The numbers are discouraging: Only 9% of Americans complete their New Year’s Resolutions by the end of the year. But you’re different. As a small business owner, you have the drive and determination to make things happen.
Today’s web-savvy customers search for businesses on mobile devices, make online purchases, and read customer reviews when making buying decisions. To reach these customers and to keep your business healthy, you’ll want to make sure your website is in top shape as you begin another year. A website redesign could be the perfect option to impress your customers and prospects.
In this ultimate guide, we provide some website resolutions to give your business the refresh it deserves for the New Year.
Why you may need a full website redesign
Around 60% of consumers abandon their carts due to poor website design. Not only that, a poorly designed website affects your business in many ways:
First Impressions Matter
Your website is often the first interaction a potential customer has with your business. If the website looks outdated, unprofessional, or difficult to navigate, visitors may leave immediately, forming a negative impression of your business.
Loss of Credibility
A poorly designed website can make your business appear untrustworthy and less credible. Customers may question the legitimacy of your business if your website looks amateurish.
Decreased User Engagement
Users expect a seamless and intuitive browsing experience. If your website is confusing or difficult to navigate, visitors are likely to leave without taking the desired actions, such as making a purchase or contacting your business.
Your website should be easy to navigate and highly informative. If you don’t have a website yet, new technology makes it easier than ever to create one.
Web.com can help with two convenient, cost-effective options: Choose our custom website design services and we’ll gather your input and do everything for you from start to finish. Or, for a more hands-on experience, our DIY website builder makes it easy to create a website in a few easy clicks.
If you already have a website, Web.com can refresh your design and content to improve the customer experience.
Spot areas for improvement
Aside from functionality, design is crucial for creating a visually appealing and user-friendly website. If you feel your current site needs a new coat, here are some areas in your current website you can improve design-wise:
Navigation and menu structure
Issue: Complicated or unclear navigation on your web pages can confuse visitors and make it difficult for them to find what they’re looking for.
Solution: Streamline your menu structure to organize your site’s content. Use clear labels, intuitive navigation menus, and logical categorization to help visitors easily navigate through your website.
Content layout and readability
Issue: Poorly formatted content, small fonts, and cluttered layouts can deter visitors from engaging with your content.
Solution: Use readable fonts, appropriate font sizes, and clear headings. Break content into digestible sections with plenty of white space. Incorporate visuals like images, videos, and infographics to enhance engagement. You can even consider getting a new logo to refresh your brand image.
Another great way to find areas of improvement on your website would be to use our Website Grader tool. This tool takes in to account several key factors for website success, and measures the performance based on those factors. These elements play a very important role in things like search ranking performance and website user experience. With the Website Grader website analysis report will give you a comprehensive view on all areas of your site.
Color scheme and visual consistency
Issue: Inconsistent color usage and a mismatched visual theme can make your site look unprofessional.
Solution: Choose a cohesive color palette that aligns with your brand. Maintain consistency in color usage, typography, and imagery across all pages to create a visually unified experience.
Improve your site speed
Page speed has been a Google ranking factor ever since. This means that if your website loads fast, it’s more likely to rank higher on its search engine results pages (SERPs).
So, if you want to greet the New Year with a bang, you might want to get your website up to speed. The following methods should help your site get the speed refresh it needs:
Evaluate your current speed
Is your website running slow? If you’re not quite sure, use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix to analyze your website’s current speed. This should help you identify the issues and areas that need improvement, such as large images, unnecessary plugins, or server-related problems.
Images can take up space on your website. But, of course, you wouldn’t want your site to be dull and unappealing. If you’re running an online store, having high-quality product images is crucial. The solution? Image compression.
Compress images without compromising quality using tools like Adobe Photoshop, TinyPNG, or plugins like Smush for WordPress. Consider using responsive images that are appropriately sized for different devices and screen sizes.
Minimize HTTP requests
Enable browser caching
Enable browser caching to store frequently accessed resources in visitors’ browsers, reducing loading times for returning users. Set an appropriate expiration date for the cached content.
Evaluate your hosting
Your hosting can make or break your website, so assess whether you might need to upgrade or switch to another hosting plan or provider.
