Friday, August 8, 2014

10 Things to Consider If It’s Time To Refresh Your Website.

Websites do have an expiry date and if yours is getting close to its 'best before date' here are a few helpful ideas that may challenge you and your team to look beyond a basic refresh to the site visuals and look for opportunities to refresh the user experience too!

      1. From the moment a visitor hits your landing page you may only have 10-20 seconds to make an impression so make sure it is a good one by starting with your navigation. It should be intuitive and immediately apparent to your visitors - don’t leave them ‘mousing’ around trying to figure out how to find things.  It helps when you keep the most useful or relevant pages prominent at the top of the site and include a detailed sitemap in the footer for everything else you offer.

2. Tell the user exactly what you do... as quickly as you can you can! Perhaps through a tagline a slogan or even a short paragraph describing who you are, sometimes even a simple image might do the trick but remember you need to establish your identity clearly and quickly.

3. Consistent and apparent branding – your brand is your identity and your website should reflect that; keep you colours, logo and brand voice consistent throughout the site.

4. These days a blog is one of the easiest and simplest ways to talk to your customers and potential customers. A blog provides a great opportunity for social media sharing and when you keep it up to date it also keeps your web audience returning regularly for valuable info and trends on your business and sector/industry you are in. Your blog can also become another valuable feedback loop to learn more about what your audience is thinking.

5. Your company blog, can also be a showcase for your talented team so consider giving credit to the author, or adding a photo, brief bio, social media links for the author with each new post.

6. Your website should make it easy for your audience to connect with you, don’t hide your company contact information, include a customer service number at the top of your home page - nothing is more frustrating to a customer then not finding the answer they need on your site, but it is made even worse if they can’t find a way to reach you for more information.

7. Include all your social media channels – not only will adding social media links enhance to the credibility of your organization it customers more opportunities to connect with you through the social channels they prefer. Give your web users share options too they are after all your best advocates on line so make their job easy.

8. What do you want your web visitors to do? Should they call you, talk about you, buy your product, come work for you, volunteer or fundraise for you? All your amazing graphics, design work, updated information and SEO efforts will be for nothing if you don’t tell people what you want them to do. Please don’t forget or miss the opportunity to tell people what you want them to do!

9. Don’t be afraid to brag… at least a little. Use your website to showcase what you do, tell your audience why you are good at it and then back it up by referencing awards, press releases, testimonials, product reviews and work samples if possible.

10. Another tip to keep your web visitor engaged with your site is by helping them find information that interests them so look for opportunities to provide links to similar content on other pages within your site, for example at the end of a blog post include a link to a similar-themed blog posts on the subject or a link into your website where that content is discussed further.


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