January is all about fresh starts and new beginnings. New outlook, new goals, new body (or at least an attempt at a new body) – everyone’s tossing out the old and ringing in the new. So why should your website be any different?
Although during December companies are winding down for the festive season or inundated with festive trade, January is the perfect time to plan a website refresh or rebuild. Here we explain why – and share tips and tricks to help you get the ball rolling on your own digital revamp.
Why should you refresh or update your website regularly?
Businesses often believe that once a website is live, it’s ‘job done’ for several years. And whilst in some respects this is true, it’s also true that a website needs to be constantly monitored and regularly updated to perform optimally for your business. This applies no matter what the function of you site may be – whether it’s a basic one-page, an e-commerce platform or catalogue site.
Benefits of making regular changes and refreshes to your site include:
Keep visitors interested and engaged:
One of the main benefits of a site refresh is keeping your target audience interested in your brand. If you have customers coming back to you quite regularly, they’ll get used to your platform and come to expect a certain look and navigation. There’s an advantage to this familiarity – but just like your favourite soap or Netflix drama series, there also has to be some variation to the status quo otherwise your audience will quickly get bored and may be enticed by a shinier, more exciting competitor offering.
A tired or dated website is a huge turn-off – so you’ll want to arrange an appointment with a web designer pretty promptly if you haven’t updated your site for a few years.
SEO is a concern for many businesses – especially SMEs and smaller companies. When you get it right you can make a lot of money – but get it wrong and you could be spending thousands without a sale in sight. Unfortunately, when it comes to SEO the more you spend, the more likely it is you’ll see results (and in a shorter period of time). Whilst traditional SEO techniques delivered well by a reputable company is the best way to go when it comes to SEO, there are some relatively inexpensive things you can do to improve your ranking on Google. Alongside blogs, regular website refreshes will keep Google happy, demonstrating that you’re a genuine trading business with value to offer in your niche.
Enhance user experience
Poor site functionality is incredibly off-putting, especially when your point of sale is online. it’s incredibly wise to use this time to assess your site from a customer point of view. You can do this through conducting real marketing research with a small target group, or assemble some colleagues to experience your company from an outsider perspective and offer honest feedback. This allows you to really see where improvements could be made to help enhance the profitability of your site and helps smooth out issues in key areas such as the checkout process and access to product information.
Updates and new functions and features are being released all the time – but they need to be integrated in a timely manner to make a difference. Your competitors will be keeping on top of the latest technologies and user experience trends – so you need to pay attention in order to stay relevant. Moving with the times involves regular scrutiny of what’s working and what could be better, taking action accordingly. If your audit is annual, January is the perfect time to assess what’s new and make meaningful changes to your site ready for the new year ahead.
Tighten site security
Security is often an afterthought but it’s more crucial than ever before – for small and large businesses alike. Hacking of smaller sites is now a common occurrence – and the resulting downtime and potential data leaks can be potentially devastating for businesses, especially those who rely solely on their website to trade. Failing to keep on top of basic site maintenance and updates opens you up to this kind of risk, which includes hopping onto and hijacking domains for criminal activity and data mining. On top of monthly basic maintenance such as updating plug-ins and performing back-ups, take time each year to consider what new security measures you may need to put into place. Not sure what this means or lack the time and skills to take care of your site’s security? Sort out a maintenance plan for your site today to keep your data, customers and credibility safe.
Strengthen trust and credibility
A consistently updated and fully operational site is one of the strongest and simplest ways to ensure your customer base trusts your company and feels safe enough to spend with you. Seeing that you are an active and dynamic brand taking the time and care to pay attention to your online presence sends a very clear and strong message of prosperity and credibility. Would you prefer to stop outside a dusty, dirty shop window full of dead flies, or would the shiny, spotless and sparkling window proudly displaying its wares catch your eye instead?
Keep up with competitors
Even if you haven’t been paying much attention to the health and appearance of your site recently, your competitors have likely been busy polishing up their online presence ready for the first quarter of 2023. This is important because when you leave your site for too long without care and attention, the difference by contrast between you and a rival business can become glaringly obvious to visitors. Price, reputation and quality all matter of course – but sometimes the major difference between someone choosing you over a similar brand is purely aesthetic. We’re fickle and driven by emotions when choosing to buy something, so if a site doesn’t feel right or appeal to us in a certain way, we’ll happily go elsewhere. Don’t let this be you – instead, avoid lost sales by catching up with scheduled updates and conducting a thorough seasonal site refresh.
Even if your site has been neglected the past year, there’s still time to put things right. In fact, right now is the perfect time – and here’s why.
Why is January the perfect time to build a new site?
January is a bit of a strange month both in business and our personal lives. For those of us in the northern hemisphere gloomy weather, dark days, empty wallets and the return to work can all take their toll on mental health and productivity as well as sales (depending on your sector) – but this is actually beneficial as it gives your business the necessary breathing space to fully assess your online presence and make sure it’s working well for you. Minor amendments and changes can be made ready for February and the rest of the year ahead, so it’s well worth getting prepared for a site refresh early to get a head-start on other brands
Ready to supercharge your selling power in 2023?
Fancy a full audit on your site and digital marketing campaign to get you started on the right path for a successful year of sales? Drop us a line today and book a call with our friendly team of experts. Availability is limited for January, so don’t delay – sign up here and we’ll get you started with our stress-free, simple, no-nonsense approach: