The New Year is quickly approaching, and it provides an opportunity for reflection and growth. Every December, people around the world take stock of their lives and make decisions about how they can improve – whether it is mentally, physically, or spiritually. In fact, January is named for the Roman god Janus, who was the god of beginnings and transitions. Many people use January as a symbolic point to make positive changes in their lives. Why should your business be any different?
Indeed, many businesses choose to make their own changes in the New Year by setting annual goals and vowing to create new campaigns. One valuable way to celebrate the spirit of the New Year is by examining your website and making upgrades. A newly optimized website can increase your visibility and brand awareness while generating more revenue for your company in 2020. Here are a few things to consider when evaluating your website as the year comes to a close.
Does Your Site Support a Smooth Customer Experience?
There are a few clues you can look for to see if your website is operating as smoothly as it should be. Your customers may experience issues with your website if:
Your Site Speed and Mobile User Experience are Uninspired
As a business owner, you likely know seamless user experience is essential. However, if you have not invested money in optimizing your website for quality mobile user experience, you could be missing out on the increasing number of consumers who make mobile purchases. Your analytics can tell you if your mobile experience needs work. Simply compare the number of desktop sales to the number of mobile sales. If you have significantly more desktop sales than mobile, it could be a sign that your mobile experience would benefit from improvement.
A simple load test using a free tool like Pingdom can let you know how your website performs in comparison to the competition. Remember, if it takes too long to find on your site, people will just find what they need elsewhere.
Your Conversion Rates are Low
If you have a low sales conversion rate, it’s a sure sign that your website could benefit from an optimization overhaul. If the amount of money you spend on marketing does not match the amount of conversions you experience on your site, something is amiss. You can use a tool like Google Analytics to see where you are struggling and making changes there first.
You Have Declining Traffic
Once you start using Google Analytics, you may uncover other problems like declining traffic on content that fails to perform well because it is outdated. Using Analytics and Google Insights, you can identify where your website might need work and make adjustments accordingly.
Does Your Website Align With Your Brand’s Voice and Story?
Take a look at your website and think about how it reflects your brand’s mission, vision, and values. One of the biggest mistakes that companies make when creating their website is simply emulating the competition because they think it was the consumer’s wants. Unfortunately, having a cookie-cutter website will not make you stand out or win over customers. When you imitate others seeking success, your brand actually becomes diluted and lacks a value proposition that is readily identifiable to your target customer. To mitigate this risk, do a brainstorming session and determine what makes your brand story unique, making sure that your company website resonates with your target audience.
Is Your Website Technologically Up To Date?
Technology is constantly evolving, so your website requires consistent legwork to keep it up to date. Regular investments in technological updates allow you to meet the demand of both your customers and your potential customers. For example, it’s not enough to simply have a mobile site and assume it will perform competitively. Today, your site needs to perform seamlessly across multiple devices and provide an equally good experience on a desktop as it does a tablet or smart device.
Security concerns evolve frequently as cybercriminals think of new and innovative ways to steal consumer information. A data breach can be extremely disruptive to small businesses by eroding consumer trust in addition to costing money. If your website is operating on dated technology, it could make you more vulnerable to breaches and make your site less usable in general. Take the time to perform an SEO audit and see if your website could benefit from a new platform.
Has Your Business Changed?
All businesses change and evolve. The question is, has your website evolved with it? If the content on your site no longer matches your mission, vision, or what your company is trying to achieve, it’s time for some serious soul searching. When a customer visits your site, do they see your unique value proposition and your company offerings? For example, if you own a salon and now offer more services and treatments than what is listed on your website, you could be missing out on customers who are interested in what you have to offer.
Is Your Site More About You – Or Your Target Customer?
Figuring out the answer to this question requires an honest assessment of your website. Look at your static webpage content and even your blog posts. Who are they written for? Are they intended to provide your user with relevant, helpful information – or do they sound like you are portraying yourself as the hero of your own story?
If your answer is the latter, then you’re making your website more about yourself than you are your customers. Not only is this a turnoff to prospects who make it onto your site, but it also means it is not optimized properly. Google best ranks websites that are filled with relevant and engaging content. If you’re doing little more than pitching your goods and services, then you are losing on both fronts. If your website is company-centered instead of client or customer-centered, then a revamp of your existing content is in order.
Bring Your Website Into 2020
The end of the year provides the perfect opportunity for reflection, so why not take the time to reflect on your website and make adjustments to bring it current? A well-functioning website works seamlessly across all user devices, provides relevant and engaging content to its users, and accurately and interestingly portrays your unique value proposition. Above all else, it should
load well, work with mobile devices, and allow people to access what they need efficiently. If your website cannot do those things, then it’s time to update it for 2020.
A website revamps may involve adding new content, removing content that doesn’t work well, and making other data-driven decisions that improve the user experience. Simple tools like Google Analytics and Google Insights are good for identifying areas where your website needs help. Even simple tweaks, like improving your site’s loading times, can help produce a spike in traffic and dwell time. If you don’t know where to begin, you don’t have to do it alone – a website design and development team can help your organization’s website operate as it should. Remember, your website is your digital front door – what kind of impression do you want to make in 2020?