It’s almost 2022. Is your website ready or stuck in the past?
You built a website (or had someone build it for you), so you’re done, right? Nope. Not even close. Just like you’re not still wearing the clothes you bought in 1997 (flares with neon shirts anyone?) your website needs to grow and change to remain relevant and not a relic.
Let’s Start With the Basics
Your site should not display a hit counter. If your website still proudly displays a hit counter, you should be ashamed of yourself. We (gladly) don’t see these often anymore, but they do still exist.
Instead of a counter on your home page, switch to using a much more informative analytics process, like Google Analytics. Not only will you still know how many visits your site gets, but you’ll get richer information that will help you know how to market yourself.
Your site should be mobile responsive. It’s hard to build a new site without this being a natural part of development, but if your site is several years old, it might still have some issues.
I once had a potential customer tell me their site was already mobile ready because “all of the content was in the middle.” Well, I had to tell him that’s not how that works.
Visit your site on a phone and a tablet. If you don’t like how it’s displaying, then it should be fixed.
Eight Things Your Site Should Have in 2022
Ok. Now that we got the really old stuff out of the way, let’s move on to more innovative things. These six things should be present on your website. If not – get moving and get on it. (Or hire someone who can help.)
- A blog. Fresh content works for you in multiple ways. It provides fresh content for browser searches. It helps brand and position you among your competition. But most importantly, it provides your customers and potential customers with knowledge and information about you, your industry, and your products and services.
You don’t have to call it a blog, either. You can label your blog anything you want: knowledge base, articles, how-to, or more. Get creative, and add some content.
- A favicon. It’s 2022 – so why is the browser tab on your site displaying the WordPress or hosting site’s logo? (Or worse…nothing at all!) This little 16 x 16 pixel piece of property will help your site’s visitors locate you quickly on their browser among all the open tabs. It’s branding for you and costs nothing to include on your website. So make sure it’s there.
- Social Links. Your site’s visitors are on social media. You should be, too. This doesn’t mean, of course, that you should start posting photos of your lunch (unless you’re a restaurant or chef), but it does mean that you should determine which social platforms your customers use most and then make sure you not only have accounts there, but that you post to them regularly.
Use social media to connect with your customers in a less formal (but still professional) way. Post questions and polls. Share testimonials and posts, memes and videos. Make some connections.
And it should go without saying, but don’t link to any social sites that you don’t maintain.
- An About Us page. It’s said that this is your least-read page. So why do we recommend having one? Because this is where you can tell your story for those who are interested, and include SEO-laden (relevant) content to be found. And oftentimes just knowing there’s a face and a name behind a brand makes it more personal and trustworthy.
- Ratings and Testimonials. Whether you’re a restaurant, a dentist, or you make widgets, people will talk about you online and share their opinions. Cultivate good reviews, reply to every review, and ask for ratings and testimonials. (Create a form for this!) Then display the best ones where potential customers will see them. Providing this social proof helps potential clients make decisions.
- Accessibility. It’s 2022. If your website isn’t accessible to the almost 20% of internet users that need accessibility to navigate your site, then you’re losing on readership and customers – i.e., sales. (You can make sure your forms are accessible too, with WS Form!) A few resources to visit to learn more about web accessibility are:
- A Contact Form. And of course you need a way for customers to get in touch with you. Of course we recommend WS Form for that! When you use WS form, not only is your site visitor’s entry information emailed to you, but it’s also retained in your site’s databases, so you can peruse it, download it, and use the data according to your privacy policies on your site. Learn how to create a form from our Knowledge Base.
Starting 2022 Right
Making small improvements like those listed above can help you make great strides in how your site performs, and how your customers interact with you.
Wishing you a prosperous and successful 2022!