Has your website seen better days? (Spoiler alert: Probably). Once we get a decent website on our hands, we tend to stick with it and let it stagnate. Unfortunately, that’s not how it should be. Search engine optimization (SEO), trends, and most importantly our customers and potential investors want to see a website that’s fresh, follows current best practices, and doesn’t look like it’s been abandoned.
We’re already into 2016, but it’s not too late to upgrade your website and make this year the best yet. Here are seven key ingredients a thriving site needs:
- Mobile readiness: Mobile readiness can mean a mobile version of your site, an app, or both. Not everybody needs an app, but everybody needs a mobile-friendly site. Last year, it became official—there are more people using mobile devices than desktops. Conduct some research (whether it’s a focus group or online poll) to see if your customers want an app, and hire that mobile designer to bring your site into the modern era.
- Content: Not just any content. You need organic, high quality, SEO-friendly content. Your content should be working for you, reeling in readers and encouraging them to take action. Unless you’re a true writer, you probably don’t have the knack for this. Hire a freelance writer who specializes in online content and your industry.
- Images/videos: People find it easier and more enjoyable to take in images and videos rather than just text. Invest in a quality stock photography site and start making short videos of your own to make your site more personal.
- Responsive design: Responsive design, or RD, is the umbrella of mobile readiness. It means that your site is designed to respond to any browser and device. This is critical because you don’t know if a potential high paying client is using a browser that doesn’t play well with your site. Only hire web developers who prioritize RD.
- A Blog: Blogs are a way to get a little less formal with your readers, share information, and encourage the community. They’re also a big commitment, so it’s best to hire a blogger instead of tackling this onto your own to-do list. It’s also another chance for great content.
- Quality links: If you have links on your site (as you should), make sure they’re either appropriately internal or connect to an authority site that doesn’t compete with you. External links send visitors away from your site, so you only want to do this when necessary (and make sure they’re set up to open a new window!).
- Better hosting: What kind of web host do you have? If it’s not VPS (virtual private server), you’re in trouble. Hosting impacts uptime, site speed and security. Plus, hosting today is so affordable, it’s just silly not to have the best for a few dollars per month.
A website is like a child, and it needs constant attention to thrive and grow. Spend a little time on your “baby” and watch the site visits, customers, and profits grow.