Every January we all rush into the gym's for our annual re-commitment to our bodies, but do we do the same thing to our web sites? From the look at the many I review, that answer is similar to what my trainer would say of my figure and that is a resounding "NO". Why not? Why do we not take care of our brands like we do other things in our lives?
It is becoming more important for businesses to not only have a website, but to have one that works as a marketing tool. In most cases, your website will be a potential customer’s first interaction with you. Your web presence has to be one that reflects accurately who you are, how you can solve their problems and provides the information they need to take the next step in their buyer’s journey. This is why you need to ensure that your website is up to par in terms of technology, usability and your competition. Does your current website meet all of these requirements? If not, it may be time for an upgrade.
Below we address some ways to know you need a new website. Do any of these apply to you?
These are not in any particular order....well, except for the first. This one is non-negotiable.
1. Site is not responsive
This is number one, period. Over everything else you do, if your site is not responsive, you have been and will continue to feel the wrath of Google and more importantly, your prospective customers. They are going to go to your competitors that have responsive sites. Think about it, you do it everyday. If you pull up your phone, Google a business and get to their web site and cannot read the content, you leave, change your query and find one that is. Your possible customers are doing the same thing. Google has been very open and honest about this for some time now but they've started to raise their hands and warn us to get with it. I wrote a recent blog about it, check it out here.
2. YOU HAVEN'T REDESIGNED IT IN ___ YEARS
There is no magic number to answer this question but if you had to ask someone else, then it is time. Are you using old technologies like Flash? Do you have more than two sliders on your home page. Is your site static and fill just a small part of the middle of your browser? All of these are blatant signs that its time for a refresh.
3. You envy your competition
This is no different than your football team being better than the opposing team. What do they do differently? Do they work out more? Do they train differently? Do they invest more in marketing or online strategies? Is their stadium new and have all the best technologies? Chances are if you envy their work, then it is time for a redesign.
4. YOUr boss says he/She can't find it in google
This is a bigger issue but one that can be tackled. Many, many items go into a solid SEO strategy but anyone can and should be found for their brand name and keywords around the products and geographic areas in which they serve. Keyword and content startegy comes first when I look into issues with a site not being found in the first few pages of SERP (search engine results pages).
5. YOU cannot tell me how it's performing
If your site is just there and in a hallway conversation you cannot tell me about sales from your site, how much traffic it gets on a monthly basis, your conversion rates and the technology it's on, it's time for a real strategy and a partner that can help.
6. It does not represent your brand or products
This is very common. We have met with clients many times and they ignored their site for so long that it didn't even represent the products and services that they now sell. Sometimes its due to the technology they are on because they physically cannot make changes to it due to old technology or outdated CMS (Content Management System). Maybe you went through a re-brand or have a new logo? Why wouldn't you have reflected this change in your web site?
7. YOUr site is slow
OK, what does that even mean? Site speed has become a factor in Google's search algorithms over the past few years. There can be many reasons why your site is slow including:
- Poorly Optimized Images. Your web designer or graphics resources MUST know how to optimize for today's screens but also know how not to be penalized for site speed
- Technical Rendering. Again, technologies change and so does the way browsers display content. The way java script is handled and when is a big part of site speed. How many times are there calls to a database on one page? These are just a few factors and we will touch on this more later
- Test for Yourself. Go to the free tool from Google, enter your site's URL and you can see how it performs. if it comes back with an 80/100 or less, it's time to dig into it more.
8. YOUr content is all about you
Consumers are in charge now. When they come to your site they have most likely already done research about your brand or your products. Now they want to hear about how you can help them, not how cool you are. It is critical to change the way you have done content creation in the past and take more of outside looking in approach and make sure your content gives them a solution to the reason they visited you.
9. YOUr social media icons are not prevalent
First of all, you're on social media, right? If you answered yes to that question, can you say it takes only 1-2 seconds for a visitor to find your social icons? Social media strategies is another blog, all in itself, but if they have to Google for your Facebook page, it's not going to work for you.
10. Your Categories don't make sense any longer
As time goes on and your business changes, often times you will just add new pages or content wherever it "makes sense". But do that for several months to over a year and your site may become a mess. At that point, and at the beginning of a redesign, we need to look at the categories and subcategories (which should lead to your pages), to determine if they make sense to users and search engines.
At Calibrate Brands, we've taken a new approach to designing web sites. We eliminate a lot of the old headaches and that should make you and your CEO and CFO smile. It is called performance driven design and we can have a web site together, in just about 60 days.
We do web design and strategy every day. We love this stuff and we'd love to talk to you about yours. We love it so much that we would be more than happy to take a peak at your site, see what we can find and where we see opportunity for wins. Best of all, its FREE.
Just click the button below to get started.