These days a great deal of sales is carried out online. Whether a person is going to buy a product or to order a certain service, he or she is likely to check the company/provider online. What’s more, a potential client may also want to compare the quality of the company’s service, pricing, and other aspects with other similar businesses. Thus, if your website isn’t up to scratch, you risk losing a number of your potential customers.

In this article I’m going to explore the key areas that influence your website performance, as well as to define the most effective ways to boost these areas. So, below are the top 10 tips for successful website upgrade.

  1. Meet customers’ expectations. This implies obtaining a relevant domain name, and creating a meaningful homepage. Your domain name and your website design should reflect the essence of your service – thus the customers will be more likely to remember your web address and the kind of services you offer. If your homepage and your domain name don’t reflect your organization/personality, you are bound to upgrade them right now!

  2. Update your content on a regular basis. Fresh, unique content is equally important both for search engine optimization, and for your customers. A person who sees that the last post on a website was published a year ago will surely doubt the professionalism of the company. Moreover, he or she may hesitate paying for a service/product on such a website. A visitor who arrives at the abandoned site simply goes elsewhere.

  3. Promote and stay social. Success on the Internet never happens by chance. A successful, dynamic website is always the result of a well-thought-out campaign. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to hire a team of seo specialists in order to promote your website. There are quite a few completely free methods of online and offline promotion. These include guest posting, social media campaigns, creating forums, blogs, distributing business cards, TV and radio ads, etc. Never stop promoting your website, even when you have enough customers.

  4. Educate your employees. These days it is important to cooperate with the professionals who are aware of the freshest trends in their domain, can give useful advice, bring in creative ideas, and what’s more important – clearly understand your company’s main goal. Employees worth their salt always strive for self-improvement in what they do.

  5. Select a reliable hosting provider. If you want to upgrade your website you must ensure that your host can offer you a range of additional services as your business grows. Select a provider who can guarantee high quality technical support. By the way, don’t hesitate to use website builders as your hosting provider – most of them offer a great range of extra functionality within their premium plans. There are many myths about website builders saying that it’s impossible to create a truly professional website with a free platform. This is a very common misconception. To learn more on this topic, please read the article ‘Top 5 Myths About Free Website Builders’.

  6. Incorporate multiple payment options. If your business deals with sales, you’re bound to provide your customers with the most secure and easy-to-use payment systems. Remember to provide your customers with detailed information on return policy, delivery time, order tracking, etc.

  7. Stay accessible. Your Contact page should furnish the most accurate, actual contact data: physical address (if there is one), map, phone/fax numbers, email, links to your social networks’ accounts, etc. All these elements will help you gain your customers’ credibility and improve  your accessibility.

  8. Simplify your content. These days people tend to read diagonally, skipping whole paragraphs. Thus, there is no sense in publishing long, boring articles with huge prefaces. It is advisable to keep your content concise, informative and readable. Tend to present complex information and statistics data in the form of images, graphs, etc. Reinforce your About Us page: let it exhaustingly describe your main goal and values.

  9. Improve your UX. If you want your users return to your pages, make your website easy-to-navigate: opt for a fixed header pane, consider infinite scrolling, QR codes, apps style layout, etc. I’ve already touched upon improving user experience in the article ‘10 Web Design Trends for 2013 to Keep an Eye on’.

  10. Consider outsourcing. Actually, it can be rather difficult to keep an eye on all these aspects yourself. When you pay so much attention to details, you get distracted from your main goal. Outsourcing is the solution. It helps you delegate minor technical tasks to other people thus saving time for more important issues.

Final Thoughts

If your website doesn’t work on you, it’s time to re-evaluate your marketing strategy and your website performance. I hope that the aforementioned tips will help you go ahead of the competition, and build a dynamic, effective website. Don’t try to implement all these suggestions overnight – introduce them step by step, proofread and test them.