How to revamp your website for the future

t’s simply not enough for your business to have a website. Your online presence is often the first touch point with customers and potential customers of your brand, and we know how much first impressions can mean to your business.

Far too often, business websites are neglected and left to languish with no clear objectives in place for how they will be optimized to grow and develop your branding, marketing and sales goals. If your website is in dire need of help or just needs to be tweaked, you should be thinking about how it can be utilized both in the short-term as well as the future to turn prospects into customers.

Here are six tips to upgrade your website for the future:

Content Is Still King
Yes, content is still king. Featuring content that is useful, interesting and captivating is still the best way to get customers to your site and keep them coming back. Update and edit your site consistently, and start by getting rid of out-of-date content that is difficult to keep current. Keep it simple and easy to find, because users spend a few seconds scanning your homepage before leaving. Statistics show content is 61 percent more likely to drive a purchase than an advertisement.

Optimize For Mobile
If you haven’t heard already, mobile is where it’s at. People want what they want when they want it, and in 2013 mobile smartphones account for 15.2 percent of online traffic. By 2015, 48 percent of Americans will be using mobile devices to go online.

Ready and Responsive
Think about the future and get ahead of the game by utilizing responsive web design (RWD). With the percentages of web traffic from mobile devices – smartphones, tablets – due for dramatic increases, make sure your site works across all platforms on various sized screens.

Get Rid Of Flash
People hate to wait online. That’s why 40 percent of users leave a page if it takes more than three seconds to load. Make sure your site loads quickly, and while you’re at it, get rid of Flash. These days Flash is a sign your website is out of touch, and while it loads slowly, it also doesn’t play nice with mobile devices.

Develop a strategy
Regularly review your online strategy and how it helps your business. Add pages or sections as your business grows, and get rid of content that isn’t helpful or current. Utilize online metrics to know what parts of your website customers use and understand why they use it, and make sure your site is upgraded for SEO to reach the maximum number of customers. If these backend topics are above your knowledge level, consult a professional who can help determine how to optimize your site.

Engage Your Audience
Make it easy for your customers to interact with your business by providing a platform for feedback. Many customers use social media to directly contact a business, so utilize those one-on-one relationships to learn what they like and don’t like. Optimize social media to send out in-store coupons, instant promotions and product upgrades, updates or specials to create relationships and loyal customers.

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