We’re in the midst of the post-Christmas blues, and you may have already fallen at the first hurdle for your personal New Year resolutions (who really has time for the gym, anyway?). The good news is that it’s not too late to make the following super simple changes to your website, to secure a sparkling new year for your business.
1. Overhaul your imagery by focussing on authenticity
In 2017 there’s going to be a real trend for visuals that switch from stock images, to genuine photos. This focus on authenticity can help you in building visitor trust (a notoriously tricky challenge when it comes to the world of websites). If your web pages are graced with that image of the Shutterstock Receptionist (who literally works for everyone in the world), it’s time to make a change and introduce the real faces of your business to the world.
2. Be mobile ready
Google has long since emphasised how mobile websites are now essential for ranking within their search results. However, if you’ve been putting off a re-design to move to mobile, now is the time. Google is now effectively ‘marking down’ websites that don’t present a beautiful online experience for every device – desktop, tablet and mobile. If you’re not sure whether your website is already mobile-friendly, you can check using Google’s simple tool.
What’s more, beyond Google’s word of warning on the matter, it simply makes sense to provide a website that scales to your visitor’s device. After all, what good is a web presence if mobile visitors (who now account for 51% of all internet surfers [Smart Insights] can’t interact easily with your site?
3. Review and rewrite your copy by asking “WIIFM?”
How long have you featured the same words on your website? And how much thought was placed into them when they were written? Your copy should act as a sales person – it should be persuasive, speak in your visitors’ language and compel them to act with calls to action that feature throughout.
Finally, on your homepage, you should talk of benefits, not features or product specifications. To achieve this, you need to place yourself in your customers’ shoes and always ask “What’s In It For Me?” If what you’re speaking about doesn’t matter to your visitor by explaining what they’ll gain when purchasing your product or service, you simply won’t make the sale, gain an enquiry or get that brochure download.
4. Content – It’s always reined as King, but in 2017 it’s going to be judge, jury and executioner
Your blog should serve as an essential marketing tool – it should drive search engine visitors to your blog, demonstrate your expert insight and grow your social media audience. If you’re yet to make the most of your blog, 2017 is the year to finally tackle it (and if you’re already blogging, then the following tips will serve you just as well):
- Carefully consider what your target customers’ pain points are, and how your content can provide guidance, hints, tips and tricks as to how they can overcome them.
- Undertake keyword research using Google’s keyword planner to ensure you’re targeting the right terms.
- Check out your competitors and the ways in which they’re creating content that’s useful to their (and your) audience.
- Share your posts on social media and always reply to responses – whether on social media or in the blog comments.
5. Be sociable
Social media is only becoming more important for business, and with 90% of marketers achieving a return on investment with just 6 hours a week (MediaKix), it makes sense to ensure that your social strategy is on-point, and this begins with your website.
- Add social share buttons to your blog.
- Enrich your content with shareable images that provide valuable information (such as infographics, graphs and useful tips).
- Use a tool such as Hootsuite to see how much social engagement your blog posts are receiving – from this you can create more content that your audience are showing interest in.
- Add a ‘Click to Tweet’ feature, allowing users to quickly and easily share short sections of your content.