This post was originally published on July 31, 2018, and was updated on March 4, 2020.
Many entrepreneurs might find themselves getting comfortable after their website has been created, with the misguided understanding that it will take care of itself. But updating your website is just as important as building it in the first place.
Why updating your website matters for sales
Even in the short term, many changes occur within your business. Your website should be changed accordingly to reflect any and all modifications.
While this is crucial to ensuring your sales remain on the rise and that site traffic remains steady, it’s also good for the ultimate livelihood of your business. Here’s what we’ll be covering:
- Updating your website for freshness.
- Make sure your website loads within 3 seconds.
- Have you reviewed your images lately?
- Show off your good reputation.
Let’s take a closer look.
Updating your website for freshness
Is the text throughout the website too wordy? Are product descriptions using relevant keywords? Has your company blog not been updated in months?
A stagnant website does more than hurt your business when it comes to bringing in new or even repeat visitors. A lack of refreshed content can also negatively affect your Google ranking, making it hard for customers to find your business through search engines.
Luckily, there’s a (somewhat) quick fix available, and that means a writing overhaul on your content.
Most businesses will bring on a copywriter (whether in-house or outsourced through an agency or freelancer) to make adjustments that cover these areas.
Here are some guidelines for updating your website content:
Pay attention to SEO
Use SEO techniques when rewriting your site’s text content. Keep an eagle eye out for any broken links and link back to pages within your site where appropriate.
Write compelling product descriptions
Buyers need to know what they’re purchasing. Specifications such as size dimensions, color descriptions and types of fabric matter to potential customers looking to buy your offerings.
If you don’t have descriptions included with your products, now is the time to add them.
Maintain an editorial calendar
Establish an editorial calendar with content specifically for your blog.
Updating your website doesn’t need to happen every day, but you should make a point to regularly post content your readers will be interested in.
Some topics include news about your business, new launches or products you’re highlighting, special seasonal offers or even behind-the-scenes looks or Q&As about your company.
Make sure your website loads within 3 seconds
Seriously — one out of five shoppers will abandon their cart if the site loads too slowly.
These precious seconds can mean the difference between getting a shopper to check out versus having them abandon their cart entirely.
The best way to go about fixing this issue is to improve your site’s scalability by hosting the site on a cloud platform and shrinking image files to increase your website’s overall speed. Doing this has the potential opportunity to increase sales dramatically, so it’s worth looking into if slow load times continue to be an issue for your site.
Related: Introduction to Google Lighthouse
Have you reviewed your images lately?
For most websites, great visuals are a key component for engaging with visitors.
Companies that specialize in selling products like candy or clothing know that an aesthetically pleasing shot is usually the ticket to converting a visitor into making a purchase. They like what they see and they’re compelled to buy it as a result, which gives your business a healthy revenue boost.
However, many shoppers are much less likely to buy if the image quality is grainy or out of focus.
If some require a higher resolution, it’s time to reshoot.
Beyond making sure the image itself is high quality, you may also want to shoot each product in a couple different “poses” for an increase in sales.
A few different approaches to try on for size include the flat lay, as popularized by Instagram, that creates a full, proportional look of the product.
You might also want to shoot videos to accompany the images on your page.
For instance, a video shoot for a coat company may show models walking in the coat and close-ups of the fabric and material. This gives viewers the ability to examine how the product might look on them and compel them to buy.
Related: How to optimize images for the web
Show off your good reputation
No matter if your company has long been established or is new to the startup world, it’s important to build and maintain trust with consumers.
New visitors to your site might have a hard time figuring out if they can trust you yet, which is why it’s key to showcase your brand’s good reputation upfront.
One of the easiest, most common ways to go about doing this is to feature press and customer reviews.
If your business received a flattering mention in a major media outlet like Forbes or The Wall Street Journal, highlight it! You can include a logo of the mention on your home page or create a separate tab for all of your press hits.
The same goes for customer reviews. Many websites offer the ability to write reviews directly on the same page of their product, with customers encouraged to rate on a star system (one to five stars) and even share photos of the products they purchased along with their commentary.
You can always let your customers know that they’re welcome to review you on Yelp or Facebook, but reviews featured on sites have the potential to increase positive customer engagement by 17%. If you don’t already have this function enabled on your site, it’s worth taking the time to make the update.
Related: 8 ways to get more product reviews
Keeping your website fresh and up to date is important, not only for your search engine ranking but for your business’s ongoing reputation as well. These tips and suggestions will get you well on your way. Happy updating!
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