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Small Business Website - A Blog By Rachel Klaver Idnentify Marketing

New Year, New Landing Page: Why Your Small Business Website Might Need a Refresh

The holiday season has officially passed and it’s time to start fresh — it’s time to update your small business website. 

I understand, websites are so easy to forget about. Once they’re up they don’t require a lot of attention or continuous updating the way other aspects of our marketing do. However, your website is one of the most important tools you have in your marketing — it is the home base for your business — so it’s about time it got a little love.

As small business owners, we often shift what we say about our business to others. We may initiate or discontinue certain services, and adjust pricing or systems throughout the year. On occasion, we let the website change with the times. But more often than not, the website slowly becomes less reflective of our business and our goals. 

If you’re wanting to go into 2024 with a small business website that works better for you, here’s some things to get you started:

Start with benchmarks to check performance.

Begin by establishing benchmarks to evaluate performance. Most of this data is accessible through G4 analytics and Google Search Console. These tools are user-friendly, and you won’t risk any errors, so feel free to explore and click through all the buttons if you’re initially unfamiliar with navigating them.

Store them away for future reference — revisit them after six months and again after a year. Focus on key metrics such as website visitors, their sources (which also aids in assessing the effectiveness of our digital marketing efforts), the usage of contact forms or purchase transactions, engagement levels with content (formerly known as bounce rate), and the specific elements that people are clicking on.

Read your content with fresh eyes

When looking over your website, you want to go in with completely fresh eyes and a clear vision of what it should look like. Before you check out the website, write down what your wanting to see on it, including your current messaging, what your core offers are, and what you want your brand ‘feel’ and voice to look like.

Then, compare this list to the existing content on the website and see what does and doesn’t match. From this, you’ll know what needs to be removed, added, or updated.

Here you can also evaluate the effectiveness of your lead magnets, and note whether they actually yield conversions. If they’re underperforming, consider either updating or changing them entirely. 

For tips on refreshing your “About Us Page,” check out this blog.

Check the SEO is still relevant

If you’ve mixed things up with your offers or changed your focus this year, it’s a cue to give your website’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) a little love. That means jazzing up your meta description (that blurb Google shows about your site in search results) and making sure the keywords on your site still shout out what you’re currently doing.

Got a blog? Awesome! Now’s a great time to design a blogging strategy for the year. Focus on those keywords that are at the core of your offers. And of course, don’t forget the technical stuff on your small business website — there might also be some SEO that needs updating.

If you’re feeling a little lost on how SEO works, use an online SEO tool to analyse some of the gaps that need filling and advice on how to work through these actions.

Test all the forms, call to actions and links 

Stuff happens, and links can break or be disconnected. You know how it goes — sometimes you link to a page, and when someone tries to click it, bam, it’s not there. That’s where using an online SEO analysis tool comes to the rescue, helping you find those broken links.

And don’t forget about your forms — give them a test run to check that they’re working. I advise that you use an email not directly tied to your business to get the best results.

Make a list of any images that need to be updated

If there’s one thing that will age your website, it’s having outdated images. If you’ve made changes to your team, your brand look, or the overall ‘vibe’ of your business, change out your brand images to better align with your current brand. 

If your website has used stock images, check these, as sometimes they’ve become ones that are overused on many sites, and make your website look generic.

Give your small business website to someone else to test

Team up with someone for a website walk-through. Ask them to find certain info, and don’t stress if they hit a snag. We can’t actually sit next to every visitor, so the website should be easy and intuitive to use. Jot down notes, and tweak the layout as needed. Your website shouldn’t hinder potential clients from working with you, it should be an asset!

Make sure all the technical side is up to date

While the technical stuff isn’t as noticeable as the other stuff, it is certainly important. If you’re lucky to have a reliable hosting and support service, they often handle all the backend checks for you, ensuring everything runs smoothly. For those without that luxury, it’s essential to carve out regular time to update and verify that all systems are a go. Don’t forget to keep an eye on your domain name’s renewal date to stay ahead of the game.

Sometimes, your observations might point to more extensive projects. It could be a complete rebuild, but that might not be an instant fix. There could be logistics like arranging brand photos or seeking help with copywriting. Creating a list now helps prioritise tasks and plan their execution throughout the year. We’ve marked down a full brand redesign for one of our websites in the New Year, followed by a rebuild later to tackle technical issues. These are substantial projects that need balancing with other business activities.

Yet, we’ve also got a list of actions we can tackle over the next six weeks—either providing a long-term fix or slapping a little “bandaid” on our website until a more significant change happens. Taking time for a website checkup makes sense. Our websites work hard for us, and by keeping them in good shape, we make their job easier. After all, there’s nothing quite like the magic of scoring another lead or sale from our small business website. 

Know this is the year to fix your marketing? (Including your website? Use Rachel Klaver’s workbook to help find where your marketing needs some help! The Marketing Fix helps you idenitfy which lever you need to work on first to fix your marketing.

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