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Planning a Website Upgrade

Websites get old faster than a New York minute.

Everything ages faster on the internet
And as the pace of tech speeds up, websites are ageing even quicker.

Looks don’t forgive either, as popular culture goes through swift changes, trends shift, and aesthetics quickly look obsolete.

On average, a new website needs refreshing after 3 years, and then yearly after that.

Make sure you keep yours fresh because a website that is perceived as ‘old’ loses user trust.

According to Nielsen Research two of the main factors that inspire user trust online are design quality and current content.

But do not forget to also make sure that your tech is on point – users expect sleek, fast technology.

Risks

Refreshing your website also carries some risk. It’s something that needs doing but especially if you already have a client base and regular users, you need to plan your upgrades carefully.

Here are 5 steps to follow when planning your website upgrades:

1. Ranking and Traffic

The first thing you need to do before even touching your website is run an SEO audit. This will tell you which pages are ranking and bringing traffic to your website. These pages need to be taken care of – their web address need to stay unchanged and the content of the pages untouched if at all possible.

Any changes to the main pages bringing in traffic might cause you to lose business. So take this step very seriously and hire a professional seo agency to do this.

2. SEO

An SEO audit will also help you understand what new content you need to create to attract more traffic and customers. So it’s an important step when updating your website.

Before planning your website upgrades, it’s important to look at your audit and work with a professional to identify areas that can be improved and content that can be upgraded to create fast wins.

SEO considerations should be an important part of your plan, and usually cover the following areas:

  • Tech upgrades for SEO
  • Repairing broken links, and similar issues that come up in your audit
  • Identify which content needs an upgrade to rank better
  • Identify new opportunities
  • Off-site considerations

3. Tech features

Next, have a look at your tech features. Are there any ‘cool’ tech features that are all the rage right now? What features do most of your best competitors have? What are the latest trends with websites outside your industry?

Do some research or hire a UX specialist. Find out what features are out there, analyse the opportunities/risks of integrating these new features into your website. Ask yourself – will they make your site better? Easier to use?

If it’s a definite improvement, it should be added to your plan to be discussed with your web developers.

4. The Customer Experience

The next thing to consider is your customer experience. Ask yourself, how can you improve your customer experience? Are the tech changes you planned above going to improve the user experience on your site? How can you simplify the checkout process?

Remember your website is an extension of your business services, the better the service the more sales you will make. This counts also for websites that don’t sell. How easy is it for your users to do what you want them to do? (for example, contact you or book a call with you, buy that product or subscribe to that monthly bundle)

Add these considerations to your plan.
But don’t stop there. Get more information by talking to your customer service agents, and all the members of your team. They will be able to tell you what your clients are struggling with – this will help you add the right improvements to your website upgrade plan.

5. Design and Messaging

Finally, after all else has been considered, you’ll need to return to the aesthetics and conversion copy.

It’s important to consider whether your website needs a complete change in style. Maybe it looked fresh when you launched it 3 years ago, but now it looks dated. Perhaps you went for a minimal classic look, and it still works but needs more recent content.

Work with a professional copywriter to look at the copy on the website. Can your conversion be improved with a few smart edits? Chances are, yes it can.

Also look at your micro-copy (the small bits of copy in the user interface that help users figure out how to do things). Your micro-copy can uplevel your website if you pick a topic and get a little ‘smart’ with it.

Here are a couple of great examples from econsultancy.

Are you planning to upgrade your website?
If you require help with your SEO and UX, we might just be the right people to talk to. We’d love to hear about your project.

Talk to us –
request a call back here.

Article Written by

Stephanie Fiteni

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