A business website is an essential asset even for small mom and pop shops. But designing, updating and managing a website can often be tedious, time-consuming work. Many resource-strapped organizations find themselves overwhelmed by the prospect of taking on a full website revamp.
However, business websites and internet technologies are changing. It wasn't long ago that mobile website optimization was at the forefront of conversations regarding website upgrades. Today's efforts to improve websites are more centered around improving the user experience — specifically through emerging technologies and tools.
Here are a few ways any business can make an effort to upgrade their website in 2018 (without starting from scratch).
Invest in a New Site Template
Want a more modern look while still being mobile-friendly and easy on the eyes? Site templates have come a long way in recent years, with companies like Squarespace and Wix making names for themselves as facilitators of beautiful website templates. Many of the available options are easy to install and even easier to use.
These templates come pre-made for your convenience, but they can also be customized to suit your specific needs. You can build a new site through a provider and wait to switch over until it's ready, saving you the trouble of website downtime. These templates are also very affordable — most are available on monthly or annual plans and can produce a big bang for only a few bucks.
Incorporate Visuals and Media-Rich Content
If you've been neglecting your business website for years, it's likely that your site hasn't gotten up to speed with popular forms of content that engage modern customers. Video was a much more difficult enterprise for businesses five years ago than it is today. Not only are production costs lower, but high-definition video can be embedded as a dynamic way to engage your audience and get more value out of your company website.
If you're wary of upgrading the entire website design, you can at least improve your average time-on-site and content engagement by using video, high-quality photos, graphic illustrations and other visual content that appeals to customers. Bear in mind that embedded video hosting sites like YouTube are incredibly mobile-friendly, upgrading the user experience without requiring any heavy lifting or mobile optimization on your part.
Analyze Heat Maps to Improve the User Experience
As Grasshopper pointed out, heat-mapping technology is invaluable to a website revamp. By monitoring where users spend the most time engaging (and hovering) on your website pages, you can identify aspects of your design that are failing to do their job.
Weak CTAs, confusing navigation, irrelevant links and boring images are just some of the problems that can be uncovered with digital heatmaps. If you don't want to put in the work to completely change your website, this analytics tool can at least guide you in making smaller changes that will improve the user experience and increase the value of your business site.
A website revamp isn't always fun, but keeping pace with emerging trends will pay off in the long run, as your website could serve as the centerpiece of your brand's digital presence.