Time for a Website Redesign?
If your business has been online for a while, you might need to review it to ensure it’s delivering the best response for you. Just having a website isn’t enough, is it integrated with social media? If it is, are you using the right social media platforms where your customers “hang out”?
If you’re reading this then you’re probably already thinking about a redesign. Go through each of the following points (have a notepad and pen handy – the old ways can be the best), and check out your own website against each one. Then what? After you’ve created your list of what you like/don’t like, what you want implementing/changing – or fatally, completely demolishing and starting again – sit down with your marketing team/web designer and do some brain storming!
Where does your site rank?
When customers search for your business, are you near the top of the search results? You might be at the top when someone searches for your company name if it’s unusual, but where do you rank for the products/services you’re offering?
Speak to your web designer about SEO (search engine optimisation). You’ll need to brainstorm keywords, your content will need to achieve each of your business goals and at the same time deliver a fabulous user experience. Want to sell more penny whistles? You’ll need to be at the top of the search results in Google. I know, “other search engines are available” but let’s just stick with this one for the purposes of this article. Make your visually compelling site/page all about penny whistles. Your online visitor needs to see you as an authority on penny whistles so they keep coming back – just having one line stating how much they cost isn’t enough.
What does your site look like on mobile?
On smartphones, does your website look like a tiny squashed version of your site that you can’t read unless your spend ages zooming in? Mobile usability is extremely important and your site needs to be mobile-friendly, if it isn’t you’re probably losing valuable customers who could possibly have the perception that you don’t care about them. Speak to your web designer, your site should be optimised for all screen sizes to enhance the user experience for your customers – irrespective of the device they’re using.
Is your menu structure easy to use? It’s called navigation for a reason.
Is information easily found within your site, or do your menus have sub menus that have sub menus that have more sub menus? You get the picture. Don’t make it hard for information to be found, you might know that your restaurant menu is buried 4 levels deep in your site but your customer won’t, and there’s every chance they’ll give up. Make your navigation simple and easy to use, and categorise your information so it can be easily found. If you’re going to be using Google AdWords, take that into consideration and let your web designer know, as this can influence your website structure.
Has your branding changed but your site still has a logo that was created in the 1960s?
If your offline business has changed then your online business should change as well – it’s just a digital extension. Don’t have 2 completely different looks, keep your branding and message consistent – you don’t want your customer who’s experienced your offline offering to find your online one to be completely different, they’ll think they’ve stumbled across the wrong website. If your business grows, then your website should grow as well.
Where are the contact us/subscription details going?Do you have a website that contains a “contact us” form, or a “sign up to our newsletter” form but have no idea where that information is going? Your website is being used as a customer services vehicle so even if you’re not going to have a new website built, find out where this information is going and act on it.
Are you ticking the right social media boxes?
Everyone’s told you to have a Facebook page. You’ve got one, it’s promoted on your website – you regularly spend valuable time and resources on publishing content. Are you looking at the Facebook analytics to ensure your posts are engaging with your customers? Are your customers interacting with you and liking your posts or sharing them? If the answer is the analytics figures aren’t very good when you offset the time involved, and no-one’s interacting with you, then you might be spending time on the wrong social media platform. Find out where your customers are so you’re communicating in the same digital space.
Slow load times?
Does your site take a long time to load? If it does then the chances are someone navigating to your site will leave before it displays – losing you potential revenue/leads so it’s time to update your technology and optimise your images. With the speed of broadband and the availability of free Wi-Fi, there’s no excuse for having a slow website.
Using outdated software?
Using Adobe Flash? Really? It was all the rage years ago to build websites using Flash, but with the huge audiences on mobile devices that DON’T support Flash – you’re going to be missing out on potential new customers as they won’t be able to view your content.