What your website needs in 2016
So, the website you had designed when you first went into business is starting to look a little tired. It’s not really reflecting your brand anymore and it doesn’t have the bells and whistles that your competitions websites seem to have. It’s just….missing something!
It’s time for a website refresh!
The web has evolved at a rapid pace over the past few years and things have definitely changed.
Here are the things that are important to make your website great again in 2016:
SEO & Content
SEO really comes down to solid design principles (unique URL’s, meta titles and descriptions, image alt tags etc) and great web copy. To get it right, your content needs to do a few things:
- Tell your story! Use your web copy to connect with your customers. The best way to do this is ramp up your About page. Give your customers the essentials, such as your Company ethos and history, but leave them with a firm impression of who you are and the value you can bring to their business.
- Give visitors to your site the information they need as quickly and easily as possible. Don’t make them search for answers. Most people just won’t. A clear and simple navigation structure and search functionality is key.
- Build trust – sing your praises, but then let others do it for you. Testimonials are a great way to build trust and make your content work for you from another perspective.
- Keep fresh – developing content is very important for SEO. Google loves fresh, original content and so do your customers. Blog functionality enables you to create articles to share on social media and other platforms that will drive traffic back to your website and help to establish your business as an authority within your industry. Building a blog into your website refresh will help you to keep your content current and relevant.
Mobile Friendly Design
In 2015 Google updated its algorithm to detect whether a site was mobile-friendly or not. In 2016 you need a mobile friendly website for two reasons:
- Google’s 2015 algorithm change means that if your website isn’t mobile friendly it will be penalised in search results when search is performed on a mobile phone, which means less traffic to your website; and
- Research conducted in 2016 indicates that more than 50% of website viewing occurs on mobile phones. If your website is not mobile friendly and is hard for your customers to view and navigate your content then they will simply leave your site.
This makes having a mobile friendly website design absolutely essential. Your website needs to load quickly and look amazing at three levels – PC, tablet and mobile phone. When coordinating your website refresh, make sure your web designer is coding your site to be responsive, which means it renders well across all devices and screen sizes.
Your email list is an extremely valuable marketing tool. Why? Because everyone checks their email. Use your website to build your email list. It’s as simple as including a sign up form on your website and encouraging visitors to sign up, perhaps by offering a discount on their first purchase or the opportunity to download a free eBook. Once on your list, you’re then able to communicate with and engage your customers when they’re not on your website. A very powerful tool.
It’s simple. Regardless of the platform your website is built on, or the server environment it is hosted on, there will be security risks from hackers. And hackers are becoming more and more sophisticated with their attacks. So, when you build your new website, make sure you build in ‘insurance’ via a backup schedule where your backups are retained in two separate locations – in the cloud using a service such as DropBox and on your local machine – and protection from hackers.
If your website needs a refresh, we’d love to help you with it. Give Julie a call today 0408 569 511.