As your business grows, a reliable hosting service ensures your site keeps up with its increasing demands, helping it load quickly without interruptions. It also influences your website’s search engine ranking and overall user experience.
Get a web hosting offering ample resources that meet the demands of your business website. For starters, choose from Web.com’s wide range of hosting plans. We also provide accessible customer support, regular backups, and robust security measures, ensuring your website operates smoothly and efficiently for visitors.
Assess your content management system (CMS)
WordPress, one of the most popular CMSs out there, is a great choice for those looking to launch their business online, whether to gain sales or attract more leads. If you have an existing site using the WordPress platform, even better! You can transfer it to a more powerful WordPress Hosting plan, which already comes pre-installed with the CMS so you don’t have to.
Optimize your site for mobile
Mobile-friendly websites are designed to fit smaller screens and touch interfaces. They offer a seamless and intuitive browsing experience, making it easy for users to access, navigate, read content, and interact with the site. A positive user experience leads to higher satisfaction and increased chances of conversion.
Mobile sites get half of the web traffic worldwide. So, don’t miss out! Here are several ways to redesign a responsive website:
Use a responsive design framework
- CSS Media Queries: Implement CSS media queries to define different styles for different devices. Media queries allow you to apply specific styles based on the device’s characteristics, such as screen width.
- Bootstrap or Foundation: Consider using responsive design frameworks like Bootstrap or Foundation on your mobile site. These frameworks provide pre-built components and styles that are responsive out of the box.
Flexible grid layout
- Use percentage-based widths for elements instead of fixed pixel widths. This allows elements to resize proportionally based on the user’s screen size.
Flexible images and media
- Use CSS to make images and media elements (like videos) responsive. Set the max-width property of images to 100% to ensure they do not exceed the width of their container.
- Consider using the srcset attribute for images to provide different image sizes for different screen resolutions and sizes.
- Use legible fonts and ensure that text is easily readable on smaller screens. Maintain an appropriate font size, line height, and contrast for optimal readability.
- Design touch-friendly navigation menus and buttons. Buttons and links should have enough spacing around them to prevent accidental clicks. Use larger touch targets for interactive elements.
But if you don’t have the expertise or resources to do it, consider getting a website refresh or redesign from a reputable online solutions provider like Web.com. Our professional web designers are equipped to build you a fully responsive, professional business website that hooks visitors.
Create website content that attracts customers
Aside from your website’s functionality, good content engages and inspires your customers and motivates them to take action. Looking for new content ideas to promote your products or services? Read below.
Start a blog
Nearly half of all small business owners say they don’t understand blogging or have a blog. Use this to your advantage and help your business and brand stand out in the marketplace.
A business blog establishes you as an industry expert and thought leader. It also helps to connect customers with your brand and gives them opportunities to share your content through their social media channels.
Write high-converting content
Want more conversions? Be strategic in producing and publishing website content — that is if you don’t want to increase your bounce rates. Here are some tips to help you write content that converts users:
Know Your Audience
Understand your target audience’s demographics, preferences, pain points, and interests. Conduct surveys, analyze customer feedback, and use analytics tools to gain insights into your audience.
Create detailed buyer personas that represent your ideal customers. Tailor your content to address their specific needs and challenges.
Understand the Customer Journey
Craft content that caters to each stage of the buyer’s journey: Awareness, Consideration, Decision. Awareness-stage content should educate, consideration-stage content should provide solutions, and decision-stage content should encourage action.
Compelling Headlines and Introductions
Create attention-grabbing headlines that evoke curiosity, offer a solution, or highlight a benefit. Use power words to trigger emotions.
Start with a compelling introduction that addresses the reader’s problem or question. Clearly state the value they will gain by reading further.
Valuable and Relevant Content
With millions of content pieces being published each day, it can be challenging to create one that stands out. The key is to offer valuable information, tips, guides, and insights related to your industry. Position yourself as an authority in your field. Get a full website redesign with these content tips:
- Address common problems your audience faces and provide practical solutions. Show them how your product or service can help.
- Use simple and concise language. Avoid jargon or overly technical terms unless your audience is well-versed in them.
- Implement persuasion techniques such as storytelling, social proof, and testimonials to build trust and credibility.
