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May 01, 2017

Why updating your website might be the best investment you make this year

Even if you’re not in the retail industry, your website remains as the virtual storefront for your business. It’s often one of the first (and only) touchpoints a client may have before making a purchasing decision. And, if it’s not up to date, speed or even functioning at all, your prospects may quickly click through to your competitor. Below we detail five web design aspects that you can easily address to ensure your website is the one clients click on this quarter.

Connect with consumers on the go

Now more than ever, users are impulsively seeking out products or services they need on the fly. This could mean while they’re working on their PC, checking their smartphone on their commute or using their tablet before bed. As a site owner, you need to ensure that your web pages offer a flawless user experience across all of these platforms. Even if your website was designed as a responsive one several years ago, it’s best to test it again (and again) as technology and interactions continue to change.

Need even more motive? Google recently changed their page rankings to a “Mobile First Index,” meaning crawlers scour your website to determine how it performs on mobile (not desktop), and then ultimately decide how you will rank in search results. You can’t afford to not be on top. Work with a web designer to ensure your page is fully responsive across all platforms and devices, with an emphasis on mobile.

Remain on top with optimized SEO

It’s important to take into account how website updates will affect your search engine optimization (SEO). Without regular upgrades and modifications, your website is likely to slide down in the ranks. Search engines recognize websites that have the most recent and relevant content. Five years ago, the text on your landing page may have been pure genius, but does it still resonate? Search engine crawlers likely won’t think so. Rethink your keyword targeting and conversion rates. How users search now versus years ago has changed, especially when you compare quick browses on a smartphone to more detailed desktop searches.

Keep brand continuity online, too

Depending how long ago your website was first created, your business may have since undergone a rebrand with a new look, feel, colour scheme, logo and more. Does your website reflect this? Maybe your mission has changed, or even your target audience; how well is your website connected to these modifications? As you refresh, now is the perfect time to re-evaluate your online brand and ensure consistency across all platforms.

Fresh web content keeps users coming back

While many small-business owners will write content for their website once and never look back, this is one of the key determinants in what will generate repeat visits. Fresh, useful and unique content is worth your time and effort to create. Words go a long way in converting a potential client into a long-time customer, especially if your content aims to solve a problem they have. Ultimately, content is (and always will be) king, so refresh your homepage text, blog and news sections often with valuable information. Google’s page rankings will recognize your efforts and potential clients will, too.

An effective website will lead your digital marketing strategy

As you develop your digital strategy, you’ll see that your website will always be the centrepiece that unites your tactics together. Your digital plan is paramount to creating a successful online footprint. Whether you promote yourself on social media platforms, blogs, e-newsletters or all of these items and more, your content will always link back to your website. So it should be designed as a one-stop shop for potential clients to absorb all the information they need and want about your business. Twitter alone can’t represent your company in 140 characters, so ensure your Tweets and other digital tactics drive consumers back to your website, which—if it takes into account the enhancements discussed above—is more than likely to convert visitors into clients.

Even though we’ve passed the whole “new year; new you” stage of 2017, it’s never too late to revisit your goals and get back on track. Take your digital presence seriously this year, and ensure the footprint you make online is a valuable and effective one. Not only will you see results in your page rankings, but also in your sales and marketing efforts. Invest in web updates or a complete overhaul this year (if needed); it will be well worth the return on investment come year end.

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