So you’re in mid-April when you realize — despite your ambitious 2014 to-do list — you haven’t made a single update to your website in quite some time. Of course you meant to, but somehow it slipped between the work deadlines and the bills. Fortunately it’s never too late for an upgrade. Here we’ll look at 6 areas you can address to keep your website current and competitive for the rest of the year.

1. Focus

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Design by AndreeaR

Chances are you’re not the person you were a year ago, and your business has likely advanced as well. Now’s a good time to check that the look and themes emphasized on your website match the current status and goals of your company. Have you added any new skills or services? Be sure they’re reflected in your site. Has your target clientele changed? If so, your website should reflect your new focus. Make a list of the strengths you’d most like to promote and be sure they’re featured prominently, where potential clients can find and review them easily. A few simple changes could mean big business in the future.

2. Design

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Design by sonsoa

Chances are you haven’t updated your website’s design lately. Does the layout best serve the needs of your business? Can visitors find what they need? In broad strokes, simplicity and navigability are your friends. Try to view your site through the eyes of a new visitor. Are there any barriers to use? Do the screens flow logically from one to the next? Do all the tabs, buckets, sliders, and buttons work as they should? Can customers contact you easily? If you find some feature annoying, a first-time visitor will too. Be sure you’re using your site’s design to create a seamless customer experience.

3. Tracking

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Design by pdesignstudio

Who’s visiting your site? What are they seeking most and how long are they staying? At what rate are visits and inquiries translating into new clients? These are questions you’ll need to answer if you want your site to stay competitive. There are a variety of tracking software types you can use to gather and interpret the data. Knowing the desires and motivations of visitors is an essential step in keeping your website user-friendly, building client relationships and boosting business. Determine the metrics that yield the information most relevant to your company. You might be surprised what you learn.

4. SEO

Web

Design by ROde

Optimizing your site isn’t just a matter of keyword stuffing anymore. Most of the big search engines have gotten rather savvy when it comes to their ranking metrics. The good news is that long, clumsy keywords strings are out — and content can be more natural and conversational. A wide range of marketing and SEO consultant services can help ensure your site is optimized. Also, if your business has a blog or social media presence on Facebook or Twitter, be sure those sites and posts are optimized to drive traffic your way.

5. Mobile

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Design by Little Rangda

Two words: think mobile. More users are connecting to the Web via mobile devices than ever before. That means your site has to look good and read cleanly on a small screen. How does your logo look when you pull up your website on a phone? Do you have contact information displayed prominently on your site in case visitors have inquiries? Also, keep your content lean and results-oriented — mobile users tend to make their decisions quickly and don’t like jumping through hoops.

6. Email

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Design by Azi0 Design

While you’re at it, you may want to take a look at revamping your email. Is your email page clumsy or confusing? Are the sidebars helpful or just clutter? Keeping a clean and simple email page will make it easier to stay on top of key communications. Also, give a thought to your outgoing emails. Are recipients seeing your company logo in a style that’s clear and identifiable? These days, email is part of branding, so be sure it reflects your skill and professionalism.

What strategies do you use to keep your website current?