This Spring, Invest in Deep Cleaning Your Website 

stir agency milwaukee

STIR Staff

Apr 22
Spring Cleaning Blog Image 2

As spring arrives, many business owners take time to clean their storefronts and sort paperwork, but what about dusting off your digital presence? Your website is your digital storefront and optimizing it makes significant business sense. Spring is the perfect time for you to clean up your website, get rid of the clutter, and move forward with an optimized, fast-loading site that will improve SEO, user experience and your bottom line.

Why Polish Every Pixel?

In this digital age, businesses know that a website is essential, but quality and upkeep vary greatly. When it comes to websites, first impressions and details matter. Just like customers entering a new store, Google users form an opinion about a website in 0.05 seconds. According to Stanford University, 75% of people judge a company’s credibility based on its website. Every business owner knows credibility is crucial for people to trust your business and refer it to others. Don’t let old headers and footers, ineffective calls to action, outdated photos and videos or broken buttons or forms impact your business.

In the spirit of spring deep cleaning, here’s how to get started with your website refresh so it sparkles like new and grows leads for your business.

Take a Magnifying Glass to Your Analytics

Analyze your website analytics and adjust accordingly. Tools like Google Analytics can pinpoint potential issues, identify areas for improvement and help you understand what content is performing. Metrics for the most trafficked pages with highest exit rates can tell you what areas of your website heavy hitters and which pages are losing people. Keep an eye on your bounce rate. Conversion rates and behavior flow can help you evaluate site navigation logic.

Review and Recommit to Your Goals

Remember when you first created your website, and you had a purpose for every page and piece of content? Revisit your website goals and assess whether your current content and site organization align with your objectives. A product page’s goal is to promote and sell your product, so ask yourself if the messaging is up-to-date enough to accomplish this effectively. Remove anything that doesn’t support your goals and update language—especially those all-important calls to action.

Audit for Optimization and Navigation

Optimization and navigation are the cornerstones of effective websites. Search Engine Land reported that 53% of all site traffic is search-driven, with Google being the dominant search engine for both desktop and mobile. This means your website needs to be Google search-optimized. Statista found 46% of U.S. web traffic originates from mobile devices, which means your website must be mobile-friendly for higher search engine ranking. How important is this? A recent study found 61% of people say they will go to a different site if they can’t find what they’re looking for within 5 seconds.

Given the high standards and short attention span of most web users, here are some things to include in your optimization and navigation audit:

  • Test your website on all browsers and devices by reviewing on desktop and phone or using a tool such as Browserstack.
  • Check website speed and performance. It should load in less than 2 seconds, and you can use Google Pagespeed Insights and Search Console to test your speed and identify improvements.
  • Make sure all your software and plugins are up to date and remove any inactive or unnecessary features.
  • Check for broken links and repair or remove as necessary using an online tool like Ahrefs or a site plugin.
  • Evaluate navigation and site hierarchy. Be sure desktop and mobile are equally easy to use. You can refer back to your Google Analytics on conversions and behavior flow to help gauge if your site is up to par.

Conduct a Content Audit

Revitalize your website content with new, accurate product or service information and compelling brand storytelling. Prioritize shorter, scannable copy that answers the question, “Why should a customer care?” And don’t forget to replace old content with exciting trend updates. SEO-optimize content by using a tool like Moz, Semrush or Mangools to find key search terms and evaluate which are best for your business. Finally, double-check your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number), which is key to your local SEO efforts.

Make Design Edits

Give your website a fresh coat of paint with design edits and brand-appropriate refreshes. Consider updating templates, typefaces, colors and imagery to ensure your site looks contemporary and on-brand.

Link Up and Level Up

Internal links are the secret sauce of SEO, and they connect to different pages on the same website. These links help pass authority and aid search engines in understanding your website’s structure and the contextual relationship one page has to another. Identify internal linking opportunities and take advantage of these links to improve navigation and boost your site’s visibility in search engine rankings. Remember to keep anchor text, the clickable text that appears in a hyperlink, relevant and strategic. This also helps search engines to understand your site structure better.

Dot the i’s and Cross the t’s

Ensure your website is compliant with the latest regulations and considerations. From accessibility to data privacy, staying compliant is essential for building trust with your audience. Installing a tool to comply with ADA regulations makes your site more accessible to all potential users. It’s also advisable to start adding cookie preference popups to allow users to accept or decline the use of cookies. In the EU this is a requirement under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), and a number of similar laws are being proposed at the state level in the United States.

STIR has extensive experience designing and optimizing websites. If the task of spring cleaning seems too overwhelming, reach out to Brian Bennett to discuss how STIR can help.

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