- Use short paragraphs, bullet points, and subheadings for easy readability. Online readers tend to scan content, so make it scannable.
- Include images, videos, infographics, and other visuals to break up the text and make your content more engaging.
Be clear with your calls-to-action (CTAs)
Clearly state what action you want the reader to take. Whether it’s making a purchase, subscribing, or contacting you, use persuasive language for your CTAs.
Specify the action, such as “Buy Now,” “Subscribe Today,” or “Get Your Free Trial.” Use words that create a sense of urgency, such as “Limited Time Offer,” “Act Now,” or “Last Chance.” Urgency encourages visitors to take immediate action to avoid missing out.
Place CTAs strategically within your content, especially at the end, when the reader is primed to take action. It’s also important to make your CTA visually appealing. Using contrasting colors makes your CTA stand out from the rest of the content. A button with a vibrant color draws attention.
This is one of the reasons to hire professional web designers for a full website redesign this New Year. If you have an existing website, a website refresh would do your business good. These pros aren’t only updated with the latest web design trends and knowledgeable about the best practices that drive clicks and conversions.
Develop or refine your SEO strategy
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of making your website more visible and attractive to search engines like Google. When people search for products, services, or information related to your business, you want your website to appear on the first page of SERPs.
SEO techniques help your site rank higher in these results, making it easier for potential customers to find you. Even as simple as fixing broken links can improve your user experience and SEO in the process.
Keyword research is a major aspect of SEO. When you create a blog post, be sure to include keywords in your content. These keywords trigger online search engines and help your business rank higher in search directories when customers look for you on sites like Google, Yelp and Bing.
Review your competitors’ websites to see what terms they use in their content or partner with Web.com to put the power of SEO to work for your business.
Promote your content on social media
Use social media to attract more visitors to your website and measure the effectiveness of your posts with online analytics tools to see what messages best connect with your customers.
So, how do you get started on social media marketing? Let these steps guide you:
- Know your audience. Research their demographics, interests, online behavior, and preferences. Tailor your existing content to resonate with your audience.
- Choose the right platforms. You don’t need to have a presence on every social media platform out there. Select social media platforms that align with your target market and business goals.
- Facebook – Wide demographic, suitable for various content types.
- Instagram – Visual content, popular among younger demographics.
- Twitter – Real-time updates and engagement, suitable for short and concise messaging.
- LinkedIn – Professional networking, ideal for B2B businesses.
- Pinterest – Visual discovery, suitable for lifestyle and product-related businesses.
- TikTok – Short-form videos, popular among younger audiences.
- Plan a content calendar. Determine your posting schedule, considering the best times to post for your target audience.
- Create engaging content. Craft high-quality, visually appealing, and informative content. Use images, videos, infographics, and compelling captions to capture attention.
- Use user-generated content (UGC) to build trust and authenticity. UGC enhances your SEO strategy and influences your customers’ purchasing decisions.
- Engage with your audience. Respond to comments, messages, and mentions promptly. Interacting with your audience humanizes your brand.
- Don’t forget the hashtags. Research and use relevant hashtags to increase the discoverability of your posts. Use industry-specific, trending, and branded hashtags.
Stay active across online channels
Your website is the hub of your brand – be sure to keep it updated and refresh your site with new content often. When you do this, online search engines take notice and continue to rank your business prominently in search directories. Your website redesign cost is offset by the value it creates for your brand.
Stay consistent with your social media posts and email campaigns to keep your brand top of mind and relevant with customers to make sure they are up to date with your business happenings.
As you head further into the new year, it’s a great time to track small business trends. Identifying these trends allows you to magnify your company’s strengths, improve its weaknesses and confidently chart a course for your company moving forward. It can also help you grow your company’s sales, offer better customer service and operate more efficiently.
Find success in the new year and beyond
It’s going to be a great year for your business – and it begins with your website. We’ll help you redesign your website and gain the positive online presence you deserve. Whether you want to build a website, add eCommerce to your site, or enhance your online marketing with a website redesign, Web.com has the expertise and resources to grow your customer base and make it happen.
After partnering with over 3 million small businesses, we can help make your business more productive in the new year and beyond!