It's that time again - the fresh start of a new year, and this time it's a pretty major milestone. Business owners everywhere have big plans for 2020 and beyond, but the first step in reaching your marketing goals for the new year is to assess what you have now, and decide what needs to be updated.
One of the most important areas to look at is your website. Good design and SEO practices change so rapidly that even if you just did a complete overhaul of your site a couple of years ago, it's likely there are a lot of things you could improve. Here are five key steps to giving your website a turbo boost in 2020.
1. Audit your current site. Even if you never make changes to the core of your website, things break over time. Go over everything with a fine-toothed comb and make sure there are no dead links in your content, no out-of-date products or information, and no broken plugins or features. It's also a good time to give your content a thorough proofread to correct any typos, grammar errors, or style issues.
2. Update your media. Those photos you uploaded of your product line and office staff back in 2014? It's time to take some new, higher-quality ones. In fact, go one step further and start adding in video wherever you can. Product demonstrations and behind-the-scenes peeks into office life make for great clips that will help you connect with potential customers and boost your search ranking.
3. Perform user tests. Making sure that visitors understand and enjoy your site is a key factor in reducing bounce rate. The most beautiful website in the world is useless if visitors can't find what they're looking for, or if they find the site frustrating to use. A/B testing can help you understand where your design is helping you, and where it's failing. This can make a huge difference when it comes to those all-important conversion rates.
4. Revise your SEO. It's tempting to adopt a set-it-and-forget it strategy when optimizing for search, but with search engines updating their ranking algorithms so frequently, it's important to stay current with the latest best practices. As old-style keyword research starts taking a back seat to factors like perceived trustworthiness and expertise, high-value content is going to be even more important in 2020 if you want your site to rank highly.
5. Keep creating. A website isn't meant to be static. If you want people to have a reason to come back time and time again, you have to be perpetually providing them with fresh content, updated resources, and new products and services that evolve with their needs. It's an investment of time and effort, but it's the most effective way to keep your visitors continually engaged and interested in what your site has to offer.
A website health check and upgrade doesn't have to be overwhelming - start with the absolute must-haves, and then deal with things further down the list as you find the time to implement them. By the end of January you'll have a website that's better-looking, easier to use, and more enticing to your customers.