Just like other marketing mediums, updating websites regularly is a best practice. While many companies have taken some steps in that direction by creating mobile-friendly sites, it’s important to conduct a comprehensive review of the content, graphic appeal, navigation and strategic value of your website. If it has been more than a year since you looked at your site with a critical eye, you are overdue for a closer look. It might be time for a website overhaul.
As a framework for evaluating the effectiveness of your site, consider these four components to determine when and where a facelift might be just what the doctor ordered.
Website Overhaul Tips
1. Content: Most companies update content regularly, especially blogs, press releases, personnel changes, new product announcements and other vital information. However, what’s often missing is a thorough review of the appropriateness and usefulness of all website content. For example:
- Does the site include customer-centric, easy-to-read, engaging and solution-oriented information that visitors seek?
- Are product/service pages up to date?
- Are fees and pricing current?
- Does dated content such as upcoming events and tradeshows need to be removed or archived?
- Are you producing blogs consistently and delivering relevant content to your visitors?
2. Graphic appeal: Is your site consistent with your brand? Does it feature the same colors and type fonts used in your other marketing materials? Do the images have a consistent style and feel? Do you break up longer text passages with subheads and relevant graphics? How does the website look on different browsers or technologies including tablets and mobile phones?
3. Navigation: Can visitors find what they are looking for quickly? Are navigation tabs clear and properly organized? Is content systematized chronologically? Is basic contact information on every page? Do all of the links work?
4. Strategy: While virtually every business has a website, having a website strategy is not as common. It is important to know exactly what you want your website to accomplish. For example is the goal to build your prospect list by collecting visitors’ contact information? Or are you seeking to demonstrate thought leadership, build trust and move prospects along in the sales process? If so, you might want to offer complimentary downloads of white papers and e-books. Alternatively, do you want visitors to purchase products or services from your site? If so, what is the purchase experience like for the customer? Which areas need improving? In addition, who is responsible for reviewing your website analytics and initiating contact with visitors? These are strategic decisions that can impact your ability to achieve your marketing goals.
Does Your Website Stand Out From the Crowd?
Visiting a website that hasn’t been updated in several years is like walking through a physical store with empty shelves. Today’s tech-savvy customers are reluctant to do business with a company that neglects its website. Modern, well-designed and engaging websites are essential, but don’t make change just for the sake of change. Take the time to look at competitors’ sites, evaluate the good and the bad and look for ways to establish a differential in the marketplace. Understand what your visitors want when they come to your site and what do they do once they get there. It’s important that everything on your website has a specific purpose directly linked to organizational strategy and goals. So, how long has it been since you’ve completed a website overhaul?