6 Steps To Update Your Website
Website trends are constantly changing, but one thing that has always been a top priority for websites is making sure they provide a mobile-friendly experience. “60% of searches are done via mobile device.”
Coming in MARCH 2021, mobile friendly websites will become the most influential factor in Google search rankings as they are rolling out mobile-first indexing for the entire web. So what does this mean for your website? Google will now base its indexes and also your search ranking on the mobile version of your website, not your desktop version.
If you have had a website refresh on your to do list, now is the perfect time to start. You don’t want to lose customers because your website performs poorly on mobile devices. Follow these 6 steps to conduct a mobile audit of your website, and update your site for 2021!
Step 1: Make Sure your Website is Mobile-Friendly
There are a few factors you will want to look for when you examine the mobile design of your website. You will want to make sure your design helps users focus on the content that they desire and make sure that it is accessible in a clear format. Another factor you will want to look at is if your website adjusts to different devices. You can check your mobile web design using Google’s free tool.
Step 2: Update your Plug-Ins, Theme, WordPress Core, and PHP
The most important reason to ensure that the code in your site is always updated is security. A significant proportion of updates to themes, plugins, and WordPress core are security patches: minor releases designed to overcome any security vulnerabilities.
Make sure to make a backup of your current website.
If you are doing a major upgrade to your plugins and WordPress, you should update the plugins first and test them one at a time. After upgrading WordPress, you may be prompted to update the plugins again to be compatible with the latest version of WordPress.
One last thing after your site is 100% updated. Check your version of PHP. If you are not on 7.3 or 7.4, log in to your hosting control panel, and look for a place to update PHP to one of these recent versions. When in doubt, HIRE A PROFESSIONAL!
Step 3: Review and Update Content
Quality content is the most valuable asset you have on your website. It helps you retain existing users and attract new ones. Check your content, update and improve it if necessary. Review this checklist while analyzing your site:
- Blog Posts
- Landing Pages
- Contact Forms
Check for functionality, spelling errors, relevance, and engagement. Make sure content is optimized for mobile.
Step 4: Research and Optimize Your Keywords
Keyword optimization (also known as keyword research) is the act of researching, analyzing and selecting the best keywords to target to drive qualified traffic from search engines to your website. Short and sweet is the key; keep your pages optimized for no more than 2-3 keywords.
Step 5: Analyze Website Speed
Pages with a longer load time typically have a higher bounce rate, and will lower the average time your visitors spend on your page. Longer load times have also been shown to negatively affect booking conversions. According to statistics, if your site takes more than three seconds to load, you lose 75% of your potential viewers. You can check your site’s loading speed using the Google Page Speed tool.
Step 6: Review User Experience
The user experience is crucial to achieve success in the optimization and promotion of your website. When a guest goes to your website, what is their first impression? Do you have an easy navigation that will bring them through the direct booking process? A good way to check this is by analyzing your Google Analytics account; see where users start on your website, and where they leave.