Laughing Samurai - Take Back Your Website: 7 Ways to Always Be Upgrading

Hey, we get it. Running a business keeps you bus-y. There are a million things to get done, some planned for and others not so much. So it’s easy to put your website on the back burner. It’s easy to put it off until tomorrow, and then the next day or the day after that… you get the drift.

Here’s the thing. You can start working on upgrading your website today. Just get started. Then take it one step at a time, but keep at it.

It’s what you need to do.

And not only so you can follow the law and contribute to a just online environment. Not even to create the opportunity for growth, though it does. You need to so you don’t get left in the dust.

Unsure where to begin? You can start here.

1. Make Your Analytics Work for You

These days, everyone has more data than they know what to do with. You can pull it endlessly out of a hat like magic rope – only it’s not magic. It’s very real, and it requires a strategy because, without one, you end up with dirty data. Or you uncover clean data and misinterpret what it means, which is just as bad.

And if you haven’t thought through your goals and how analytics will help you meet them, you won’t begin to know what data to collect or how to implement the findings.

But when you go in with a plan, you can make your analytics do the work for you. When you wield data you can trust, and you have a way to report it, you can use it as a step-by-step reference to boost conversions and grow your business.

The benefits of good analytics include:

  • Tracking website traffic and where it comes from
  • Monitoring bounce rates
  • Optimizing marketing campaigns
  • Discovering your optimal audience and how to target them
  • Enhancing your offerings and website
  • Boosting conversion rates
  • Earning better results from ad spend
  • Meeting business goals
  • Help making good decisions

And a great place to start is with the new Google Analytics 4.

2. Become ADA Complaint

Not many website owners think about the importance of designing for users with disabilities, and we’re not judging if it has never crossed your mind. But it is time to start thinking about it and to do the right thing.

For one, you may be required to under the Americans with Disabilities Act, but regardless, everyone deserves equal access to online information, tools and entertainment, including the visually impaired, hard of hearing and those with mobile and mental disabilities.

By making your products accessible to users with disabilities, you’ll also enjoy the added benefit of a larger audience.

Check out our resources on how to make your website and marketing more accessible:

3. Increase Your Site Speed

Everyone has a website these days. That includes your competitors. And if yours is slower than theirs? Well, we’re sorry to inform you that you just lost – regardless of how great the rest of your website is.

Site speed is crucial to a good user experience, and no one’s waiting around for your pages to load. Even 2 seconds is too long.

But if you can keep your site fast, you’ll reduce bounce rates, increase conversion rates, improve SEO ranking and earn some good ‘ol positive word of mouth.

To learn how to test your site speed and what might be causing it to slow down, check out: Why Your Site Speed Score Matters.

For a ton of ideas on how to improve your site speed and UX, check out: Slow Site Speeds Can Kill Your User Experience.

4. Update Your Content

Unfortunately, website content isn’t a one and done task. Your business changes. Your marketing strategies evolve. If they don’t (and that’s a problem in itself), the world still changes. With it, audience expectations adapt.

For these reasons, your content can’t stay the same. It needs maintenance to remain relevant, useful and effective. This means posting new content consistently and updating your old content regularly.

And believe us when we say that search engines can tell when your content sucks.

So, what do you do about it?

If you’re behind in the content arena and don’t have a strategy yet, here’s How to Kickstart Your Content Strategy.

If you’re unsure whether your content needs refreshing, here are the Signs You Need to Update Your Website Content.

Ready to update your content? Check out the Best Practices for Keeping Your Website Content Fresh.

5. Start Making UX Design Improvements

Remaining competitive, staying relevant and on-brand, general maintenance for better UX – there are many reasons why we make design enhancements. But design and development can be overwhelming, so it’s easy to put it off.

When it comes to design, we recommend making small improvements over time, one at a time. This is for a couple of reasons.

  1. Otherwise, it will never get done.
  2. You should always be making small upgrades, so there’s no way to “wait until you can get it all done at once.”

The good news about continually making these smaller changes is that you may not have to undergo an entire website redesign after all. (That is unless you’re relying on old technology, but we’ll get into that in a bit.) And if you focus on the right areas, you’ll make navigation easier, encourage return visits, foster brand loyalty and increase conversions.

Some advice?

6. Improve or Replace Outdated Technology

If we’re honest, a few design enhancements may not be enough if you’re relying on old technology. What does this look like?

  • Your framework is outdated.
  • You’re using an old version of WordPress.
  • Your plugins haven’t been maintained.

These are but a few of the ways your technology might fall behind the times, and it will hurt your site speed, clients and security. And it’s often the cause of WordPress website crashes.

This is why it’s important to occasionally rethink the technology and software you use so you can support your other initiatives from compliance and conversion to the ability to support traffic increases.

Updating is worth the investment because without the right backbone, what do you have? Not much.

7. Consider Chatbots

There’s been a lot of hype around chatbots lately. At Laughing Samurai, we’re all about new tech that boosts business, and bots are one way to increase conversion rates with good UX – if they’re done right.

Some experts praise chatbot’s superiority over web forms and commend the time and money they save by replacing human representatives. Others claim that chatbots aren’t the answer.

The truth?

It depends on your product or service, whether the chatbot you create serves a purpose and if you’re willing to invest in one that will work.

Check out our informative guide on when chatbots help and hurt your website – and what goes into making a good chatbot – should you choose to implement one:

How Chatbots Affect User Experience.

You Already Know What Needs to Be Done

You read this article because, deep down, you know your website could use some improvement. Whose doesn’t? We’re always working on upgrading our own. It’s best practice. It’s how you run an effective business. And now that you know what needs to be done, it’s time to get started.

If you have questions, reach out. We like your initiative, and we’re happy to help.

You read the whole thing!

Here’s what to do next:

1

Give us your email. We will treat it like gold and add some culture to your inbox.

2

Share this article on your favorite social network, especially Twitter or Linkedin.

3

Follow us

4

Share us in your favorite slack channel.