The start of a New Year is the time when we naturally tend to analyse, inspect, get organised and do all the business housekeeping tasks we feel necessary for the year to be off to a great start. In all this frantic organisational spree, a website refresh should be on top of your business housekeeping list! And if it doesn’t, make sure you immediately rectify.
You can think your website as your online home, and keeping it fresh and welcoming is a fundamental priority. Especially since you’re expecting guests and throwing tea parties basically every hour of the day! Businesses, like humans, constantly and organically change and grow every day passing by. And your website should be constantly up to date. Because of that I usually suggest you consider doing a website refresh every 6 months, but at least once a year – and what better timing than the start of the New Year?
Below are my top 3 simple and actionable tasks to give your website a refresh and make sure it’s constantly top-notch:
If your website is your online home, your homepage can be considered its entrance. The same way you’d have a welcoming experience when any guests enter your *real* home, you should make sure to adorn your homepage with fresh flowers and a warming atmosphere each time a new user comes to visit.
Not only your homepage should feel welcoming and pleasing to browse through, but most importantly should feel strategic to your business. In this phase it’s essential to analyse your current business goals (something you might as well already be doing in these last few weeks) and make sure your website’s entrance is supporting them. The content in your homepage should be structured in blocks and arranged in a priority order. You can check out my guide on how to build a perfect homepage to learn more about this topic!
Make sure you also remember to:
Remember the true essence of your website are words. The biggest mistake I keep noticing in websites of visual businesses (photographers, designers, illustrators, artists…) is focusing only on the imagery. Which is surely correct, unless there’s no trace of words next to it.
A good website is made of 30% images and 70% (at least) texts.
Refreshing website’s copy should be done on a regular schedule, ideally every 6 months but at least once a year. You’ll notice, after not touching your copy for a long while, a lot has changed in your business and you should highlight it. Maybe your target has shifted slightly, or your services has been enriched, or your client experience has made a qualitative leap. All of which should be documented and stated in your website copy!
And while you refresh your copy, remember the biggest percentage of it shouldn’t be about YOU, but about your clients. How can you serve/help them? Why should they pick you? What’s you added value they can’t find in anybody else? Make sure your ideal client is feeling heard and seen. Allow them to identify themselves in the exact person you’re talking to through your copy.
Refreshing your website content also means making sure your portfolio is not outdated, and your best work is displayed. Shy away from the idea of featuring as many works as you possibly can. Always prefer quality over quantity when it comes to your portfolio. This is the page of your website that is targeted to attract your ideal clients only, so you want to feature only projects and works you’re immensely proud of.
Your content refresh checklist should then include:
Is there anything more frustrating than, as a user, not being able to find exactly what you’re looking for on a website? Or, even worst, encountering a bit too many broken links? I bet not!
Your website should be an experience, a smooth and pleasing one. You want to make sure your user’s journey is trouble-free and as intuitive as possible. It means having a strategy and bringing your ideal clients from A to Z without obstacles or confusing interludes.
You should start from your own goals: what’s your website’s main purpose (maybe selling, proposing services, getting contacts for your mailing list…)? Start from there and put yourself in your users’ shoes. Imagine being someone completely external and needing to be guided through the whole journey. Make sure you have a direct link or call-to-action button each time you mention a product or service, and you always anticipate your users’ next steps by providing options for where they should go next. The final goal should be your goal, which will most likely coincide with your ideal clients’ need.
On your UX checklist you should have:
Here you have it, all the essential tasks you should apply to quickly and efficiently refresh your website for the New Year! Remember this process should be repeated at least once a year to make sure your website is always up to date.
A creative atelier curating brand and web designs for women-owned businesses.
I design and curate intentional brand designs and websites to cultivate your idea and bring your value out there.