It takes only a byte or two of outdated information for visitors to conclude they’ve hit a dead end or landed on an orphaned site. Internet-savvy businesses refresh their websites’ content regularly and redesign their sites at least once a year.
How many times have you refreshed the graphics or content on your website? Twice? Once? Never?
Here are 10 ideas that can modernize your site quickly without costing you a bundle:
1. Get a new look and feel
Smart companies routinely put a fresh “skin” on their old site without disrupting any functionality. A new “skin” can dramatically change the look and feel of your website, and can even create a bold new message about your business.
2. Make your site a marketing tool
Use a tool like Google Analytics to capture detailed info about how visitors found your site and what pages they look at. Armed with this info, you can develop your content, navigation and structure to quickly satisfy your targeted visitors.
3. Set up an e-mail program
Give away something that your targeted audience would perceive as valuable – like prizes, discounts or information for improving their business marketing – in exchange for their e-mail address. Once you have a mailing list, send out useful e-newsletters or other quick-tip bulletins that promote your business and your site.
4. Cut pages
Reduce the amount of info visitors need to sift through to learn about your business, and then focus on redesigning only the core pages.
5. Speed loading time
Don’t let your site’s slow loading time get in the way of meeting new customers. If your site takes too long to load, move to a faster hosting service, and streamline each page.
6. Invest in a content management system (CMS)
Stop relying on static HTML pages. A content management system used to be a large investment only for the big boys. Today, businesses can get a good CMS for a couple thousand dollars that will create “dynamic” content and allows you to make most updates yourself.
7. Make sure search engines can find you
Simply putting up a website won’t bring visitors. Most people find websites through search engines such as Google. But good page rankings don’t happen by chance. Each page must be “optimized” for search engines, which means creating the right content displayed in the right way that will garner high rankings.
8. Give customers a “membership” to your site
Use your website to treat customers to distinctive perks. For example, give registered clients their own area of your site with their account details, additional information, and special discounts.
9. Add testimonials or success stories
Very few sites do this, and there’s no question that they add major credibility for buyers. Ask longtime customers for quotes or permission to post their case histories and their satisfaction with your services.
10. Align the site to your business
Your website should reflect any shifts in your business direction or growth. Your Web content and your marketing messaging should always be in sync – consistent, uniform, multimedia and multi-channel.
TIP: Today, businesses can get up to 10 times the website they could afford just three years ago at one-tenth the price.
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