Is your website looking a little tired? That is a question without judgement; because it happens to the best of us. even some big corporates who have a turnover of billions have websites that look out of date.
Any website that was created two years ago or more (or sometimes less) will stop looking fresh, and that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a great piece of design then. Chances are, you were probably ahead of the curve – but the curve has moved, and that means it has moved on without you.
It is easy – and tempting – to want to keep your website the same, particularly if you spent a huge amount of time and/or money on creating it. But the truth is, you could be holding yourself back by not updating your website to better reflect the times.
That also means that good work could be going to your competitors, rather than you, based purely on your website. It’s such a small thing, but as the digital shop window to your brand, you could easily lose people from your sales funnel if it needs a refresh.
There is no better time to refresh your website than now: the moment you realise that it could be doing so much more for you. However, it can be challenging to know what to start. That is why I have put together the ultimate checklist for refreshing your website. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4…
Ask a friend
The first very thing you should do is find a friend that you trust who isn’t in your industry. You need to have a completely objective view. Ask them open questions, such as, “What do you think this business sells?” or “What do you think of this website?” – and be prepared to hear some home truths.
Ask a colleague
Preferably not someone who is in your business – and definitely someone who is not subordinate to you – but someone who does have an idea of your industry. Again, ask them the same sort of questions, along with some along the lines of, “Are you impressed by this website?” and “What do you think should be improved?”
Look at your competitors
The most thriving businesses are looking at their competitors all the time, and this is another great excuse to do so. What are your competitors doing? What phrasing are they using? What features do they have? How are they using downloadables, chatbots, and their blog?
Write a list
Instead of looking to just make a small number of changes to your current website, start with a fresh piece of paper and just write out all the features and functionality that your website needs. This can be as basic as including links to your social media to as complicated as having a login portal for your customers.
Review your overall brand guidelines
Perhaps not an obvious part of your website refresh, but if you are going to update your graphics, this is a good time to also check whether your graphics match where your brand has grown. It would be awfully frustrating to update your website and then have a graphics review…
Use free tools for SEO
Search engine optimisation is essential if your newly refreshed website is ever going to be read by anyone! Use some free tools online to see exactly how your current website is stacking up, and look into the keywords that your target audience is likely to be using to find them. That’s where you need to begin with your website copy.
Start mapping navigation
This is when you need to think like your target audience. Where will they look for things? How many clicks will it take them to get there? You want to ensure that information is easy to find, clearly signposted, and not seventeen clicks down.
Now you are ready to decide whether you want to build your refreshed website yourself or bring in the experts. It’s up to you and there are positives and negatives on both sides.
This is a lot of work, there’s no point in denying it, but refreshing your website will also help you to make the best choices for your business, which will help you grow.
Disagree with me? Email Claire now!