How to Update your Small Business Website
Are you looking for a guide on How to Update your Small Business Website?
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In this article we will cover some of the keys steps on how to update an out-of-date small business website. Even if your website is still functional but you want to optimize with either a new look or some new goals for the website. First things first, we need to know what we want the website to do….
This should be a pretty obvious step for any project whether it’s designing a nuclear submarine or overhauling your small business website. To remain efficient and on task you need a specific and achievable goal to work towards. One of the best ways to do this is to set S.M.A.R.T. goals. In regards to overhauling your website your goal can be as simple as “make my website look good on phones and tablets.” Alternatively a goal can be as intricate as “generate a 10% increase in leads from organic search traffic through blog articles on my website.” Both of these are achievable and measurable goals. Making your website look good on tablets and phones is harder to measure. But, you can conduct A/B tests with different designs and measure them against each other. Doing so will give you quantifiable data to measure. Once you have a goal in mind you can move on to the next step
Look at Current Small Business Website
Now we have a goal in mind. Yay! It’s equally important for you to take a look at your current small business website. See how you can improve your site to reach your goals. It might be as simple as a little design work or using a new WordPress template to make your site dynamic across different devices (more on this later.) If that is the case you might be able to quickly implement the changes needed. On the other hand, if it will take considerable work to reach your goals you might be best off contacting a professional to help. Feel free to contact us at Ohana Marketing to help out with tips or to take lead on your overhaul.
Breaking down a goal into smaller objectives and daily tasks is crucial to success. All organized people do it, but not all advice articles make it explicit. I think it needs to be explicit. It’s so important that you should not gloss over it. – Jill Duffy – PCMag.com
With an in depth overhaul you will want to set up some basic milestones to reach and a timeline to reach these milestones. Some simple Gantt charts can be extremely helpful in this phase. These will help you stay organized by breaking down one large goal into several manageable tasks. A Gantt chart will also help you to see if you are falling behind or if you are ahead of schedule. Try to be as detailed as possible in this process. This will be the framework of your entire project. The more detailed you are at this step the easier it will be to track progress and keep you heading in the right direction.
Make a Site Map
A site map is like the blueprint for a house. It will show how everything will be laid out and connected together. I find it useful to use a large white board for this step. You can draw out your entire site with navigation arrows to show how the site will be connected. You can start at the homepage and work your way out. This will show the layout of the site without taking time to design the way the site will look. This step is just to show how everything will flow so don’t worry about design until the next step.
Design and Develop
This is where you can start getting your creative juices flowing! You can design your site however you feel most comfortable. Whether that be on the white board, pencil and paper, or going straight to some web design software such as WordPress. This step is creating the pages and how the will appear once finished. If you are using a white board or pencil and paper you will need to transfer all those creative ideas into a web design platform such as WordPress. This can be a little complicated for the novice designer. If this seems like it might be over your head get in touch with us at Ohana Marketing. We can walk you through the process or take the reigns and turn your ideas into a reality.
Redirects are an often overlooked aspect of a website overhaul and it can get very technical. The basic explanation is that if you have content on your current website that is generating traffic from search engines you don’t want to lose your rank within those search engines by creating a new site that has to be re-cataloged. For a detailed overview of Redirects visit this article on Moz.com. You don’t want to lose your “link juice.” By using redirects in the proper way you can keep all your link juice and still have a new site. I will cover redirects in a future article and really get into the weeds on this subject. For now either get in touch with a competent SEO professional or do the research yourself to make sure your new website doesn’t have to start over from square one with the search engines.
You may already have content created on your small business website. If this is the case then please take a look at the step above this. Make sure you use proper redirects for ALL your content! If you want to update the content contained within your current site then now is the time to start writing. You can update your mission statement or pretty much anything you want to change. This is also where a SEO agency can come in handy as they will be able to run the tests and metrics that will show which keywords you should focus on and how to implement the use of those keywords effectively. At Ohana Marketing this is our bread and butter. Feel free to get in touch and we can help you through this step.
After doing all of these changes you are going to want to track how these changes affect your goals. Without analyzing your changes you will not know if you have meet the goals you set for your small business website in step one. By using some simple tools within Google and Bing you can accurately track the impact that your changes are making. Google Analytic s can be customized to track just about any metric you wish to. If you would like help setting up custom metrics or understanding what all the data collected means get in touch with us and we will be happy to help.
You have to get your small business website out there so users can see all your great changes! There are several ways to market yourself. As a small business owner you most likely know them but in case you need to brush up on some of the digital avenues here are a few that are easy to use. Make a Facebook page for your business, a Twitter account, get on Reddit and start answering some questions pertaining to your business. Be sure to link back to your site for further info. I have had great success posting interesting articles for clients to Reddit. Those are just a few digital marketing avenues for you to explore. For a more in depth discussion on digital marketing check out this article.
Well, that should be enough info to get you started with your own website overhaul. If you would like for us at Ohana Marketing to take care of bringing your site into this millennium get in touch and we will be happy to get to work for you.