If you haven’t touched your website for the past year or longer because you’ve been busy with other stuff (we get it), you might be feeling like you’re ready for a redesign. That might be true—but it also might be true that your website just needs a little tender love and care.
There are a few easy updates anyone can make to elevate the work on their website. As long as you’re using a modern website builder like Showit or WordPress with Elementor, these sorts of updates should be easy to make. We specifically tried to choose activities that are easy and inexpensive (the exception is number #2, which will vary a bit in price, but there are inexpensive options).
If you built or customized your own website, consider also checking out our post about the 10 common DIY design mistakes that we see people make. That post also provides fixes for each of those mistakes too.
Four Easy DIY Website Updates
Here are four easy, do-it-yourself website updates…
1. Audit Your Website Content
A content audit is an opportunity to go through all of your website content—especially blog posts—and either delete or refresh the content. It’s an effective way to optimize your website by ensuring that all of the content on your website is high quality, relevant, and reflective of your best work.
Out-of-date content doesn’t do your website any good. At worst, a visitor stumbles upon it and sees content that’s no longer reflective of your best, most recent work and leaves. At best, it sits there, rarely or never viewed.
Basically we’re telling you to Marie Kondo your website.
Older content that still gets some traffic or has the potential to get traffic should be refreshed and republished. This can be done by rewriting the original post and publishing it so it reflects a recent date, or you can write a completely new post and redirect the old post so that it points to the new. For instance, this post was originally published in 2015. We decided that the content just needed to be updated, so we reworked the existing post and republished.
If your website is bigger, this might take some time. Don’t try to do it all in a day, but make it a point to go through a few posts each day, and you’ll be done in no time.
(Regarding redirects: If you delete content, be sure to create the appropriate redirects! Typically that means creating a 301 redirect to permanently point an old URL to a new URL; however, for some content you might serve a 410 header, which means that content has been permanently deleted. This can all be done easily with the Yoast SEO Premium plugin.)
2. Update Your Headshot and Brand Images
Fresh brand photographs can really help elevate the look of your website. Look for ways to add visual interest to your pages without just displaying several versions of the same headshot. Maybe it’s your hands holding your camera, close-up and pulled back shots, or even a landscape shot from your hometown.
If you can invest in a photographer that specializes in brand photography, you’ll likely get images that you can use in all sorts of places like your social feeds. Plus, they’ll know exactly what images to get and will likely make a few recommendations you might not have otherwise brainstormed. Of course, if that’s not in the budget, there are other ways you can update your brand images such as finding a photographer who’s interested in swapping services or using a service like the SC Stockshop.
Whatever you decide remember to use your brand guidelines as you put together a shot list. Your outfits, backdrops, and locations should all be cohesive with your brand. If you don’t have brand guidelines, check out the brand aesthetic activity.
3. Update Your Galleries and Portfolio
Each and every image on a website should represent your very best work, which means your work should be heavily curated. If a visitor connects with the work on your website, there will be plenty of time to show them full galleries of your work.
Pay special attention to the images in the hero-spot of your homepage as it’s the very first thing many visitors will see. Make sure groups of images have a similar aesthetic. It’s easy to think that you need to show a little bit of everything on your website, when in reality, it’s better to develop a consistent style. This will help ensure that your work truly resonates with the types of clients that you want to book.
We highly recommend taking a look at the related post above to read more about how to effectively show off your work on your website.
4. Update Your Client Testimonials
This is an easy task that will likely only take a few minutes. If you don’t have any testimonials or any fresh testimonials, this is an opportunity to reach out to recent clients and ask for one.
Client testimonials matter, and you shouldn’t underestimate the power of social proof. People trust other peoples’ recommendations, and word-of-mouth referrals are often the highest converting referrals. It doesn’t matter how expensive or inexpensive the product—one of the first things I’m checking on Amazon are the reviews. For inexpensive products, I might only check the aggregate score instead of reading individual reviews, but the reviews will still likely be important in my purchasing decision.
One mistake we see people make is putting reviews and testimonials on a separate page. Instead, reviews and social proof should be incorporated into every page of your website to subtly reinforce the claims you’re making. It’s good to say you’re good at what you do; it’s more powerful when someone else says it for you. Social proof will go a long way in helping you effectively answer the two questions you need to address when trying to win clients.
Have any other tips for updates you can make to your website without hiring a designer? Share them below so we can continue to add to this list!