10 Essential Website Update Hacks to Help Boost Sales

When was the last time you updated your website?

It saddens me to say that I have many clients who have all but abandoned their website once it was launched. They either get too busy to think about it or worse, don’t realize how important it is to the success of their business.

Remember your website is out there promoting you and your business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year long. So if you’re one of those people that never gave your website a second thought once it went live, then please keep reading.

First of all, your business website is not a static brochure.

It should be a living, breathing document that is an accurate reflection of your business. But it’s easy to get caught up in the daily activities of running your business and forget to review your website regularly.

If you can’t remember the last time you did a website update, let’s just say you are overdue.

Here are some of the top things you need to do to update on your website to keep it running smoothly and ensuring you are not sending your visitors to your competitors:

1) Broken Link Check. If you have any kind of hyperlinks on your website, there are bound to be some that are broken. Broken Link Check is a free service that reviews your site to notify you of broken links that need fixing.

2) Customize Your 404 Page. Speaking of broken links, if you have a link to a page on your own site that no longer exists, it will direct visitors to what’s called a 404 page.

This page is created as a default page whether you use WordPress or some other means to build your site. And it looks ugly so it’s important to customize this page and make good use of it.

You can have your webmaster ensure it matches the look and feel of your website and put a custom message on there, directing people back to your home page, show how to connect with you on social media, and offer an opt-in freebie to capture the lead.

3) Fix Typos. Nothing looks more unprofessional than having typos on your web page. Often they are hard to spot yourself because we read what we think it should say instead of what is actually there.

Typosaurus is a great free tool to help you spot those pesky spelling errors and get them fixed ASAP before you turn off any more visitors. Those first impressions are powerful and count towards whether someone will buy from you or not.

4) Improve Navigation. Keeping website navigation simple and intuitive is important. You want customers to find all the most important information without having to hunt around and look for it.

Keep it simple: Use clear wording that your visitors will understand. And consider drop down menus to keep like pages grouped together and organized.

5) Ensure Mobile Responsiveness. If your website is not designed to display well on smart phones and smaller screens, it’s costing you traffic and valuable leads.

Many potential customers do their searching on their devices in between appointments, while watching TV, and pretty much all the time. We are often asked to convert older websites into being mobile friendly (or it is often time for a whole new look and feel) so the same could be done for your site too.

If you haven’t checked and ensured your website is mobile friendly yet, put it at the top of your to do list! Every day you don’t, it’s costing you sales.

6) Update the Staff Page. Turnover happens so it’s important to regularly review your staff page. Check to see if you need to add new hire, remove old ones, and update bios and headshots.

7) Correct Contact Info. Make sure your address, email, phone, and fax numbers are up to date. The last thing you want is a potential client trying to reach you and are getting a wrong number!

Add a link to your business on Google Maps too so people can find your business easily.

8) Add Social Links. Place social media icons that click to your business channels prominently on the home page so prospects can connect with you that way.

Also be sure to put social sharing links on your blog so people can quickly and easily share your blog content with their social media followers.

9) Update the Look and Feel. Has your ideal target market or brand image changed since you last updated your website? Or perhaps it’s time for a fresh new look that is more up to date?

I encounter many websites that look old and deserted. The immediate impression I get is that the business is either shut down or they don’t care about the professional impression they are giving their visitors.

So if your website was built more than 3 or 4 years ago, the chances are good that it’s time for a new, fresh look that positions your business in a better light.

10) Copywriting Update. It’s important to review the content on your website. Is it too long? Is it truly compelling? Does it have proper calls to action? Is it really reflective of your brand message?

The text and images on your site are extremely important when trying to convert website visitors into paying customers.

It might be time to hire someone to take a look at the copywriting on your site and ensure it’s giving the right message to the right people.

Susan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

5 Important Reasons Why You Should Build a Mobile Friendly Website

In the Middle East alone, around 528 million people have a mobile phone, and this number is expected to rise 39% by 2015. Nowadays, 94% of mobile owners in the MENA region use their smartphones to surf the internet. Therefore, now is the time to create a responsive design to have a mobile friendly website. If you are still suspicious about this decision, here is how a mobile version helps your website and business:

A mobile friendly website makes a website more accessible.

Mobile users access the internet whenever they want, and wherever they are. The main reason they browse the internet from their mobile phones, is the instant need and the inaccessibility of a desktop computer. A website that is not mobile friendly can push the visitors to abandon and look for another more convenient to navigate. For this reason, websites are developing responsive designs, to be accessible at any moment and with any device (smartphones, tablets).

A responsive design improves a website’s user experience.

When a website is browsed from a mobile or tablet, it switches from a horizontal layout to a vertical format causing a different display of text and images. Responsive web design (RWD) manipulates the site to properly fit the screen of the device used rather than maintaining the same structure and shrinking the images and text sizes. As a result, this automatic adaptation improves the user experience by providing a more convenient navigation and an easier way of exploring the website.

A responsive web design is cost effective.

Before the introduction of RWD, website owners used to create several versions of the same site to accustom to different sizes. This doubles and even triples the tasks as the content updates and source codes are done separately for each version. A responsive web design can adjust to all screen sizes for a single source code for your site, and a single content management system. In addition, one responsive website means one access to the analytics. Google analytics tools report insights of the different devices used to navigate the website.

A mobile friendly website increases sales.

While online buying is growing remarkably, more and more shoppers are using their mobile phones to purchase goods online. In 2013, 10% of the region’s online purchases were made via mobile, and this percentage is expected to reach 20% by 2015. Therefore, it would be a smart strategy for e-commerce websites to expand to mobile with a responsive design. This upgrade will, as mentioned before, improve the user experience, creating higher opportunities for completing an online sale.

A mobile optimized site empowers Google ranking.

In the MENA, around 96% of Internet users search on Google whenever they are looking for something. For this reason, all websites work hard on their SEO to appear in first results of Google search to get good exposure. A crucial step in optimizing a website is to create a responsive web design because, in general, Google detects if a website is mobile friendly and favors it when displaying results for searches made through mobiles devices. This is especially the case when the query is related to local services.

In conclusion, responsive web design improves a mobile site’s performance and user experience across many devices and screens. And as seen and foreseen, the mobile internet penetration is on the rise so establish your mobile friendly website and gain a competitive advantage.

Eweev is a SEO company that will help your website rank high on search engines. In addition to search engine optimization, Eweev provides the following web services: Web design, web development, mobile apps and website, online marketing, search engine marketing (SEM), social media marketing (SMM).