A new year…. a new website?
If your website isn’t appealing to clients, can’t be found in the search engines, or doesn’t convert visitors into leads and prospects, the chances are you’re missing out on a significant amount of business.
If you have had your website for more than three years without changing it, now will be a good time to consider a revamp.
There are plenty of good reasons for a website revamp…. here are just a few.
What was considered cutting edge 5 years ago is very outmoded today. When businesses first started having their own websites, images were kept to a minimum because everyone was on a dial-up connection and photos were often slow to load. Now even the slowest broadband connection will not have difficulty displaying sizeable images quickly (providing they are correctly optimised!).
Similarly, at one time flashing graphics and moving lines of type were often included, not because they said anyhing about your company, but just because it was great to be able to have movement on the screen when we had all been used to static text. If you recognise your website from this description, then the message that it will be giving is that you are, at best, an old-fashioned company, and more likely that you don’t care about your public image. For this type if website it is definitely time for a revamp!
Leaving a site unchanged can also mean that it will no longer really represent your company properly. Often the first point of contact for a potential new customer is your website, so it is vital that all the information on your products and services is up to date. If you find yourself telling callers ” We don’t offer that any longer” or “Yes, we do have that but we’ve not got round to putting it on our website yet…” then an urgent refresh should be on the cards.
Online visitors are extremely impatient and make up their mind within seconds whether you are likely to have the information they require. If they do not find it easy to locate what they are looking for on your site, then they will click off to visit your competitors instead.
If someone visits your website looking for your phone number, for example, will they see it sitting boldly on every page at the top-right where it is obvious or will they have to hunt it down on your contact page? If they want to compare your postage charges or delivery times with those of your competitors will they be able to find a clear navigation button that takes them straight to that information or will they hunt through several likely pages until they give up in annoyance and frustration?
Too many websites are simply online brochures which outline the products or services on offer, but do not generate leads effectively. Your site should lead visitors through a path either to buy or to make content with you for further information.
If you do not have plenty of opportunities to capture the details of visitors (such as by inviting them to sign-up for a newsletter), then your site needs an overhaul.
Adding new content to your website will give existing customers a reason to keep coming back and to see your site as a useful resource. Furthermore the search-engines love websites which are regularly updated. If keeping your website up to date, with fresh content on a regular basis means another invoice from your developer, you may be tempted to update it less often.
A website with a Content Management System (CMS) is easy for the owner to update through an online admin console. These are as easy to use as Microsoft Word. With CMS you will be able to edit text, change or add photos, create extra pages and navigation buttons, simply and quickly. The best web designers will give byou training on using the admin console and tips on how to ensure that any new content you add is search-engine-friendly.
One of the other benefits of a CMS website is that they are very easy to revamp without disturbing the existing content. So there would be no excuse for not keeping the site looking fresh and modern!
Perhaps you appreciate the value of social media and have decided that you need to have a blog attached to the site, or you now wish to sell online though a secure shopping cart or your site will not allow you to embed videos.
New functionality may not mean that you need a full revamp. Maybee the site performs well in other respects, but you’d like it to be able to do more. In this case it may be possible to extend the functionality rather than throw it away and start again.
Ask your web designer, for example, if they can add a blog and skin it to match the existing site and they will probably be happy to do this. It may also be possible to “bolt-on” an Ecommerce shopping cart to an existing brochure website. Contact a versatile web designer to find out!
If when a visitor arrives on your site there is a welcome page (also known as a splash page) with “Click to enter” and especially if this page has an annoying Flash Introduction which requires the visitor to wait before they can click access your site, then you are likely to be losing lots of potential customers as many will abandon the visit in irritation.
Furthermore, to search engines you home page is a very important area of your site. Since gatekeeper-style pages contain very little real content this could seriously harm your ranking.
Now we would be the first to admit that a website built in Adobe Flash can look super-cool. You can choose which ever font you would like for your text and Flash can create all manner of sophisticated effects and smooth animations. Visually Flash websites are brilliant!
So why choose not to have one? If you want your site it perform well in the search engines and you don’t have a big budget for Online Marketing, then you should avoid having a site built entirely in Flash. This is because search-engine robots cannot read the content in Flash files: they just see the flash embed codes. There are ways around this, but they all involve extra time and work and therefore extra cost. If your site is built this way, you may find that a revamp to create the site in html will have a great effect on your ranking.
Of course, the latest iPhones and iPads do not support Flash at all. This means your site would not be viewable on one of these devices… time to rethink your online strategy!
If you would like a second opinion on your existing website, why not sign up for our FREE, no-obligation website health check.