your baby on the world.

But time flies by, especially in the online world. Think about it. Facebook changes its interface and functionality every other day (kidding, but sometimes that’s just what it feels like). New websites that strive to engage your attention appear with mind-boggling regularity. Seriously. You had never heard of Pinterest a year ago, right? And now? How much time have you spent pinning and repinning content this week?

The point is that our websites, the face and voice of our business, can show their age quickly. If it’s been two to three years (or more!) since you last refreshed your content, functionality and/or look of your website, read on and do some honest evaluation.

The tips I describe below are also available for you in a handy one-page flyer, which you can download for free right here!

Here are a few of the most important factors to keep in mind when you’re contemplating what’s next for your website.

The first three tips are all about your search results. Try some of these before hiring an outside SEO firm. It’s amazing how much you can do yourself to ensure good search results.

  • 1. How fresh is your content? Is the first impression you’re making current and relevant? Have you considered adding a content-management system, which would allow you to update your site as often as necessary, on the fly, without incurring maintenance fees? Another benefit: you’ll be feeding those search robots’ constant craving for fresh content.
  • 2. Site structure affects search results. You can improve search results and increase functionality simply by updating your site’s structure and technology. Do you still have tables on your site? Time to implement some more up-to-date structures that search engines love to crawl.
  • 3. Your website is Flash-based. Search engines see all-Flash sites as a single file, which limits your keywords, titles and descriptions to just one set, thereby shooting your search rankings in the foot.

The next three pointers talk about various aspects of the user experience. Keeping your website current with technology is critical. We want our viewers to become our fans, after all, and it’s sad to lose readers to user frustration. It’s hard to win an annoyed reader back, too. 

  • 4. Your website is not optimized for mobile users. Some common issues are: font size too big, too much content, slow-loading images, hard-to-find contact info.
  • 5. Your navigation is confusing. Does it take the reader more than two clicks to find something? Do your readers get to the end of a page with no invitation to click through to where you want them to go (your sales page, for example)? Good usability and interface are essential to keep the viewer on the site—and to make them want to return!
  • 6. It’s been too long since the last update. Here are three easy clues:  It’s probably not browser-compatible with latest versions (have you checked?). It’s probably too narrow (1,000 pixels wide is the new standard, not the 800 of two years ago). Your social media links are not integrated: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, your blog, et cetera.

  • 7. Your site’s content no longer matches your business model and offers. To be used as an effective marketing tool, your website has to evolve and be current with your offering, which is subject to change, especially if your business is as nimble as it should be. If your site’s content doesn’t sync with what you’re offering now, it’s not benefiting your business. Ask yourself: Does your site have your current offer(s) front and center? Does it reflect your brand? Does your brand reflect your mission and values?

Want some help assessing your website, and prioritizing your action plan?

The Magnolias West Brand Refresher Review can help you evaluate your website’s specific needs and decide what to do and in what order. In the Brand Refresher Review, your answers to a series of simple questions will provide a framework for us to use as we heartstorm through all aspects of your offering. What do you get for your investment of time and dollars? A detailed report outlining and prioritizing recommended changes and updates. The result? You get the information you need so that you can schedule the next right steps in the right and perfect order, as needed, instead of shooting in the dark.

The Brand Refresher Review full price is $895. I’m delighted to offer this in the Pay What You Can paradigm for now, until the Solstice on June 21st. Yay for the exchange of energy that honors us both. It’s Springtime (in this hemisphere, anyway), a perfect time to refresh your brand’s presence on the web!

All you need to do is email me or call 510 698-6245 to schedule your Brand Refresher Review.

Love and blessings!

 
Posted on March 26th, 2012. Posted in these categories: branding, business, business development, graphic design, web design. 1 Comment

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  1. February 19, 2013 at 6:00 am

    [...] created a tipsheet for you—Seven ways to know when it’s time to update your website—which you can find right here on my blog, or you can download a handy pdf version here. The tips [...]

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