2021 Marketing Trends to Watch – It’s Time for a Website Refresh!

February 4, 2021

4 tips to keep in mind when refreshing or building a new website

Your website is one of your brand’s best marketing tools. Just like fashion and design, website trends come and go.  With website technology constantly changing, what was once edgy and innovative may have become tired and “so yesterday”.  The last thing you want people thinking when they arrive at your website is that it’s outdated, not adhering to critical security standards, or running slow – this will result in lost conversions.

While many businesses have used quarantine as a time to revisit goals and strategies, they’ve also been focusing on refreshing or rebuilding their websites.

Similar to your staple black cocktail dress, some things will always stay the same – the importance of page speed, user-experience, mobile-friendly, and easy navigation.

Based on our experience, below are tips we suggest keeping in mind when updating or building an entirely new website:

1. Refresh Your Branding

2020 left a lot of businesses rethinking their brand.  Given the challenge of uncertainty, core values and how you connect with your audience surely evolved.  Take a close look at your brand – this includes your messaging, logo, tagline, color scheme, company culture – has this changed and does what you see on your website reflect who you are today?  Review your website images, services, team members, showcase of work, commitment to the community, and update with a better representation of who you are today.

2. Incorporate Video to Help Tell the Story!

Everyone knows that video is a must-have for websites.  They are engaging and arguably the most effective online marketing tool for enhancing visitor experience. However, don’t just embed a YouTube video on your site just to have one.  Determine the purpose, messaging, and target audience for the video.  Visitors to your site can easily identify a high-quality video verses a haphazardly composed one.  Consider an explainer video for your homepage that will set the tone for the rest of the site and provide a high-level overview of who you are and what you do.

3. Compare CMS Platforms

Are you at a point with your website when you look at it, you want to crumple up in a ball, throw in the trash, and start from square one?  Though this option is a major overhaul, often times it is necessary. Like a house foundation, your CMS (Content Management System) platform needs to be strong, stable, and able meet your website needs.  The right CMS platform will allow you to easily manage content and keep it up to date, based on your skill level. There are hundreds of different programs available on the market today – ask yourself which CMS requirements you need to support your website from design and ease of use to eCommerce.

4. Is Your Website Vulnerable to Hackers?

Over the past year, we’ve seen some terrible cyberattacks.  Did you know that on average, 30,000 new websites are hacked every day? The cost of a cyberattack could devastate your business.  According to Wired, COVID-19 has changed the way people around the world live, work, and learn, which has had a large impact on how hackers target digital espionage.  When it comes to your website, you need to consider it at risk. Securing your website means, at the very least, taking these steps:

  • Install SSL – An SSL certificate is something every business should have on their website. Google has prioritized websites with SSL certificates for better search engine rankings.  SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer, which is an encryption technology used to create a secure connection between a web server and a user’s web browser.
  • Use anti-malware software to prevent, detect, and remove malware.  To compare the best malware software systems, check out this article.
  • Test your website security – there are many products out there to assist you by attempting to compromise your site, such as Netsparker.
  • Don’t use “abc123” as your password! Passwords should be complex and stored as encrypted values.
  • Keep your website up to date – don’t use outdated software!  Specifically, if you have a WordPress site, ensure that the plugins are always updated.
  • Run regular back-ups - many hosting providers provide this service for you, but it’s always a good idea to keep an off-site backup somewhere for extra protection.

To learn more about the cost of a data breach, and how you can provide further protection, checkout this video from TASK Insurance Group.

Every website is a work-in-progress and requires constant maintenance.  It’s good practice to review it on a consistent basis to ensure it is polished, has current information, new content, and truly reflects who your business is today.  

Is your website outdated? Do you need a new site or refresh? Get in touch and we’d be happy to talk about your goals!

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