The dreaded slow season: when sales slump, thumbs are twiddled, and businesses close early. The temptation to rest on your laurels can be overwhelming.
As soon as November hits, wrapping yourself in a blanket and testing the limits of your Netflix consumption starts to sound like a really good idea. On the contrary, the slow season is the best time of year for revamping your website. Here’s five nifty reasons why:
Quality Takes Time:
Remember that time you played a 14-hour game of Risk? Or read a full-length novel in 48 hours? Or re-watched a 10-season TV show in less than a week? Chances are, you performed these feats of time management in the Winter months.
In the slow season, you have more time on your hands. A lot more. Why not use this surplus of time in a constructive way? A website audit /revamp is a lengthy, intensive task. Luckily, Winter provides the frigid isolation needed to do a head-to-toe reconstruction of your website. Is your content outdated? Is your site mobile-responsive? Have your rankings slumped, and you’re not sure why? These are important questions to ask yourself.
Give your website the same attention you give to a mulled wine recipe, or frosting sugar cookies. Bask in the eerie glow of the computer screen, and binge on website improvement. When the sun returns and the snow melts, you’ll be glad you did!
New Year, New You (Sharpen the Blade!):
If you’re not improving, you’re deteriorating. The end of the year is a time of reflection and resolutions, and for good reason. People audit their lives in the end of the year, and make lofty goals like going to the gym every day, learning a new language, and never drinking alcoholic eggnog again. Why wouldn’t your website need a resolution, too?
There is no website that can’t be improved. Websites are not a set-it-and-forget-it asset to your business; a functional, competitive website needs regular maintenance and management. The slow season is a perfect time to focus on actionable improvements you can make to your website.
Here are some great ideas for improving your website to be competitive in 2018:
SSL Encryption: Get that coveted https at the beginning of your website’s URL. Your customers will feel more secure on your site, and will be more likely to stay on the page. Plus, Google gives a ranking advantage to secure sites!
Mobile-Responsive Design: This should be no surprise to anyone, but most internet consumption occurs on mobile phones. Less and less people are hunkering down on the desktop computer to get some quality time with the Internet. If your website is hideous on mobile, customers will think less of your business. Google will, too.
Looks Matter: Does your website look like it was designed before the Macarena existed? Does it revert to its HTML bones sometimes? Is there Times New Roman everywhere, or Comic Sans anywhere? If you answered yes to any of these questions, your website needs a design over-haul, stat!
Update Web Content: A website provides a lot of services, but fundamentally, a website is a vehicle for transmitting information. A website is only as good as the information that is conveyed. If your website has any inaccurate, dated, or poorly written content, you’re doing your customers a disservice. Updating content gives your content an edge in rankings, so stay current!
Tech Advances at the End of the Year:
To be fair, technology advances 24/7, and 365 days a year. The advancements are launched in the last quarter of the year, though. Historically, the vast majority of Apple’s “Special Events” occur in Autumn and Winter. A disproportionate number of Google’s algorithm updates were announced in the later months. Exciting new technology rolls out a few weeks before Black Friday, and we all know why.
The end of the year is a great time to analyze the state of modern technology. There is no shortage of “______ Trends To Look For In 2018” blogs, and tech Twitter is usually going crazy during your slow season. The smart money is on keeping your ear to the ground for tech trends, and revamping your site based on the advice of vetted experts.
The slow season is the best time to get a competitive edge against your competitors.
A Gift to Your Customers:
The holiday season is a time of rampant generosity. Consumer spending spikes, and obscene quantities of fudge are served. In the spirit of giving, provide your customers with a fancy, functional, and fun online experience!
Though the slow season is a wonderful time to revamp your site, I would strongly advise against going overboard with tacky holiday themes like animated snow falling over the entire site. There’s nothing more embarrassing than forgetting to remove holiday cheer from your site, and Spring has sprung.
Updating your website is an event, and it is certainly worthy of plenty of promotions via social media, newsletter, blogging, video, and so much more. It really is an exciting development for your business and personal brand, and spreading that excitement will have rippling effects!
More Time Indoors Equals More Time Online
Think about your behavior when you’re having a cozy day indoors. How many times do you check your phone or email when you don’t have a lot going on? How much time do you spend prowling social media, taking a silent tally of how many people from your high school’s graduating class are married with kids?
If you’re inside, you’re probably on the Internet. Folks are way more receptive to deals and interaction in the holiday season, since gift-giving reigns supreme. Put out some promotions during the slow season to drum up some business, including Small Business Saturday! Any online promotion will help draw customers to your site, and your brand will be an increasingly immersive part of the customer’s life. A fully-updated website with in-depth, relevant, and expert content is worthy of immersion, and the slow season is the time to act.
Here are some ideas for getting customers to your newly-revamped website:
Newsletter announcement: If your business doesn’t have a newsletter with exciting deals and developments, it’s certainly something to consider. You’d be amazed at the results that a carefully-constructed newsletter can get you. Get more eyes on your website with a newsletter!
Social Media announcement(s): Social media marketing is affordable, effective, and drives serious engagement…if you do it right! Graphics, photos, and (most engaging of all) video content can really grab the eye of your current and potential customer base.
Personalized Emails: If you have what we call “super-fans,” or favorite customers, reach out to them to help spread the word. Be sure to tell your super-fans how grateful you are for their service, and how folks like them keep your doors open. Spread some love, and they will likely do likewise. If you want to take it an alternative route, hand-written holiday cards are effective, and adorable.
‘Tis the Slow Season:
The slow season is the natural choice for rolling up your sleeves and getting to work on revamping your website. Whether it’s the calm before the storm, or an opportunity to fight against the seasonal sales slump, you should take advantage of the slow season anyway you can.
If you have a slow season site revamp success story, or tips and tricks for keeping sales up during your slowest season, we’d love to hear from you! Leave your pro tips in the comments section below.