Questions to Ask & Answer!
It’s easy to spot when your home or office needs some TLC. The carpet is threadbare. The walls are dull or dingy. Your desk is chipped and your chair squeaks. The good news is, most of what needs attention is cosmetic and easily fixed (i.e. replace the carpet, apply a coat of paint). Voila, all better! And besides, a worn carpet probably isn’t costing you business.
Now, let’s look at your website. Does it need a makeover? The answer may be more difficult, because unlike your office, it might be harder to spot “wear and tear” on the digital landscape. But the answer is also more important, because unlike your office, an out-of-date website can definitely lead to lost business!
These days, your website is often the first (or only) impression customers will see when they encounter your business. And while your products or services may be top-notch, if the website is sub par — slow, hard to navigate, out of date — potential customers may go elsewhere. After all, the competition is just a click away. Here are some questions to determine whether your website needs a makeover.
Q. When did we last redesign or (re)launch the site?
If it has been more than 2 years since you did any major updates to your site, it could be badly behind the times. Smartphones and tablets are proliferating, and older websites may display poorly – or not at all – on modern devices. Even if the homepage displays properly, you may have pages with code (i.e. Flash) or functionality (i.e. mouse-over effects) that simply won’t work on iPhone’s Kindle Fires or other platforms that did not exist two years ago. Technology changes rapidly.
Q. Is my website mobile device friendly?
Are customers able to use their mobile devices to view your website? If your website is not mobile device friendly then your website is at a serious disadvantage, especially if your competition has a good website.
Q. Are my current products/services featured prominently?
Are customers buying your latest products and services? Do they even know about them? Chances are, your website hasn’t been keeping up with your business. That new niche you’ve discovered, whether it’s a vertical market or a demographic segment, may be “invisible” to people browsing your site. If your business model has changed, your site should reflect that.
Q. Is my website traffic steadily increasing?
If you’ve noticed a drop-off in traffic, it could be because the content on your site has been neglected. Is the last post on your blog dated June 2011? Google and other search engines give much more authority (and thus, visibility) to websites that are updated frequently. Your site will lose search engine rankings and the resulting web visitors if you are not consistently adding content relevant to your industry and your customers through blogging or addition of New content. (PS>If you’re not tracking web visits, it’s time to start… you can’t improve what you don’t measure.)
Q. Is my homepage getting a little crowded?
Maybe your problem isn’t too few web updates, but too many. All that content could be screaming for attention, but when you’ve added the 12th homepage button, a call to action in every corner, and your website footer is looking more like a file cabinet, it might be time to clean house. Too much content looks “busy” and makes it harder for users to navigate to important information. Give their eyes a break and neaten that page!
Q. How does my site compare with competitors?
No, it’s not vanity. It’s a legitimate business concern. What if your primary competitors have dynamic, attractive websites, optimized for mobile devices and customer interaction, plus downloads for the latest Android app? Maybe you need to play catch-up. Or, maybe their websites look pretty much like yours. Either way, this is a golden opportunity for your business to look and act like the market leader.
If you’ve reviewed the above questions and everything is looking good, congrats! You’ve haven’t relegated your best “salesperson” to an afterthought. But if your site is clearly behind the curve, it may be time for a makeover. Fortunately, redesigning your site won’t cause you to gag on paint fumes or inhale toxic amounts of carpet glue. And instead of just costing you money, an attractive, effective new website can drive your profits to new heights.
For a free website audit, contact us today.