Is It Time For A Website Update?
6 questions to guide a website micro-update
The to-do list to get your website up and running can be daunting – so it’s tempting to cross it off in ink. But building a website is like building a house – once it’s done, it still needs regular maintenance to function at its best. And completing those updates along the way can be much easier than going through an extensive remodel. If you use these questions as a website to-do list you check off in pencil, you could save you time and headache of an extensive redesign down the road.
1 – How does your website look?
Be honest – when was the last time you updated your site design? Before your customers read your copy or interact with your ecommerce platform, they are looking at your site. If the design is outdated, too busy or just plain boring, they’ll jump before they ever read about your amazing features and benefits. This is a time where looks do matter, and they can kill a sale. It’s important to make the right first impression (especially since you only have about 2-5 seconds to do so). Your design doesn’t need to be splashy, but it does need to reflect your brand at every turn.
2 – Does your copy inform and sell?
While looks matter, the right combination of style and substance is essential to a successful site. Are you using the right keywords for your industry? Does your copy clearly explain the benefits of your products and/or services, while also showing the customer why they should choose you over the competition? But it’s not just about what you say – it’s about how you say it. For some brands, a straightforward and factual tone works well. For others, you might be more conversational and warm. No matter what, your copy should be clear, concise and consistent across your entire site (as well as your entire organization).
3 – Can users easily navigate your website?
So your site looks great, sounds great – but can your customers easily find what they need? Is your navigation set up in a way that’s intuitive and clear? Does your search function actually point people to the information they’re seeking? You’ll also want to make sure you are looking at your website (both design and navigation) across different browsers and devices (mobile, desktop, tablet). What’s easy to navigate on a desktop, for example, doesn’t always translate to a smaller screen.
4 – Does your website meet all your business needs?
User experience is key for a site that sells, but you also have to ensure your website is serving your business on the backend. You want a site that’s easy for you (or a trusted partner) to use. Does your hosting company keep your website up and running continuously (with little to no downtime)? If you’re an ecommerce business, it’s essential to have a platform which speaks easily to your ordering system.
5 – What is your website promotional strategy?
Having a successful website is a complete waste if you’re not effectively pointing people there. You’re likely showcasing your site on marketing materials and in social media, but have you checked up on your search listings to make sure all the information is accurate? (While you’re there, how do your reviews look?) Are you running an SEM campaign to help elevate your paid and organic search rankings? Having a plan is key to both maximizing effectiveness and not getting overwhelmed in the process.
6 – How does it stack up to the competition?
Now that we’ve covered everything about your website, let’s talk about your competitors. There’s a reason why this question is last on the list – because you should be tackling every other question first. But it’s also important to note what’s happening in your industry. You want to make sure you’re using the words, phrases and imagery that appeals to your customers (which may be standard in your industry). But it’s also a great way to see what NOT to do – is everyone using the same color palette? Same boring descriptions? Use this as an inspiration to make your own mark in the space.
It’s easy to ask the questions – it can be a lot more difficult to come up with answers, especially when you’re busy actually running your business. If you know your site needs an update (big or small) but you don’t know where to start, we can help. Contact our team and we can work up the right to-do list for your website (and help you cross it off).
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