To help small business owners DIY a website update, we asked experienced webmasters and business owners this question for their best insights. From updating your sitemap to completing a link audit, there are several easy website refresh tips you can follow and DIY to refresh and update your business website.
Easy website refresh tips
- Update your sitemap.
- Upgrade your content management system.
- Revamp product images.
- Update the content.
- Bring your call-to-action up to the front.
- Change the site theme and colors.
- Optimize your mobile site.
- Keep your site's banner up-to-date.
- Approve comments manually.
- Add chatbot functionality.
- Remove duplicate content and consolidate existing ones.
- Do a link audit.
1. Update your sitemap
You need to update your sitemap more often, for two main reasons. One, doing so helps your search engine optimization. Rather than force a search engine to look through individual pages, you expedite the process for search engines to find all the content you want to be indexed. Furthermore, an updated site map makes it easier for visitors to quickly search for the pages or products they're looking for while on your site.
Carey Wilbur, Charter Capital
2. Upgrade your content management system
If your website seems clunky, it may be time to upgrade your content management system or CMS. New updates and releases to your CMS can improve your website's functionality for users, effectively streamlining their experience. As a business owner, that should be your goal for your site. You also get the benefit of increased security since you're not getting the protection you need (if your CMS is outdated).
Nick Santora, Curricula
3. Revamp product images
Revamp the product menu. If you have a large line of products with varying styles and sizes, ensure that the image content is high quality and positioned thematically and/or consistently. If you’re selling shirts for example, you can have all the shirts laid out in every picture the same way — [displayed] on a mannequin or model. This allows the customer to visually [inspect] the shirt and feel what it is like to own it. Updating the menu images is an easy, cheap and effective way to revamp your small business presence for your customers.
Chris Vaughn, Emjay
4. Update the content
If you haven't updated your website's content for a while, there's a chance sites with fresher content are overtaking you. Updating your site's content is an easy way to constantly refresh your site. This will help keep visitors engaged, but it is also an opportunity to improve search engine optimization. One way to update content is to start a blog, where you can share relevant content about your company and its products on a regular basis. Another way is to go through and add internal links where you can on your site’s pages.
Eric Blumenthal, Zoe Print
5. Bring your call to action up to the front
A quick and easy win for businesses to get more sales or leads is to bring the call to action of best-selling products or services up to the forefront. This could be on their homepage and other high-traffic pages.
I've noticed that many small businesses tend to make their ask much later on their website — usually toward the end of their web pages, where most people won’t [end up] scrolling to.
Small business owners can maximize conversions by ensuring their call to action is above the fold — namely, the part of your site which is visible to visitors without the need for scrolling down. This could be in the form of a button, an ecommerce section (e.g. Buy Now) or a contact form for a business that prioritizes lead generation.
Trendy Tan, QuickHR
6. Change the site theme and colors
Just as a fresh coat of paint in a different color can change the way your home exterior looks, changing the theme and colors on your website can have a profound effect. It's one of the easiest ways for business owners to refresh their site and brand image. Most website platforms allow you to change themes and colors as easily as you can change your phone case. Why not experiment? You can always change it again.
Peter Babichenko, Sahara Case
7. Optimize your mobile site
More than half the searches for products and services are now made from mobile devices, so your website must be easy to navigate from a cell phone or a tablet. You'll be missing out on sales if your customers can't access you from wherever they are. Remember, Google favors mobile-friendly websites, so you may never even get on your target customers' radar if your site isn't optimized. If your site is working well on your phone, chances are it's working on your customers. Optimizing is a simple thing you can do yourself, and you will immediately reap the rewards. The more access customers have to your site, the more likely they are to purchase your product.
Paul Moody, ProMoverReviews
8. Keep your site's banner up-to-date
One easy way to refresh a site is to regularly change your site's banner or hero image. This is the large image that appears at the top of your home page, and it's often the first thing that visitors will see when they land on your site.
By swapping out this image on a regular basis, you can give your website a quick and easy refresh that will help keep things looking sharp. Plus, it's a great way to showcase new products or services, announce special promotions or just show off some of your latest work.
So next time you're looking to breathe new life into your site, remember that changing your banner image is a breeze and it can make all the difference.
Howard Lee, LFDM Marketing Advisors
9. Approve comments manually
One of the simplest ways anyone can refresh their own website is to change their comment settings to require manual approval. Comment sections at the bottom of blog posts are an easy target for spammers and phishing schemes, plus they can make your site look spammy and cheap.
Having to manually approve each and every comment that gets posted on your website means you can keep comments clean and free of spam. This also protects your visitors from potentially clicking through dangerous links.
Volodymyr Shchegel, Clario
10. Add chatbot functionality
Add a chatbot to your business website. Having the ability to answer short, simple questions about your products or services can be a big boon for your online business. Think of your chatbot as a programmable curator that can engage with your customers, even outside of business hours.
Using a chatbot is also a great way to cover any topic that users may not easily understand on the website itself, such as customer support options. While a chatbot doesn’t offer the personal touch of an actual human behind the screen, it does prompt engagement from customers and may help resolve minor issues when you or your staff aren’t there. This can be a key factor in whether or not a customer will return to engage with your business a second time.
Alex Chavarry, Cool Links
11. Remove duplicate content and consolidate existing ones
One simple and effective website refresh tip for small business owners is to dedicate some resources to removing duplicate content and consolidating existing content. Cluttered and repetitive content will create a poor user experience and weaken your website's architecture. It can also prevent your content from performing well in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), often due to keyword cannibalization.
The best (and easiest) thing for small business owners to do is to consolidate any duplicate content into a single, more comprehensive piece of content that better addresses the users' query.
By replacing this thin and repetitive content with a stronger, better-optimized piece, you can increase your chances of ranking for a specific keyword and improve your site hygiene altogether. This simple act can refresh your site, making it better organized and easier for visitors and crawlers to navigate.
Sofia Tyson, Juro
12. Do a link audit
One easy website DIY refresh for small business owners is a link audit. This simply involves double-checking every link on your website, whether it is internal or external, and making sure it isn't broken. This is an element of a website upgrade that many small business owners will overlook, as it seems tedious and negligible. However, broken links are likely to have a negative impact on your customer experience, as well as potentially affecting their trust in your brand.
Jordan Fabel, ApprovedCourse