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5 Best Practices to Upgrade Your Practice's Website

Graham Tucker
Posted by Graham Tucker on Mar 10, 2022 11:41:44 AM

Are you happy with your practice's website? Even more important, are you sure it is effective? There is really long list of things to consider to upgrade your practice's website, but I've narrowed the list down to five critical best practices you should do (one of which I want you to do today) to start improving your website.

A large portion of small business owners and many website developers use WordPress. I use WordPress examples in this article, but some concepts are universal. I will also avoid using code because it makes some people uncomfortable.

1. Back up your website.

Security is great but peace of mind is even better and knowing that a backup of everything in your site is safe will help you sleep better at night. I've found, from personal experience, that security plugins don't really work when hackers target your hosting service.

When you are done reading this article, immediately back up your website. If you are using WordPress, there is a simple plugin called WP All In One Migration. Install the plugin according to the instructions, activate it, and download a backup of your website.

Once you have a backup saved on your machine, save it on an external drive or on a cloud drive. This should become a regular practice as you make changes to your website. I recommend creating a recurring task in your task management solution, such as Microsoft To Do, to remind you to update your backup regularly

2. Add pictures to your site.

Text is fine and I like reading as much as the next person, but sometimes we tend to talk a lot and a picture can say quite a bit to reinforce your message. Some free resources include Pixabay and  Pexels.

Also, for visually impaired visitors, please provide "alt" text for each of your pictures. In WordPress this option is available from the dashboard - on the left-hand side, choose "media." Then, select any photos that do not already have an alt description and fill in the field.

3. Use color.

Adding color to not only your site but also your brand and advertising provides impact and brand recognition. Color improves brand recognition by up to 80% and can really change the overall feeling of a site. You may even consider using colors as backgrounds for text. If you do, please (PLEASE) be sure to use contrasting colors so it's easier to read the text.

Once you pick a particular color (or two or three colors), be sure to use it in different ways. Also, use that color or colors throughout all of the materials you create, not just on your website. Even your invoices should use your logo and a similar color scheme.

The colors you select will be a design standard, so take time selecting the colors and even ask your team, family and friends for their feedback. Use this color wheel and color theory tool to help you pick your colors.

4. Update your site once a week. 

Regularly updating your site can be hard. Most of us don't have a lot of time on our hands and websites usually get de-prioritized. Although weekly updates may be too much, it is very important to develop a habit of adding blog articles or any other updates you can to your site. Fresh content is one of the things Google and Bing are searching for and rank sites higher if they have fresh content.

Don't write just anything though. New content should help your audience and be relevant to your website as a whole, your practice and the topic of the page where the content is placed. Be sure to add keywords relevant to that content; also make sure that the title and the URL of the page have those keywords included. These are very important to search engine optimization (SEO).

5. Share your hard work! 

You've done all this hard work to upgrade your site - now you should show it off. One of the cheapest and fastest ways to get your site in front of others is to share it on social media. Consider accounts with LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. If you only have personal social media accounts, I recommend you create a professional or company account.

There are two routes you can go for social media - free or paid. Whichever you choose, know that there are some things you should most definitely include in your advertisements.

Does it display an image? 60% of consumers say they’re more likely to consider or contact a business that has an image shown in local search results. The ad should include a link to your site or a specific blog post you're referencing in the advertisement. Finally, use a hashtag! Hashtags will put your ad in front of more people. Your social feed only has so many eyes in front of it, but a hashtag will put it in front of all people that are looking for that particular hashtag.

If you pay for your social media ads, you will be able to see who clicked on them and have statistics that go along with those clicks. If not, you'll be able to track data to your site on Google Analytics. Analytics and SEO are critical! In fact, I don't recommend going down that rabbit hole and instead recommend hiring a contracted professional advisor. They should be able to provide you with guidance on keyword strategies and a plan for capitalizing on SEO.

So those are my five critical best practices you should follow to upgrade your website. Here are a few more that almost made this list. Get a professional to design a logo (aim for simple and clean), structure your pages properly within the website, and create an audience list for emailing updates such as HubSpot or the free version of Mailchimp that is now integrated with QBO. In fact, Jody Linick tested Mailchimp and QBO and created a "how-to" for setup and use.

Topics: Practice Growth


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