Today customers conduct more research during their purchase cycle than ever. Your companies website is often one of the first interactions a potential customer will experience with your business. So it makes sense that your website should be an engaging and current representation of your company, providing reasons why the customers should consider doing business with you.
Upon arriving at a website that has not been updated in weeks, let alone months or years, a client will consider multiple questions. Are you still in business? Do you even have the product that I need anymore? Are the contact details up to date? If they don’t care about keeping their site up to date will they care about me? If people don’t feel comfortable from the beginning they can easily dismiss your business as an option during their purchasing decision.
Here are 8 points to consider when deciding if it’s time for an update.
1. Outdated Design
The design of your website is going to be the first thing that a website visitor notices. Whether we like it or not, customers make judgments straight away about your business from the very first moment. You wouldn’t show up to a first date or a job interview with wrinkles in your clothes or without making an effort on how you look.
Here are questions to consider:
- Is your website attractive and engaging?
- Does your website have a strong call to action or directional message?
- Is the content structured in an organised and easy to digest way?
- Is the website navigation intuitive and uniform?
- Can site visitors easily contact you or find your location?
- Does your site still look good and function well on a mobile device?
2. New Products or Services
The products and services your company provides sometimes change. Perhaps you have a new product or changed the details of a service you provide. Before picking up the phone or making contact with you, many people will try to find out if you provide the products or services they are looking for. Therefore it is important that you ensure this information is up to date on your website. To help engage people in your products and services make use of good photos and videos displaying them in action. New products are also good opportunities to update your social media presence. You should consider how easy is it for you to keep your site up to date either through a content management system such as wordpress or your own web team.
3. Cumbersome Content
Do you give people a reason to come back to your website? It is not only important that the content on your website is fresh and engaging but also that the content is easy to read. People will not read a 5,000 word essay on your service lumped into one paragraph. Break up the text with photos, videos, bullet points, numbered lists and proper text formatting. Make sure your content is inviting and easy to read.
4. You’ve Lost Your Competitive Edge
How does your online presence compare to your competition? Whilst researching your site your potential customer will also be viewing your competitor’s sites. With this in mind it is more important than ever that your website is at the very least keeping pace with the competition. Take into account what sets you apart from your competitors and share this with your site visitors. Set standards high by providing people with useful information they can use during their purchasing process. This is not only your chance to be considered but to make a lasting impression.
5. Your website is not working for your business
In the early days of the internet, many businesses rushed to create a website that served as an online brochure providing visitors with an overview of who you are and what you do. While this may still be the objective for your website, you need to ask yourself if you are truly getting the most out of your website? Treat a visit to your website in the same manner as you would a customer walking through your doors. A website is a one way communication tool so you need to make sure that you provide options to interact with your business. Simple things like an option to subscribe to your email newsletter, an online form to submit a contact or quote request, demo videos, and the ability to purchase products and services directly through the website are a few things that can give customers a more interactive and engaging experience on your site.
6. Increase Exposure on Search Engines
Plain and simple… search engines like fresh content. Websites that provide fresh, relevant content are rewarded with better page ranking. Search engines trawl online for the most up to date sites relating to your keywords and if your competitor has updated their site sooner than you, the search engine will score them as a more current source of information. Blogs have now become common place on company websites and one of the best tools to regularly add fresh content to your website, keeping you current and helping you increase your exposure on search engines. Make sure your business is in front of the countless customers using search engines every day looking for the very products and services you offer.
7. Social Media Integration
Many companies now take advantage of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo and Pinterest, as a marketing, communication and support tool to their customers. Are you using these platforms in conjunction with your business website? Social Media has now proven itself as a powerful tool in engaging new and existing customers, however if it doesn’t integrate with your site then you are missing a great opportunity. Your website should be the centre of your online marketing efforts with updates and posts directing visitors back to your website where they will be able to find further information about your business and the products / services you provide.
8. Mobile and Tablet Ready
How easy is your website to view and navigate on a mobile device? It is predicted by 2014 more people will be viewing websites on mobile devices versus desktops, so it is critical you consider your mobile image aswell as your desktop. Responsive websites have layouts for different size screens taking in to account how the site will be used and viewed on various devices.
It has become commonplace for sales people to carry tablets and they need your site in a suitable presentation style that shows off your current products and services professionally to potential customers. Customers trying to find your office may well be using a mobile phone looking for directions or a contact number. The old way to please these variants was through building multiple sites. Now with responsive websites you can build and keep one website up to date whilst your site layout moves fluidly through different devices changing font size, images and navigation.
Quite simply what it comes down to is that your company website is often the basis of the first impression of how a consumer feels about your company. It should be a strong first impression, and hopefully memorable, in a positive way. So take advantage of the opportunities that an updated website provides because you do not want your first impression on a potential customer to be their last.