Your website is a valuable part of your marketing package, no matter what kind of business you're in. Whether you sell cotton seeds or windmills, your website answers questions about your product, shows prospective customers how to purchase and gives them a little something extra for their time. Somehow, it has become standard practice to completely redesign commercial websites every 18 to 24 months, but does your website really need to be redesigned?
There’s a science to getting your audience to take action on your website. It’s a bit like creating a formula. You put together certain elements and then – voila – you have predictable and repeatable results.
Successful content marketing requires consistent publishing – but it can be a challenge to keep your coffers full, especially if you've been publishing for years. Reviewing your existing content is a great way to measure how far you've come and get new ideas.
Having a customer-focused and conversion-driven website is a key to any inbound marketing campaign. It doesn’t matter how many outstanding blog posts you create, how much search engine optimization you do or how often you’re connecting with prospects on social media, if your website isn’t designed with your customers in mind, all of that traffic is going to fall flat.
Is your homepage helping or hindering your visitors? Are your bounce rates on this page through the roof? Chances are if you aren’t getting the results you expect from your website, your homepage is to blame.
Your website is your online calling card. So why are so many software, tech and midsized businesses missing the mark with their web pages? They either aren’t sure of the benefits of updating a website, aren’t sure where they should be focusing their updating efforts – or don’t think it’s worth their time.
Your website is the place where visitors are converted to leads and sales. Or, maybe not. If your site isn’t doing its job, it’s time to take action. It may be underperforming due to poorly designed or confusing forms.
You’ve decided it’s time. You need a new website. It’s old and tired and doesn’t engage your customers. But, where to begin? Here are the ins and outs of using a graphic designer to spruce up the old home front.
A visit to my hometown’s website gave me an idea to blog about…are small towns, and by extension small businesses, missing the boat on keeping their residents and customers engaged by maintaining stagnant websites? The information that I was looking for was basic – how to purchase a dump sticker – yet difficult to find, as the site was hard to navigate, with many links leading nowhere. I finally found the information buried below a story about the preservation of a historic building. I really hope they’re not looking to preserve it by moving it to the dump.
Here’s a look at my town’s website: http://www.town.scituate.ma.us. They have improved the look and navigation since my first visit, but the template of the site is a dinosaur and starts to look very familiar when visiting websites of other towns in the area. Here’s one from a town nearby http://www.townofnorwell.net. Norwell’s website is cleaner, but doesn’t feature an “important links” section which can be helpful for one-stop shopping.
I am a big proponent of supporting local businesses. Especially small local businesses. Not because I think Walmart is evil or McDonald’s is poison. Actually I do think Walmart is evil and McDonald’s is poison but I have picked up an inflatable pool or two and scoffed down a big mac on occasion.
I try to shop at local businesses because of the quality and service. The guy from Argentina at my local liquor store remembers me and has recommended some tremendous bottles of Malbec for $10.
It’s not uncommon for a few years to pass and a company gets the itch to do a website redesign. It may well be necessary, but make sure you are doing it for the right reasons.
Too often redesigns are undertaken because of a perception that the site has a tired look and feel or a new technology is not being utilized. Remember that you spend a lot more time looking at your site than your customers do and that hot new technology may not be right for your customers or your business.
Whether it has been one year or five years since the last major site overhaul is not the issue. Ask yourself what business goals and objectives your site should be serving. Is it more sales, generate more traffic via search engine optimization, improved customer support? Surprisingly many people don’t have a clear answer to this question.
When the business value of the site is clear, and accurate decision about where to spend your resources can be made. Make sure you tie your business goals to any web project you undertake.