How to Complete a Successful Website Refresh in 2022
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In today’s market, your website is a critical part of your sales infrastructure. It is your virtual storefront where customers come to discover your brand, research your products, explore your expertise, and purchase what you have to offer.
Between the mobile revolution and the pandemic conditions, your audience today is more likely to shop and buy online than they are to visit your venue in person (if your brand even has a physical venue for customers to visit).
This means the performance of your website as a lead-conversion platform is paramount. But what if it isn’t living up to your expectations?
Website design shapes your entire online customer experience, and sometimes, even the best-built websites don’t have the SEO ranking, traffic draw, or conversion power that you expect from such a critical asset of your brand.
You might be considering that it’s time for a website redesign, a lengthy process of creative and technical challenges. But really, a website refresh might be all you need to transform your functional-but-underperforming website into the shining star you need as the digital face of your company.
Website Refresh or Redesign: What Is the Difference?
Redesigning your website can be a huge task, depending on just how much you plan to change. Typical redesigns can take up to two years to plan, wireframe, implement, and hone to performance perfection. In a redesign, you might change your CMS, menu system, blog structure, and e-store elements to create an all-new customer experience.
A website refresh, on the other hand, gives a new face to the same reliable and already-functional structure of your website. Keep your CMS and navigation menus that your customers are already familiar with, but put a new face, features, and widgets where plain pages once were. A website refresh updates your website to the graphic, design, and online tool standards of this year without the effort (and expense) of a full-scale redesign overhaul.
Website refresh projects give you a chance to freshen up your keywords, update your best pages, and improve the overall appearance of your website for better conversions — without overhauling the entire infrastructure for a few more SERP points.
A refresh can help your website become competitive with newer sites and brands while keeping the infrastructure that is already doing everything your website needs to do.
Website Refresh Tips for Cutting-Edge 2022 Results
Before you give your website a refresh, it’s important to be clear about your objectives.
Is the objective to improve your website’s user experience (UX), or perhaps it needs a technical upgrade?
Crafting a website refresh strategy will crystalize your objectives, help you understand and justify the costs and allow you to achieve your goals.
Here are some objectives and tips for a successful website refresh project plan.
Customer Experience Refresh
Review Your Website Flow
- Consider how customers flow through your website. Rethink your site architecture, conversion funnel, visual experience, search features, and shopping cart checkout process.
This is your chance to rebuild your website flow without rebuilding the website. Give customers a modern look and easy experience to reduce bounce rate and increase conversions.
Replace Stock Photos with Original and Compelling Images
- A few years ago, stock photos were all the rage. They can bring a startup website to life with a few simple clicks, but customers have now seen many of the public stock photos more than a dozen times — and know a stock photo when they see one. It’s time to get original.
- Challenge your team to take your own “stock” photos of working groups, offices, and items. Challenge your artists to create great infographics and content images to complement the site better than old stock photos ever could.
Minimize and Modernize Your Design
- Old website designs tend to be text-heavy, separated by sections and columns. Modern websites are open, clean, and graphical.
Maximize your whitespace and modernize your design. This can be as easy as integrating a new theme for your CMS or going all-out wire-framing and custom-designing a new visual layout for your website.
Tell Your Story in the About Section
- Audiences today love stories. They like content in the form of stories, and when exploring a new brand, they want to hear the story behind it.
Find your brand’s stories – not just the founding story but also other stories inspired, created, or made possible by your brand. Weave stories into every element of your website and marketing strategy.
Add On-Page Widgets and Web Tools
- Today, websites are live and interactive through the help of on-page widgets and web tools. Make it easy for customers to browse your calendar with a booking widget or calculate their cost per square footage with a web calculating tool.
- Interactive tools make your website more engaging, add more visual elements to your page design, and provide real value to visiting customers.
Incorporate On-Page Chatbot Support
- Chatbots became popular several years ago, and their popularity has only increased. An on-page chatbot can provide friendly and accurate access to FAQ answers, help users search your website for content, services, and products, and also transfer users to your customer service chat techs if human assistance is needed.
Rethink Your Content Strategy
- Content strategies change over time, especially if you’ve already plumbed the depths of your industry how-tos and lifestyle articles. Re-publish your best pages and re-strategize based on the types of content popular with your specific industry audience this year to rock your content in 2022.
Clarify Your Calls-to-Action
- Calls to action are less buried this year than they have been in the past. Many websites are clarifying where and how they share a call-to-action on each page. Be sure your intent is clear and give leads the tools they need to take action.
Build a Matching Mobile App
- 2022 is the year that every website should have a mobile app. If you don’t have a special design for app features, make sure your website is mobile-friendly and mirror the site design into a downloadable app for regular customers who prefer this route.
Technical Website Refresh
Update All Your Software and Plugins
- Make sure all the technology you are using is up-to-date with the latest versions and compatible with each other. This will increase website performance and ranking if done correctly.
Repair Broken Links and Images
- Review and scan your website for broken links, broken images, and anything else that no longer connects correctly. The internet is an ever-changing landscape, so it may be necessary to update or replace these linked assets.
Rebuild Your SEO Strategy, Front-End, and Back-End
- The rules of top SEO change year to year, making SEO strategy refreshment an annual must-have. Re-strategize your content front-end SEO and your metadata back-end SEO.
Beef Up Your Hosting Server and Account Cybersecurity
- Cybersecurity is a big issue for 2022 as hackers, and attacks become more common. Improve your website’s security measures to protect your data, hosting, and user accounts.
- Improve your hosting solution and web care plans to ensure 24/7 uptime, security, and website maintenance are taken care of.
Optimize for Speed and Mobile Performance
- Finally, tune up that page load speed for better performance and optimize your site to perform well on mobile phones and tablets. Google is putting a lot of focus on performance this year, and your website should be ready.
Refreshing your website is an effective way to improve both the user experience and the technical aspects of your current website without breaking the bank on a complete rebuild and restructuring.
Does your website need a refresh to reach your performance goals for 2022?
Contact us today to schedule an in-depth review of your current website and how it can be improved to ensure your business success in 2022!