Websites are like hugging Jell-O, tough to get your arms around. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on yours, it’s time for a change. The painful reality is, to keep up with the changing online marketplace, constantly moving targets for SEO, and a world with a very short attention span, an annual website update is mission critical.
Your site is the hub of your marketing program. It’s foundational. Any marketing you do beyond a website is designed to drive traffic back to the site. A lackluster, dated, ho-hum, less-than-professional online presence is reckless behavior. Best to step it up.
In the spirit of looking ahead and we’re-in-this-together, I offer these tips to move you toward a high-performing website in 2017:
Assess your graphics. It’s recommended that businesses update their logo every three years. Colors become passé. Fonts fall out of favor. The last thing you need in these forward-thinking times is a brand that looks and feels dated and out of touch. When was the last time you updated your brand? Make 2017 the year to feel fresh again. Contact your favorite graphic designer or the folks at Hearthfire Creative offer a free brand evaluation to help you figure out where your brand is in its life cycle.
Get a new headshot. It’s only been a year since your last one? The About page is typically the most visited page on your website. Keep that headshot fresh and professional. Headshots should be updated annually and it’s great to have a few so you can update during the year.
Update your product photos. Maybe you’ve expanded your offerings or added products to your line, or you’re ready to rid the shelves of your non-performers. Clean house. Show the world what you’ve got with snazzy, up-to-date product photos.
Commit to your blog. Nothing enhances your SEO like regular blogging. Underscore regular. Search engines are most responsive to blogs that post predictably; in other words, every Tuesday at 11 AM. Whatever schedule you commit to, do it, and keep doing it. Adding photos to your posts will increase the odds of someone paying attention to what you’ve got to say… just sayin’…
Update your content. Experts say that part of search engine optimization for 2017 is going to be focused on “dense content”. Over the last couple years the trend as been toward “epic content” which means someone has written an opus on a topic. Dense content addresses the idea of providing a thorough look at a topic with an emphasis on brevity. It isn’t just about cramming in extra words, it’s about being truly informative. If you haven’t integrated dense or epic content into your website, it is time to start doing so. Have you raised your prices? Added a team member? Revised or refined your service offerings? This would be a great place to start integrating dense content.
Freshen all banner images. Think about retail stores and how often they change displays, move products around within the store, bring in new products. Even if you are selling a service, your website is your “storefront”. Websites get stale quickly. People who visit your site on a regular basis enjoy seeing something different. Banner images are a great place for new eye candy and help make your website feel fresh.