New year, new website

Website Design

The start of a new year has us all thinking about our resolutions. How can we improve on last year’s successes, growth and missteps? Your company should have goals of its own as we dive head first into 2019. Small goals, like making it to meetings on time or staying organized, can lead to bigger goals, such as increased conversions or better branding.

If improving your digital presence is on your list of 2019 goals, let’s discuss the small steps you can take to get you there.

Is your website ready for 2019?

  1. Does it work? We don’t mean technically (although that’s really important too). Dive deep into your Google Analytics account and take a look at the number of leads your website brought in to your business, as well as the rate at which those leads became paying customers. Do you notice any trends, good or bad, from the last year?
  2. Is it up-to-date? For a lot of businesses, things like staff, products, hours and menus change pretty often. Your website may not be completely accurate anymore, which can be confusing or even disappointing for customers. If you’ve been meaning to get around to it but just haven’t yet, now is the time.
  3. Can you update without calling in the professionals? So you set aside a couple of hours to update your products and contact info. Can you (or one of your employees) handle it? Being able to easily add or edit your content is a huge reason to consider a redesign. We use WordPress because there are lots of drag-and-drop options for refreshing your site’s copy, images and layout without our help.
  4. How quickly does it load? Speed (or lack thereof) is one of the top reasons people leave a site and never return. More than half of your mobile website visitors will leave your website if it doesn’t load within three seconds. You can only assume they head to a competitor’s website next. Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to see how you can improve your site’s performance in 2019.
  5. Can you view it from any device? If your site isn’t responsive, you need a redesign ASAP. The majority of searches happen on mobile phones’ itty-bitty screens. Google now “organizes” the internet by mobile users’ experience, rather than the desktop version. That means mobile-friendly design is essential for both usability and search engine optimization.
  6. Do you know your audience? Understanding the personas that interact with your brand lets you tailor your content and services to those who use it.
  7. Are your calls to action strategic? Calls to action (CTAs) lead your users through your website. Usually, CTAs are clickable buttons that stand out from the rest of your website with bold colors and encouraging text. For example, you might point people from your home page to your online store with a button that says “Shop Now.” This is a strategic move, because, in this case, your shop is how your website makes money. If you’re hoping to collect visitors’ contact information using strategic CTAs, make sure your contact forms are easy to use and on every page.
  8. Is it secure? Having an SSL certificate on your website means potential customers won’t see the scary “unsecure” warning. It’s easy to add an SSL certificate, so this is a good first step toward your goal of a better website in 2019!
  9. Does it make you happy? If your website doesn’t put your best foot forward, it might be time to move on. Your site should reflect your brand’s aesthetic, values and mission. Sometimes you just need to start from scratch.
  10. How consistent are you? Take the time to update your other digital accounts too. Make sure your website, social media profiles, Google My Business account and industry directories all include the same information in a consistent brand voice.
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