Category : Web Stuff
If you’ve read my last blog, you’ll have learned about some basic areas to work towards in achieving website optimization. This should help you understand what to look for when you hire a web designer. If you haven’t, let’s go back and start there.
In the competitive business climate of today, where instant access to information is expected, an outdated website (I’m talking the popular late 90’s, Arial text, mismatched block photos with a basic sidebar) won’t cut it. You might be thinking “What does he mean by outdated?” since technology is advancing by leaps and bounds, one person’s version of cool and trendy might be another person’s tacky. I do want to emphasize that just because your website plays music upon first loading and has flashy neon colour buttons, does not mean it’s up to date.
Your competition, the ones we are really worried about, have a solid web presence. Having your website outdated is dangerous, it serves as a significant liability that can result in missed opportunities and repel potential customers. However, it’s difficult to know if your website is doing the job. To take a step back and look at your online presence objectively and critically is hard. Much like being able to identify your own areas of weakness. I’ve put together a list of 5 signs that might indicate when you need to consider a website redesign.
You Don’t Remember When You Got Big Traffic Last
Let’s face it, your website sucks at selling. If you don’t remember when the last surge in traffic was, or you haven’t been identifying these trends, that’s a serious red flag. Imagine your website as your 24/7 storefront. It’s the place people go to when they can’t reach you on the phone, the first impression when someone refers your business. Your website is your help desk, so ask the serious question. Is it helping? Determine whether it’s doing its job by evaluating how it’s being used by visitors. Do a competitive analysis to analyze metrics like site session duration, website conversions and form submission numbers. It’s also important to check the site’s search engine ranking for the most important keywords. A company’s website should help to build its bottom line, and the metrics listed here should significantly contribute to revenue and lead generation. If you don’t know how, you should check out Google Analytics, familiarize yourself with what you need and think about how you might want your next website designer to incorporate analytics into your website. Remember, if your website doesn’t have anything to offer, your customer retention will decrease.
It Doesn’t Reflect the Company
A site is the company’s biggest chance to send a brand message. Merely adding the corporate logo to the website header isn’t enough; real integration involves incorporating branding through elements such as design, color, brand voice and typography. A company’s website should portray its values and tell customers how it’s different from the competition. It should answer customers’ questions while providing a user friendly experience. Let’s go back to the storefront analogy. When you walk in, you meet the staff, they’re smiling, you have atmosphere, you immediately have a sense of what to expect prior to buying the product. Maybe you see the wall of photos showing smiling managers. If your website doesn’t show your mission, vision, or list your execs, it might be time you showed a little bit of yourself to your audience in order to facilitate transparency. With that being said, make sure your website isn’t all about you. It is your chance to let customers know that you can provide solutions to their problems, and you’re the best choice.
You Still Have Ex Employees On There
Businesses grow and change, and an outdated site’s web content might not just convey the wrong messages about a company, but will also make you look sloppy. It doesn’t take much to update your website’s content. Editing a web page is quicker and simpler than updating print materials, but busy companies often push web updates to the side. Copy can be updated to fix problems. The site owner should also examine the site map to ensure that pages are logically organized. Depending on the website’s age and platform, updating the informational architecture could be harder than starting with a clean slate. If you don’t know how to edit your page’s content, or can’t do it on your own without calling up your web designer it might be time to talk to someone else about having a CMS.
Even Google Can’t Find You
If a customer can’t quickly and easily find a company’s site in the first few search results, they will go elsewhere. Multiple factors can determine a site’s SEO level, and coding characteristics form the baseline for performance. Optimized content is crucial, and pages need good meta descriptions, descriptive URLs and alt text. A site without such back-end capabilities will likely have lackluster SEO performance and lose a portion of their market share to other, higher ranking companies.
Your Original Designer was 100% focused on creativity
I mentioned this briefly in the introduction about flashy entrances, sounds and buttons. Bottom line is, if your original web designer was focused solely on creativity, it’s not going to cut it (also it’s tacky don’t do it). In a survey conducted by HubSpot, 79% of users stated that the most important aspect to a website is its usability.
Yes, you might have fell in love with that flashy enter intro, but you can also have that as a video, not as an autoplay. Not only does this deter potential leads, it’s also slow, and an outdated trend. Not to mention it doesn’t show up on ipads, and iphones, that’s 38.3% of all wireless Canadian subscribers. Oh, and Google Chrome doesn’t like it either. In fact this month, Google is implementing HTML5 the light -weight, plug-in free default alternative to Adobe Flash, entirely disabling Flash in hopes of deterring the usage of the plug-in altogether.