Change is Good

Don't be afraid of making adjustments to your website.

For anyone that’s been to our website before, you may have noticed that we recently made some adjustments to the design. The changes were minimal, but based on feedback and a look at Google analytics, we made these changes to give our visitors a more robust experience.

Often times clients are unwilling or afraid to make changes to their finished website. But we’ve learned that iterative changes can be a good thing! So what’s the best way to go about making adjustments?

1. Gather Analytics

Look at your Google analytics and try and find user patterns. By doing this you may find that some pages rarely get visited or have a high bounce-rate (people who come to the page and immediately leave). These pages are a good indication of content that may not be needed or needs to be rewritten. It could also mean that these pages need to be displayed more prominently in your design, or shared more often throughout the website.

You may also find that people are discovering your website through specific search terms but you don’t have enough content for that topic. This is a good indication of content that you need to add to the website.

2. Gather User Feedback

Your users are the best people to give you feedback on your overall website strategy – whether its design, content, or more. Gathering feedback can give you an idea of which areas need to be changed, and which ones are working well. This can be done casually through conversation with your clients, or for larger websites can be done through random surveys. Your staff can also be a source of information, as you may find they need elements of the website adjusted to help them do their jobs better.

3. Make Changes Slowly

Not every change needs to be done all at once. Create an overall plan of modifications you’d like to make, and gradually introduce them one at a time. This gives you an opportunity to test and adjust new elements before modifying others, and will allow you to introduce changes incrementally.

4. Invest in Maintenance

Whether done internally, or through one of Freely Made’s maintenance plans, investing and assigning someone to do on-going maintenance will do wonders for your website. By spending a little bit of money throughout the lifecycle of your website, you’ll be able to extend it’s longevity and can avoid having to do a full overhaul in the future. Proper maintenance also gives you the opportunity to update your CMS software more frequently, giving you new features you might not have had before.

5. Watch Your SEO

While change is good, too much change can negatively affect your SEO score. Try not to change page URLs, or remove existing pages (unless they really shouldn’t be seen anymore). On the plus side, adding new content and adjusting existing content can often increase your SEO ranking.