6 Updates You Need to Make to Your Website in 2017

A new year typically means new resolve to focus on your health, relationships, and business. And while many small-business owners choose to focus efforts on marketing, social media, creating new products and services, or hiring new employees, lots of owners neglect to update their websites.

According to a Local Consumer Review Survey taken in 2012, 85% of users have used the internet to look up a local business. I do this all of the time, and you probably do, too. Potential customers Google to find out about the business they’re considering supporting, and an outdated website could be just as detrimental as no website at all.

If you have an existing website and it’s out of date it can give the impression that you’re not a reputable business, that your business can’t keep up with new technology, or that you don’t care about web users.

If you don’t have a website:

You’ve resolved to work on your business this year so you need to make some changes to your web presence. If you don’t have a website at all, get one! We help small businesses finance a one-page website for $195 a month. Reach out to us if you want to learn more.

If you do have a website:

If you do have a website it’s a good idea to review it closely and plan to make some changes. It can be difficult to know where to start so I’ve made a list of 6 changes you should make to your website in 2017.

6 updates you need to make to your website this year:

Make sure your website is mobile-friendly (responsive).

If your site was built a few years ago there’s a good chance it’s not a mobile friendly (responsive) website. This is killing your online presence! 75% of U.S. internet users access the internet through mobile devices (source), and they don’t have the patience to deal with an unresponsive site.

Tip: To find out if your website is responsive, drag your browser window to a smaller size. If your website doesn’t adjust to fit all of the content in the window (i.e. you have to scroll left or right to view the full page) then your site isn’t responsive.

Blog regularly or not at all.

You’ve probably heard somewhere that a blog is great for your website. That’s true, but only if you blog regularly. Blog content is a great way to organically improve your SEO rank but it looks unprofessional if you don’t maintain a consistent presence.

You don’t have to publish a blog daily or even weekly, but you should create a schedule and stick to it. If you can’t commit to consistently posting it’s better to remove the blog from the site altogether.

Only link to active social networks.

Similar to the point on blogging, you don’t want to send customers to a Facebook page that hasn’t had an update since 2015. It’s a good idea to reserve a username for each of the major social networks, but if you can’t commit to being consistent it’s better to leave the information blank.

Placing social links on your website is a good way to help your customers connect with you across the web, but you should only give them links to the networks you use regularly. I recommend choosing 1 or 2 big networks to focus your attention on. You can add other networks as necessary but don’t overwhelm yourself at the start.

Install Google Analytics on your site.

If you’re not monitoring your analytics you’re taking a big gamble with your business. Analytics will tell you who is visiting your site, what pages they’re most interested in, and where the traffic is coming from. All of the information you gather from analytics will help you tailor your online presence to fit the needs of your customers.

Clean up your content and site organization.

If your site has dozens of pages with long chunks of block text it’s going to be a nightmare for your customers to navigate. Think about repeated questions you get from your customers… do they say things like, “I couldn’t find ____ on the site” or “I can’t remember where I saw it but your website says you do _____.” Statements like these are a good indication that your site is disorganized and too wordy.

See if you can combine pages, cut pages, reduce text, or clarify difficult topics. It’ll be a big undertaking but it’s an essential step to cleaning up your site and making sure your message is clear.

Add a call-to-action (CTA).

Chances are you want your viewers to do more than look at your site. Do you want them to call you? Download something? Fill out a form? Think of the action you most want them to take and then make that a focal point on each page. A good CTA tells your viewers what to do. I wrote an article about how to write a good one here, so check that out if you want help writing a killer CTA.

Conclusion

Your outdated website isn’t doing your business any favors. I’ve outlined 6 steps you can take to improve your website in 2017. If you want help with creating an action plan, reach out to me. I’d love to point you in the right direction.

If you’re a small-business owner and have tips to share with other business owners, leave them in the comments. How else can small businesses improve their websites this year?

How to write a call to action that works

How to Write a Call-to-Action that Works

In the world of marketing, the call-to-action (CTA) is what actually causes your viewers or audience to pull the trigger and buy your product or hire your services. Setting up a website that’s missing a CTA is essentially turning potential customers away. If there’s no clear way for your potential customer to contact you, hire your services, or otherwise engage, they’ll go to a competitor site and never look back. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Each page on your website should have a specific, clear CTA. You don’t need to create a different CTA for each page but you do need to think about the ultimate goal: what do you want your customer to do when they visit your site?

Before you sit down to write your CTA answer these five questions:

  • Who is your visitor?

What are they looking for? What are their goals or objectives? What do they need from you? What actions are they willing to take to get what they want?

  • What do you want them to do on your site?

Do you want them to log in, sign-up, call you, fill out a form, subscribe to a newsletter, make a purchase, or something else? Think about the action you most want them to take when they come to your site. It’ll probably involve sales in some way.

  • What is the objective of this action?

So what comes out of their following the action you require? Do you make a sale? Do you increase your sales funnel? Do you build your email list? Do you network? This is your objective and how it helps you.

  • What will your visitor get from following through?

What’s in it for them? Will they get an exclusive whitepaper or case study? Will they receive a coupon code or free item? Will they get to download an awesome freebie? You need to reward them in some way for following your CTA. It’s sort of like a bribe.

  • How does this fit with their objectives?

It’s not useful to offer a download for a child’s birthday invitation if your audience is professional golfers looking to improve their game. So how does your CTA plus your “bribe” fit in with your customer objectives?

If they’re looking for tips to improve their golf game and you want them to hire your services, then you need to show them that following your CTA is the only way for your potential client to reach his or her goals/objectives.

Put it together and what have you got… an awesome CTA!

Let’s walk through the process so you get a better idea of how it all works.

We’ll go with the golf example I started above. So, you own a coaching business geared at helping semi-pro and pro golfers improve their game. It’s a niche market, so your CTA has got to be even better to net sales.

  1. Your ideal visitor is a semi-pro or pro golfer who wants to perform better in tournaments. They have the money to spend to improve their game.
  2. You want them to learn about your services and contact you for a 30-minute Skype consultation. You’ll gauge their wants/needs and see if you’re a good fit.
  3. The objective is that you convince them to hire your professional services.
  4. Your visitor will get an improved golf game, thus performing better in tournaments.
  5. Your visitor will earn more money from tournaments and improve his or her golf game, which is his or her main objective.

So, what would our example CTA look like?

I’ve helped semi-professional and professional golfers earn $2,569,345.00 in the last 12 months with my coaching techniques. Contact me to set up a free 30-minute Skype consultation.

In the example we wrote, we’ve addressed each of the five points and created a CTA that will encourage visitors to act instead of remaining passive on the website. Without a CTA you’re leaving potential customers and revenue in the dark. Instead, you can guide site visitors to act in a way that will help both parties reach their goals/objectives.

Are you missing a CTA on your website? Having trouble coming up with one? Let’s chat about it in the comments.