It happens to all of us: the calendar flips over into a new year and we feel the urge to remake ourselves. This is why so many of us make resolutions. Even if making resolutions isn’t your thing, we’re willing to bet that you’ve probably made at least one appointment with a doctor, shopped for at least one new outfit, bought at least one new household gadget, and probably gotten (or will be soon getting) a haircut.
It isn’t just our personal selves that we want to change when the calendar flips. We also find our professional focuses rehoned. The new year is a perfect time to take stock of, among other things, your website and your marketing efforts. Here are some areas that will most need your attention.
Web Design: Inclusivity is Key
While the desktop/laptop web browser is far from dead, in terms of popularity, it is currently being massively outpaced by the mobile web browser. The simple fact is that more people are searching and shopping via their phones and tablets than they are when they are sitting at a “proper” computer.
This means that you need to make sure that your website looks as good on a mobile browser as it does on a desktop or laptop browser. The easiest (and best) way to do this is to code your site using responsive web design. If you don’t know how to do this yourself, hire a professional designer to help you.
Hosting: The Need for Speed
There is nobody more fickle and easily distracted than someone who is shopping for products and/or services online. If they have to wait more than a few seconds for your site to load, they will click away from your site and move on to your competitors. In fact, according to recent research, if your site takes longer than six seconds to load, the probability that you will convert that visitor to a sale drops by 95%. Yikes!
A good website designer will help you optimize your site so that it loads quickly during the design and coding process. If you’re just trying to tweak a few things on your own, concentrate on the following criteria.
Images: The larger the image, the longer it will take to load. This is true for even one image. It increases exponentially as the number of images on your site grows.
Hosting: If you’ve done everything you know how to do and your site is still loading too slowly, the lag might be on your web host’s side. If you’ve chosen a “shared IP” plan (which is what most websites use), you have to share the host’s bandwidth with every other site using that same IP. Take a look at your company’s budget and figure out whether you can spring for your own dedicated IP address.
Marketing: Putting Yourself Out There
In 2018, your marketing is going to be more depending on social media than it has ever been before.
On Facebook, you’ll want to increase your interaction with your page’s followers. Don’t simply post updates about your company’s products or services. Instead, promote other businesses within your network, talk about your involvement in your community, and, of course, interact with your followers. The key here is to respond not just empathetically but quickly. The longer someone has to wait for a response from you, the unhappier they will be. Even if they just post a quick “love your stuff” message, responding “thanks!” within 24 hours is a good idea.
Instagram will become even more important in 2018. Instagram now allows users to buy directly from brands via the images they post. This means that taking care to post quality images is definitely worth your time. The stories feature is also going to be more important for your marketing than it has been in the past. Learn how to create quality stories so you don’t get outpaced by your competitors.
These are just a few of the ways you can give your company a New Year’s makeover. What are some of the changes and updates you’re going to be making to your company this year?