16 May Spring Cleaning: Refreshing Your Web Presence
Spring has sprung and while some places are still digging out of the snow, many places are enjoying blooming buds, sunshine and greenery. Today we’re going to talk about how you can take advantage of this beautiful spring season to refresh your web presence.
Look and Feel
The first thing your customers see when they look for you online is your web presence. Whether that’s a full website, a blog or a simple shopping cart, you can enhance their experience and bring them back for a second look by changing your look and feel for spring.
The simplest way to do this is to add new images to your site. Promote your new content, be it products or projects, with fabulous new photos. Take advantage of the natural light spring brings and your local scenery, or just simply kick your photos up a notch by building yourself a light box. If you’re really unsure about how to create new photo content, check out this Buzzfeed article about flat-lay photos and how stage amazing shots.
If you’re feeling more confident in modifying your site, think about creating new banners or rotating slides, or consider adding a section to the site in where you can incorporate that format for the first time. Add a menu bar to the side, add a photo feed from Instagram; the possibilities for changing the visual look of your site are endless.
Spring is the time to review your content. Are your posts or products out of date? Take this time to remove or archive stale content from your site. At the same time, think about the new things you have been creating and make sure you add new stories or products to your site.
Think about adding new types of content to your site. Try filming a welcome video introducing yourself to your customers. Camtasia is a fantastic, easy-to-use software program that can get you started on video and editing. Document one of your creative processes via photo or video and share your “behind the scenes” with your followers. If you don’t have a blog or a newsletter or a regular way of engaging with your customers, think about adding one so you can communicate with them more often.
Spring is also a great time to review your “About” page. Make sure that you have recent photos of yourself (and your employees) and that the information you share about yourself and your crafty site is up to date and correct. Did you win any awards this past year? Complete a big new project? Make sure you let people know who you are and what you’re doing.
Perform a link audit of your site. Are all the links you have on your site functional and do they direct traffic to the appropriate sites? While this may not seem the most exciting part of your refresh, making sure that all of your content is up to date and functional is a great way to ensure your customers view you as an excellent source of information!
If you’re gathering analytics data on your site now is the time to review that data and consider making some changes based on what that data is telling you. If you’re advertising, which advertising has the biggest impact on your metrics? If you don’t have a clear winner, consider trying something new. Try a new source for advertising, try a spring-themed campaign offering a coupon or extra goodie to a customer, or think about cross-promoting with some of your fellow makers. If you don’t already have a newsletter, think about starting one with the goal of driving new traffic to your site to see your new content.
If you’re struggling to determine how to find new audiences or how to communicate with your current audience, take a closer look at a site that you think is receiving the kind of traffic you want to receive. Observe how they are engaging with their customers and what kind of new and fresh content they’re providing. You want your content and approach to be uniquely yours, but there is nothing wrong with trying new methods based on what you see other successful sites doing.
Finally, go behind the scenes and look at your SEO and make sure you’re maximizing your opportunities there. Again, pull from your analytics data and see what people are searching for on your site, and how they find your site. What search terms are they using?
If you’re reading this and thinking “Analytics? What analytics” then your Spring task would be to install google analytics on your site and take a quick free course offered by Google on how to understand them.
Bigger and Better Things
As you conduct your spring cleaning and refresh, think about the mechanics of how your site works and whether it is serving your interests. Review the site navigation and hierarchy and see whether or not it still fits with your business model. Does it allow you to communicate with your customers and followers clearly and effectively? Does it give you opportunities to show them new products or content easily? We just recently discussed a new trend towards voice search and you might consider whether or not to make your site more friendly to voice searching. This can be a longer-term project, but now is a good time to get those ideas flowing.
These days, your content is being accessed through many, many different browsers and devices. Have you tested your site to see how it performs in different sizes and formats? If you don’t have access to multiple browsers and devices, make your life easier and use Responsinator; simply enter your URL and you’ll be able to see how your website will look across a variety of devices and screen sizes. You may want to think about developing a mobile format for smaller screens, or refreshing your landing page so that it will be more accessible across platforms. Developing additional formats can take time and resources, but you want to ensure that however customers are accessing your site they’re having the best possible experience.
Finally, think about your call to action items on your site. Do you have ways for your customer to engage with you (contact buttons, interactive content)? If you don’t already have a call to action, you need one! If you do, is it working? What feedback are you receiving? How can you improve your call to action opportunities so that your customers can more fully engage with you?
These are just a few of the things we hope you’re thinking about this spring and we can’t wait to see how you refresh your web presence.
If you have additional questions or are interested in working with us to refresh your web presence this spring, please contact Leanne@stitchcraftmarketing.com.