If it’s been a few years since your website was last updated, it might be time for a refresh. Building a new website from scratch is a significant investment in time and money, but it may not be necessary. If your current site is well constructed and maintained, but the design is just a little bit outdated or stale, then a refresh may be all you need. We’ve been working with many of Barketing’s earliest clients, whose websites are now a few years old, giving them a new and updated homepage look without a complete overhaul. These simple updates are making a huge difference in modernizing their brand.
Here are four easy ways you, too, can refresh your website and get ready for the busy summer travel season.
Your homepage is the most important page on your website and likely the first page most potential clients visit. Updating the design on your homepage is a quick way to give the feel that you launched a new website without the daunting tasks of overhauling the entire thing. Redesigning the layout and swapping photos go a long way. If your homepage is ranking well organically, you will want to keep the copy and main keywords the same and focus on improving the design to improve the user experience.
Pro Tip: This is an excellent time to review the structure on your homepage to ensure that heading tags are properly used, images are compressed and optimized, and update any outdated information.
Update your Photos
Any easy way to refresh a stale website is to swap out the imagery. Book a session with your local pet photographer to take some professional photographs to replace those overused stock images you’ve been using for the past few years. Professional photography alone will take your website to the next level. Employee headshots should also be recent photos and something that is a 5 year old selfie.
Pro Tip: If you don’t have the time or budget to hire a professional photographer, we have found this fantastic resource for Stock Pet Photography called Animal Haus Media. These photos will give your website a look like you hired a professional photographer. Using just one of these for the main hero image on your homepage is a simple way to make a big difference.
Navigation Clean up
Keep your website’s navigation clean and straightforward so users can easily find what they are looking for. Think about what information is the most important and what information is secondary, and keep the navigation well organized. Keep only the main pages on the top-level menu and nest the rest below. Don’t add too many top-level menu items, as it will confuse your visitors.
Tip: Top-Level navigation should include: Home, About Us, Services, Service Area, Blog, Contact Us. Pages like Reviews, FAQs, Galleries, Individual Service Pages, Employment, etc.. should all be nested under the appropriate top-level item.
If you haven’t updated your website in a few years, you will likely have outdated information throughout your website. Review your copy to ensure it is all still relevant. Content that probably needs updating, especially since the pandemic, is the homepage, about us/meet the team photos and bios, services/pricing, old blogs, FAQ/Policies, and the Service Area page. It is vital that when a potential client visits your website, the information they are viewing is accurate.
Pro Tip: Refresh old blog posts instead of writing new blogs from scratch to create ‘new’ content to share on social media, newsletters etc..
If your website is too old and uses obsolete technology, it may not be salvageable. A refresh may not be an option, and you would need a total overhaul from scratch. If you are a Barketing client interested in a refresh, even if only the homepage, you can view some newer layouts and then reach out to our support team to give your site some new life! Hey, likely this is even be included in your monthly plan! Feel free to message us if you have any questions about refreshing your website.
Erika Godwin is the President of Barketing Solutions and the Co-Founder and CMO of ProPet Software, an industry-leading kennel management software. Erika has over 8 years of experience with WordPress and graduated from Elmira College in 2009 with a BS, Business Administration- Marketing and Management.