Updating your website is a simple task and one that you should do on a regular basis. Making sure that everything is up-to-date and functioning correctly is ongoing, but major alterations, like changing the primary keywords that your site targets or improving the site UX, are performed less often.
We’ll introduce seven key strategies to help you update your website for the new year.
1. Ensure that everything is still working and up to date
The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure everything on your site is still working properly. This means conducting a thorough audit of your site – going through each page if possible – and checking for issues such as:
- Plugins or themes that need to be updated.
- Missing and/or poor-quality images.
- Incorrect and/or outdated user information.
- Broken links (you can address this using a plugin).
- Broken features and/or plugins.
- Formatting and/or style issues.
- Missing and/or out-of-date content.
Every page needs to make a strong impression. Checking your homepage, and all other pages, for any errors, changes or even minor improvements that can be made should be a priority. Ensure that you back-up your most current version of your site before you begin to ensure you can restore it if you make any mistakes.
2. Perform A/B testing
After ensuring that everything is up-to-date, you should determine whether your site is as effective as it could be. A/B testing is one of the best ways to do this. The technique involves creating two versions of something and testing them against one another.
For example, testing the efficacy of a call to action on your home page. You could create two versions of that page – each with a different type of call to action (such as a button or popup). Then you could have visitors randomly sent to one page or the other and track which gets the most clicks.
For WordPress users, there are plenty of tools that can help with this process. There are plug-ins that are specifically designed to guide you through the process and many that work with your site without disruption.
3. Solicit feedback from your target audience
Along with performing your own testing, you’ll want to find out what your existing audience thinks of your site. It’s a good idea to get some perspective. Sometimes when you’ve been working on a project for a long time, you don’t see things the same way an observer would.
Find out what your audience likes and dislikes, as well as what features or content they value. You’ll also want to determine why people are coming to your site, what answers they are seeking from you. To do that you can send emails, host a poll, or chat online to determine what answers you provide and what you can improve.
4. Conduct research on your competition
Keeping tabs on your competition with tools like Ahrefs is an effective way to stay ahead. Many businesses overspend on their website because they don’t track their changes, or those of their competitors, to ensure that they do what is necessary.
Fortunately, there are dedicated tools that can help you conduct this research. Most are focused on helping you compare your site with others via specific metrics. Auditing your site and making use of the comparisons found can help you improve your ROI, sales and site productivity.
5. Check your own analytics
Your site analytics can help you uncover vital facts about your site performance, such as:
- Which pages on your site are the most popular
- Whether any of your pages have abnormally high bounce rates
- Which pages generate the most engagement
These insights are one of the fastest and easiest ways to ensure that your website is engaging your target audience and delivering your products and services in the way you intend.
6. Update your keywords
Google Keyword Planner is a valuable tool for keyword research.
Keywords are a vital part of any website’s strategy. The right ones help you rank higher in search engines, which means your site will be more visible. However, Google likes to change the metrics on an irregular basis, so you need to keep on top of your SEO performance.
To stay up to date, you should devote time in the new year to checking your site’s main keywords. Google Keyword Planner is a useful tool for this task. Or, you can turn to a third-party tool called KWFinder that lets you perform a limited number of searches each day for free. By updating or altering existing content you can ensure that you target the right audience and keep people engaged.
7. Create new (or update existing) content
One of the most beneficial ways to update your website is to create new content. Even if your site is fairly static, adding engaging, high-quality content can provide a boost to your search rankings and keep readers coming back.
Here are a few suggestions for how to use your content for maximum effect:
- Create a blog (if you don’t already have one).
- Create videos or infographics to supplement the textual content.
- Rewrite key sections of your site, such as your Contact and About pages.
Remember to create an editorial calendar to ensure that you post blogs and social media on a regular basis to keep your audience engaged.
Update your website
Even if you regularly make changes to your website, it’s important to regularly take time to ensure that your site is working as effectively as possible. This means reviewing your site thoroughly, conducting research, and testing alterations.
In brief, you should:
- Ensure that everything is up-to-date.
- Perform A/B testing.
- Solicit feedback from your target audience.
- Conduct research on your competition.
- Check your own analytics.
- Update your keywords.
- Create new (or update existing) content.