When did you last sit down to make strategic DIY website updates?
If it’s been a while, you’re not alone! While there’s no particular guideline or schedule for how often you should revisit your home on the internet, there are necessary elements you need to keep in check. You know, to ensure your website’s performance and reader’s experience remain in peak condition.
Because, in all honesty, your website is one of the first impressions you make and the biggest marketing tool for connecting with your community. So it needs to communicate exactly what you do, how you do it, and who you do it for.
All that to say, before we get into it…
Why might you want to make DIY website updates?
- Your website isn’t performing like you hoped it would – especially in terms of driving potential clients to fill out your contact form and work with you.
- You’ve made some changes to your products or services and want to clearly communicate them.
- The story you want to tell (or even who you want to tell it to) is evolving. Your overall messaging needs a refresher to maintain a sense of alignment and relevance.
- You’re taking note of what your competitors are doing, along with design trends and inspiration. You want your business to stay ahead of the curve.
- You want to improve your visibility. Updating your website shows Google you have an active online presence. The search engine will stop by your site more frequently (crawling, then indexing), which could boost your position in search results (as long as your content is valuable and optimized!).
- You’ve found issues that need fixing in terms of load times and responsiveness, and even broken links.
Yes, building your site is a long, tedious project. You create and organize it with your own branding, words, and visuals. Whew. What an accomplishment! Check it off your to-do list and keep moving forward.
But as you can see, there are plenty of reasons why you want to return to it on a regular basis.
With SO much to keep in check, what should be top priority for strategy and functionality?
The Essential DIY Website Updates to Enhance Your User Experience
1. Evaluate what’s working, what’s not, what stays, + what goes.
Just like your brand, your website is a living element of your overall identity. And each year, you learn what’s working and what needs improving to run + grow a thriving business. So what if the information is no longer aligned to who you serve or even how you want to serve? Well, you can guess what comes next.
Start by revisiting the overall goal(s) for your website and making sure it’s aligned with those for your overall brand. (If you need help with this, here’s a free resource that was made for you!)
Are you guiding your readers to learn more about your offerings? And to get in touch with you?
Your website should be a thoughtful experience.
Are you seeing the conversions you want from either booking discovery calls or purchasing a product?
Google Analytics 4 is a free tool providing customized data on what’s happening on your site. It’ll track the entire customer path to learn how your users interact with the information. (Cool, right?) From there, you’ll be able to identify what’s capturing your reader’s attention and what you might need to adjust or remove to elevate the experience.
Remember, you’re growing and evolving each day. Your business and website should adapt to reflect those changes, too.
2. Update visuals with fresh imagery.
One of the easiest ways to make your website feel current is swapping out your visuals. A picture is worth a thousand words after all.
If you have the budget to do so, work in a fresh set of headshots or, even better, a personal brand photoshoot to capture you and your environment. While the investment may seem like a lot upfront (most brand session packages with a skilled photographer start between $500-$800), it’ll pay off. There’s a good chance you’ll feel even more confidence to show up for your people online – from your website to social media pages.
Don’t have the space to make this happen in the not-so-distant future? The good news is there are plenty of stock photography resources out there – free and paid. Both Unsplash and Pexels offer quality images captured by creators – at no cost. But if you want something more tailored to what you do while still giving you commercial quality imagery (and videography!), ColorJoy Stock* might be worth looking into. A quarterly membership would cost you around $99.
*As an affiliate of ColorJoy Stock, if you decide to become a member using the link above, I’ll receive a small commission. Trust me, I only endorse or link to products or services I genuinely use and highly recommend.
3. Assess your words.
While the visuals matter, your words (aka your copy) carry the same weight. So you’ll want to comb through your website, keeping a close eye on the story you’re telling about you and your brand. Not to mention your core offerings, process, and even testimonials/reviews. My copywriter friend Carrie is a big believer in reading every page out loud. That’ll help bring your attention to sentences that might feel sticky (or even grammatical errors).
Notice anything that’s outdated or irrelevant? Make note of it so you can set aside the necessary time to write for the areas that need updating. Don’t think twice about it, though. Just start writing, and ask a trusted friend to review it before publishing it.
Sure, there’s a lot of noise out there. But it’s possible to cut through it.
How, you ask? By speaking directly to your reader’s needs and desires. And writing in their language. Involve them in the journey. And invite them into the shifts that have taken place with your brand. You want them to get the best impression of you and your brand – as it exists today.
4. Revisit your portfolio + add your latest work.
You know how the story goes. You start taking on more (and more) work. And before you know it, you’re onto the next thing. The work to add to that portfolio page begins to pile up.
You’re thinking: That’s a personal brand to-do for another day.
I’m guilty of this, too. It’s just another thing you might not have the time for. Let alone prioritize. But by revisiting (and updating) your portfolio, you prove to your potential clients that you’re to be trusted because of your skills. You show off your style. And you give a better picture of who you want to align yourself with.
Speaking of alignment, if you come across any past projects on your existing site that just don’t feel right – whether that’s because you no longer offer the service being featured or you’ve niched down on ideal clients – this is your green light to delete them. Reserve them for your internal files for reflection purposes only.
5. Check all calls to actions and links.
Next, check your calls to action (CTAs). Does the copy make sense for where you’re directing your reader to go? Could it be elevated, or would you prefer to take them elsewhere? Is the link you’re taking them to working?
Then, evaluate the placement of your calls to action. Maybe you come across a particular section that doesn’t currently have one, but could use one. You know, to guide the reader through your website journey – from page to page, eventually leading them to get in touch with you or download a free resource.
And lastly, are there any broken hyperlinks that need to be fixed? Because nothing is more frustrating than wanting to digest a piece of content or discover that recommended resource only to land on a 404 error page. Oops.
This free broken link checker will make your life easier. If you have a WordPress website, this tool can also help!
Ultimately, invite your audience to take that next step with you by focusing on strong calls to action and clear, easy-to-follow navigation. Enhance their experience by ensuring every link – when clicked – gives them exactly what they’re looking for.
Contemplating whether you should DIY or hire a website designer?
The overwhelm of developing and maintaining a thriving business is real. It may be tempting to do it all yourself.
But maybe not. Especially as you dig in and thoughtfully work through each of the guideposts shared above to strategically update your site, with the help of your website builder.
So maybe you’re considering hiring a professional website designer to take the lead? If so, I invite you to reach out today.
No matter what point of the path you’re on in your entrepreneurial journey, staying curious and asking the hard questions will ensure your brand stays true to you and ideal clients. Along the way, you’ll gather essential insight to continue moving forward with confidence and, my personal favorite, clarity.
Keep the momentum going!
After scanning your website, are you left feeling stuck or confused? Maybe you’re unsure about your goals or implementing your visual and verbal identity. If so, I’ve created this guide just for you, helping break down how to build a sensible brand – from the ground up.
The Sensible Brand Assessment gives you my exact formula, along with complimentary questions I consistently ask alongside service providers, to make smart, strategic decisions for a well-rounded brand.
Download it today, and you’ll also get a 15-minute video tutorial to help you put what you learn into practice!
At the end of your DIY journey and ready to hand off those moving pieces for your brand and website? I’m here to answer any of your questions. Let’s chat about how you can go beyond your logo into a complete visual identity.