It’s definitely not business as usual these days, but that comes with the opportunity to spend a little time updating your website. Though people might not be able to come to your brick and mortar location, they can definitely still come to your site. Make it work as hard for you as you can.
1. Shoot for seven. Are there too many items in your nav? There’s a classic UX rule to help you figure it out. Aim for 7 items in your navigation, plus or minus two. This is based on Miller’s Law, which says people can hold up to seven items in their working memory. So, if your navigation has more than nine items in it, find a way to whittle it down.
2. Hone your home page. Is the first thing people see on your home page asking them to do the number one thing you want them to do on your site? No? Time to change that. Ask for the action you want at the top of your home page because that’s where most of the action happens. A nice, clear call-to-action ought to do the trick.
3. Get compliant. If you’re not familiar with the American Disabilities Act (ADA) website compliance guidelines, now’s the time to brush up. Why? Because it can help protect your company from legal action. This is far more important for some companies than others. For example, Fortune 500 financial brands are far more susceptible to being sued for violations than a small DTC retailer. That said, it’s still worth sweating. If you’re not in a high-risk category, aim for at least A compliance. The most stringent compliance level is AAA. While there are many components to ADA compliance, an often overlooked one in design is color contrast. Check your site and make updates was needed.
4. You vs. us. How much are you talking about your company or brand does instead of what the user gets? Reframe your copy and offerings to be consumer-centric. Tell them what they get instead of what you offer. Example: “We’ve been doing this for over 100 years” vs. “You’ll get expertise you can rely on”.
5. Do some spring cleaning. There’s probably some outdated content lurking on your site. Get rid of it, but don’t just delete it. Redirect that URL to a new relevant page, or to your home page. You want to showcase your most up-to-date content, but you also want to keep the good web crawler juju you worked so hard to get.
6. If it’s broke, fix it. This one seems obvious, but if there are broken links on your site, fix ‘em. You might be surprised how frequently users come across a broken link. Don’t let them have that poor experience on your site.
7. Check your speed. In the wide world of web, faster is better. Google prefers fast sites, and that can help your search rankings. Test how fast your site is and get suggestions for improvement. Quick ways to help increase your site speed are compressing images and reducing code bloat.
8. Get deep with your data.
Knowing more about your users enables you to make more informed decisions about content, design, products, marketing and more. Your site can provide a wealth of information, or none at all, depending on what you’ve got running under the hood. Use this opportunity to add your Facebook Pixel if you haven’t already. That’s a simple place to start. If you’ve got multiple programs and plug-ins, use this time to stitch together all your data sources and start framing a clearer picture of your users and their behavior. Lots of data is meaningless unless it’s telling you a clear story that informs actions you can take.
Don’t forget to stay up to data with data regulations and notifications. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) site is a great place to start.
9. Spruce up your SEO game.
There are many components to having a good SEO game, but you can start to move the needle in the right direction by doing relatively few. What keywords do you want to rank for? Do any of the pages on your site going to help you rank for those keywords? If the answer is no, then rewrite or create a new page that does. Use that keyword in your H1. And make sure there is only one H1 on your page. And while you’re at it, write alt tags for your images that include your keywords. It’s good for SEO, and it’s good for ADA compliance.
10. Measure twice. Or at least measure once. Do you know what your highest converting page is? Your most engaging page? If users are clicking the buttons on your site? Now’s the time to tag the heck out of it and set yourself up for a better understanding of what’s working for your users and what’s not. And if you have tagged your site, be sure they’re firing. Nothing’s more frustrating than thinking you have the data and finding out you don’t.
Your site should always be evolving and getting better. Take advantage of the times and make it a more welcoming place for all your virtual visitors. And make it work harder for your business. Do some user testing. Perform a heuristic evaluation. Ask for opinions. Outside perspective always sheds light on areas that weren’t on your radar.
Oh, and be sure to update the copyright year and legal disclaimers.