Knowing when it’s time to update a website can be overwhelming and confusing. Typically website redesign conjures up images of designers and agency types huddled in conference rooms brainstorming creative ideas. Aesthetics are important, yes, but the marriage of functional and back end considerations with smart, optimized design, will make all the difference in determining the effectiveness of your site, and your branding. It’s not just about the package, baby, it’s what’s inside. At the end of the day, don’t you want a website that’s built to be found, offer solutions, and drive people to contact your business? How to know when it’s time for a new website? Here are 17 essential questions to consider before you enter into the world of website re-design:
How to know When It’s Time For a New Website:
- Is the content relevant, current and engaging, tailored to the buying cycle?
- Is the content written with a specific target audience persona in mind?
Content is king, folks. And it needs to be targeted. Read more here.
- Is your site optimized for the right key words?
- Do you know what key words are driving traffic and to which pages?
- Are Blog, RSS, email subscription options included?
- Does the back end include an xml sitemap and a simple to use SEO plug-in?
Really what we’re talking about here is searchability.
Is your website harder to find than Waldo? We’re talking about Google here. When people search for your industry, or for the services and products you provide, do you even show up? Not your name, or the name of your company. That will show up, and if it doesn’t we’ve got a much bigger project. No, what we’re talking about here is you, or your website coming up as a search result when people type in their problem, or their query. The ultimate goal is page one, of course…organically, not paid.
The point is, if people do a search for you and you don’t show up, they’re not going to go to your website. And if they’re not going to your website, well, you see where that’s leading …
- Do visitors have plenty of convenient options (sharing tools) that make it easy for them to share content?
- And more importantly: Is your content share- worthy?
This is how you gain credibility, if not virility. I’m not saying you’re not virile, but perhaps your website isn’t either. A joke, albeit a small one. The point is, an important goal of a successful website is making sure it’s easily sharable. The pages, the blog, the services, the products if you have them all need to be interesting, high quality, sharable. The industry and market you are targeting deserves to know what you have to say. Make it dynamic and make it simple for them. Otherwise they’re going to quickly move on to the next guy.
- Do you find yourself apologizing for your website when people visit it? If you’re not impressed with your own website, if your website does not make your company look better than it is, then it’s time for a new website. Many older websites were built by website designers who weren’t designers at all; they were coders. They didn’t put much thought into design, or understand the psychological link between great design and functionality because they weren’t taught to.
When people go to your website, you may look like a 1 person firm who works out of his house. And while there is no problem in that, many of us are, you don’t want it to look like that. I work with a number of customers who work out of their house, and they are 1 person agencies, and yet their website portray them as a much more established and impressive firm, one not to be taken lightly. First impressions are key, and your website is the first impression people will ever get about your company.
Multi-Device Enabled/Mobile Friendly
- Is the website experience conducive to all mobile and tablet platforms? In website lingo this is called “responsive design”. Essential! Older platforms need to be upgraded to accommodate the way people are now consuming online info. There is nothing more frustrating to me than trying to dial a phone number from coming to a website on my iPhone and having to remember that number instead of clicking call, or having to scroll horizontally, constantly adjusting the screen size to be able to read content on my phone. This plus the fact that in 2015 Google began taking mobile responsiveness much more seriously. Read more here on that one so that I don’t have to rant.
- Is your website generating leads?
- Do you have an off-site email and list building service that aggregates those leads?
- Are those leads being monitored, nurtured, converted, and closed?
Isn’t this a no-brainer? Your website needs this. Go back and look at my website and the various opportunities I offer people to plug in their email addresses. Making it simple for them, again, a must, but also a critical way for you to build your soft lead bank. It doesn’t have to be an ( obnoxious) pop up. I don’t use them, although many do and find their conversion rate multiplies. There are many options, but you need to have them, unless the goal of your site is strictly informational, and you know what? Even strictly informational sites build have email captures, usually to sell subscriptions or offers down the line.
- Do you have Google Analytics or Google Webmaster Tools? ( or any analytics software) set up on your site?
- How many visitors and leads are coming to the site?
- Which pages are getting the most traffic?
These tools are essential components of your website, even if it’s not you that is analyzing the data. SOMEONE, perhaps your website professional or SEO master, needs to know this info so that you can tweak your data and your content to better reach your audience. We all need to know what’s working.
Ease of Editing
- Is your website set up on an easy to use platform that will allow you to add, delete or edit basic content as needed without having to rely on your website developer to do so?
If you have one of those websites where you have to call someone every single time you want to make a change, well guess what? Today’s technology is different. No matter what kind of website is built today, it can be built on a platform that you can update basic info yourself. That being said, WordPress is best, for many reasons.
Even if you have someone on a per diem to do the heavy lifting, which many do, and there is nothing wrong with, your content needs to be updated on a regular basis.
Why? When Google sees that a website hasn’t been changed in a month, or 6 months, etc., your ranking will start to fall. Google will always put websites that are consistently changing above those that are dormant. Another Google update from a few years ago. So, if you can’t update your website yourself, it’s time for a change.
If you answered “No” or “I am not sure” to any of these questions, we should have a conversation to talk about the implications, before you re-design your website. Here it is, folks: The Why is My Website on Page 6 of Google Rather Than the Daily News FREE Consultation. Just enter your email below and I’ll reach out to you.