With an uptick in internet usage over the last year, your website has never been more important as the face of your brand. The modern buyer will often use a company’s website as a first impression – a strong indicator of whether or not he or she will engage with that business. In fact, 85 percent of B2B customers search the web before making a purchase decision. And when it comes to making that decision, design and usability are the biggest factors. More than 75 percent of users admit to making judgments about a company’s credibility based on their website’s design.
Now’s the time to think about how you can bring your website into 2021, giving you a leg up on competition whose website may be stuck in the past. Here are 5 ways to modernize your website this year.
1. Clean Up the Clutter
Just like when you’re looking to freshen up your home, cleaning up and getting rid of clutter is a great place to start. For this exercise, channel your inner Marie Kondo. Look for extraneous copy or graphics that aren’t pointing you toward your current goals for the website. Maybe there are pages on your website that could be consolidated or removed altogether. Consider unpublishing blogs that are outdated or specific to a past year or event. When considering what to remove and what to keep, always go back to your current brand goals. If it doesn’t serve your goals, throw it away. Modern websites are simpler and cleaner, so by simply taking out the trash, you’ll give your website a much-needed facelift.
2. Solidify Your Branding
Your brand should determine every decision you make for your website. If your brand isn’t solid, you’ll have a hard time keeping your website consistent. Now’s a good time to rethink your brand, or maybe just update your website to better match your brand.
Many clients come to us whose websites are all over the place in terms of color, logo use, tone and voice and graphics, with little to no uniformity. And truly, nothing could be worse for your brand. Create consistent guidelines for your brand and apply them to your website across the board. By sticking to your brand, your website will look more put-together, professional and intentional. Not sure where to start on creating brand guidelines? Check out our blog on Brand Guidelines and Establishing Consistency.
3. Reconsider Your User Experience (UX)
A good website is all about user experience (UX). According to Amazon Web Services, 88 percent of online shoppers say they wouldn’t return to a website after having a bad user experience. And it’s important to remember that user experience applies to all devices, including mobile, desktop and tablets.
Now, we all know how hard it is to identify issues in our own work, especially if it’s remained the same for a very long time. It’s a good idea to have some people outside of your organization move through your website with a few different objectives in mind to see if they can identify any pain points or places where customers could be turned away. When considering user experience, you want to always be thinking about how someone would move through your website and make it as easy for them as possible. A modern website is one that’s easy for your customers to use.
4. Optimize Your Website for Search Engines
The reality of the internet today is that search engines have a lot of power over what is shown to people using them. To give your website the highest chance of showing up on search engine results pages (SERPs), make sure you’re optimizing it for search engines. This includes making sure your site can be crawled and indexed by Google, using sitemaps, including keywords that relate to your business and, above all, providing quality content and UX. Moz has a helpful, in-depth guide about optimizing for search engines if you need a place to start.
5. Invest in a Custom Web Design
There are plenty of web design options out there, like WordPress or Squarespace, that include website templates to choose from. For a single-shingle business that’s hoping to keep costs low with a pre-designed website, this might be the best option. But if you’re a growing business that’s looking to truly invest in modernizing your website, you should consider hiring an agency like PRIME to do a custom web design for you.
Experts in web design can do the hard work of navigating user experience, search engine optimization and brand compliance for you. Plus, a custom website allows you the flexibility to create it exactly how you want it with the functionality you need to meet your business goals.
Looking to update your website, but need help figuring out where to start? Reach out to PRIME to discuss your goals and issues you’re facing. We’re here to help!
If you enjoyed this edition of PRIME Pulse, take a look at some of our other related articles:
- The Importance of Good Website Design
- 5 Reasons Your Website is Never Really Done
- 6 Web Design Trends for 2021
- The Six Essential Elements of a Brand