The beginning of the year is often a time when businesses think about updating their websites. There are, however, a lot of different things you can do when it comes to making improvements. If you are considering giving your website an overhaul, here are some of the changes we think you should consider.
1. Check the accuracy of information
The world doesn’t stand still and as time moves on, facts change. For a website, it is important that the information you provide is up-to-date. If it’s not, your content may appear behind the times, out of touch or even misleading. So, if your website still says Mrs May is the Prime Minister and Topshop is a high street store, it is important to update your facts.
2. Update your keywords
It is important to rank for the right keywords in order to attract your target audience to your website. However, the best keywords to use can change. As there is always strong competition for keywords, other brands may start ranking higher for them than you do. Your analytics will show you if keywords that used to drive lots of traffic no longer do. If these keywords have stopped being of value, it might be time to consider alternatives that will perform better. Using an all-in-one SEO tool, like marketgoo, can help you get your keywords right.
3. Add new content
If you are busy with the day to day running of your business, you might not have a lot of time to add new content to your website. However, if you let it stagnate it can cause two issues: visitors might stop returning because there is nothing new for them and search engines could downrank you because there is no fresh content.
You can address this by freshening up some of the content already there or by adding brand new content, perhaps through writing a blog post or two. New content can also attract new visitors.
4. Get rid of broken links
Broken internal links can be really frustrating for visitors who click on them only to discover the page they’re looking for isn’t there. They are, essentially, poor navigation and can lead to user abandonment and lost sales. Search engines quickly spot broken links, too, and can downrank your site if they are an issue. To speed up the process, you can use a broken link plugin. This will quickly spot all the broken links on your site so you can update or remove them.
5. Change your theme
Changing a website theme is a major task that should not be undertaken lightly. It may require a lot of work to ensure your existing content displays properly in its new setting. The bigger your website, the bigger the job. That said, if you haven’t got a mobile-friendly website, updating to a responsive theme should be a priority as more than half of all searches are now carried out on smartphones.
If you already have a mobile-friendly website, you need only update your theme if it is looking tired and outdated or if it no longer lets you do the things you want your website to do – for example, if it’s incompatible with other software, like chatbots.
6. Change the look of your website
You can change the look of your website without going through the hassle of changing your theme. The latest version of WordPress has built-in site editing features and most themes give you plenty of options to change colour schemes, layouts and fonts. This gives you the scope to give your website a fresh, clean look that makes it more attractive to visitors. Don’t forget to update your images too as these can really modernise the overall look and feel of your site.
7. Speed up your website
While speeding up your website won’t change the content and style, it will reduce abandonment rates and can potentially boost your search engine ranking. The most effective way for those on shared hosting plans to do this is to upgrade to a more powerful hosting solution, like VPS. For just a few pounds extra a month, VPS hosting provides you with oodles more storage, CPU, RAM and bandwidth so your website can load and respond faster no matter how many visitors you have on your site.
8. Beef up security
With cyberattacks becoming more frequent, varied and sophisticated, it is vital to stay one step ahead of hackers by keeping your site as secure as possible. Make sure you host your website with a vendor like WHUK, that uses a range of advanced tools to keep your server safe. At the same time, make the move to two-factor authentication, use stronger passwords, set up auto-updates, install an SSL certificate and use Patchman Website Security to automate security patching and malware removal. And don’t forget those all-important backups.
Updating your website from time to time is important to keep it fresh and interesting for your visitors and to boost your search engine ranking. However, updating is not just about making changes to what people see, it’s also about mobile friendliness, website speed, content accuracy and security. Hopefully, the suggestions given here will give you some ideas of how to update your own website.
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