Category Archives: new website

6 Red Flags that Scream You Need a New Website

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angry woman screaming at smart phone“Ugh!”  “This blows!”  “Seriously, this website is so yesterday.”  Strong repulsions are not the reaction any business owner or manager wants when it comes to their business website.  You have literally one chance to make a favorable impression online, and a website with one of these red flags is not going to get the reaction you want.

Your website isn’t mobile-friendly

You’d have to be unconscious to not notice how common smart phones and tablets have become.  With statistics putting American ownership of smart phones between 50% and 66% of the population, it makes cents (pun intended) to have a mobile-friendly website.

If you don’t, your website is not going to impress your two key audiences: search engines and users.  Search engines have publicly announced that mobile-friendly websites are going to get more credit for being mobile-friendly; users that do land on your website are going to jump ship almost as soon as they find it.  In essence, you’re not going to be listed where customers can find you.  Even if they do find you, your customers are not going to review all the information you created for your website.

Your website takes forever to load

Slow websites increase bounce rates; online users that get tired of waiting for a website to load, leave.  If you want your website to drive up sales, make sure that the pages load quickly enough for the most impatient users.  Slow-loading pages also give you a black mark in the eyes of search engines; major search engines like Google have publicly said that slow page loading speed can send your website off the first page of search engine results.

Why should you care about search engine listings? More than 90% of users use search engines to find information, products, and services.  With the increased use of smart phones, users are now upping the ante and using their mobile devices to find local products and services in their area.  Local SEO technology gets your website at the top of users’ search engine results within 10, 20, or 50 mile radius (find out more about local SEO in this post).

Your website isn’t worth promoting

A beautiful website is an obsolete marketing tool if you don’t promote it.  If you’re so ashamed of your website that you don’t feel the need to promote it, it’s time to invest in a new website that represents your company.  Make sure your new website has all the must-haves: functionality, a solid contact us page, well-written content, social proof.  If you don’t have time, contact a company that can make it a reality.

Once your new website is online, it’s time to promote and use it.  An excellent website never stops working for you.  Use search engine technology to get your website at the top of local users’ search engine listings.  Include useful website pages on your social media sites.  Add relevant content to your blog targeted specifically at your audience to increase traffic and online conversions. 

Your website isn’t functional

A properly-organized website is a rare and valuable gem, giving your customers an intuitive navigation system (menu and links to related content) that makes it easy for them to find what they are looking for.  If you are getting a lot of complaints from customers that they can’t find information, or your website isn’t performing as hoped, it’s time to step outside your business and look at your company as a customer would look at it.  What topics do they want to know about?  Where would they look for it?

Once you have your answers, draft a chart (or hire the experts who can do so quickly with minimal input). Use others—people outside of your company—as a sounding board to get to a finalized menu.  Sometimes you can be so close to your company and topics that it’s hard to see your company from the outside.

You’ve re-branded

When your business comes up with a new logo or takes any other steps to rebrand, don’t overlook rebranding your website and online profiles.  To the contrary, creating a website with your new logo and marketing language should be one of your top priorities.  Do the same with any social media profiles or online review profiles you’ve created; your goal is to have a uniform online business presence.

Your website looks old and is outdated

Don’t brush off a website with outdated information. Potential customers won’t call you, or do their research on your site if they know it’s outdated.  What’s even worse is when they think they’ve found the answer to their problem only to get an email that says, “sorry, our website is wrong.”

There are only so many changes that should be made to a website before a full website rebuild is in order.  Contact a quality marketing company if you don’t have the time for the process, and give them information and files they need to get you the business you want from your website.

8 Things to Consider BEFORE Your Website Redesign

smartphone with URL address of a website redesignWe can’t emphasize the importance of a stellar website enough.  PEOPLE, it’s important.  Not important like that math project you didn’t want to do as a kid, but was told you would always use when you grew up—and never used again.  IMPORTANT.

A well-designed and functional website is like the foundation of a house.  If well done, it’s a solid support.  If your foundation isn’t strong, the rest of your marketing efforts are going to be ineffective.  After all, you can spend all your time trying to drive traffic to your website, but what good are your efforts if you can’t convert because of a poorly designed and built website?

We can attest to it. We’ve seen it: a great social media presence with all the essential elements, a blog full of excellent optimized content, marketing strategy that integrates it all—all based on a sub-par website that leaves visitors confused—and not buying. That’s why we’ve put these tips together to help you get through the website design process (either on your own or by relying on the experts) without feeling like you wasted your time and efforts.

KISS

We can’t stress this enough; usually business owners come to the initial website redesign planning meeting with a list of what they want—and everything in “an easy-to-find spot.”  To be clear: there’s no crime in having a wish list for your new website, but an overcrowded home page is incredibly ineffective—and can actually sabotage goals you’re trying to achieve with your new website.

Use the ‘KIS’ from the KISS adage when designing your website: keep it simple.  Have a goal for your website, and keep your website home page—and every internal page—simple and strategic so your customers and potential customers can focus on call-to-actions.  Website call-to-actions can include buttons, video, or text options: (i.e. for more information, get a free quote, download, etc.)

Content

Website content should be more than a block of text copied from a company brochure; it should be drafted specifically for your targeted online audience and search engines.  The first step is to identify your target audience and information that needs to be included (you may need to ask customers outside of your company for this information).  Once you start drafting content, keep the target audience and your secondary audience, search engines, in mind as you write your content.  Note that search engines are a secondary audience; you don’t want to write so much for the search engines that potential customers are driven away.  While this approach may result in improve search engine rankings, your bounce rate is going to increase and your conversion rate decrease.  If this sounds like a lot of gibberish, it may be wise to contact a website redesign professional about their optimized website writing services.

Media

PLEASE, please, please don’t invest the time and energy in a new website and not include any images or videos.  Images and videos are an opportunity; they are a chance to grab your reader’s attention, and keep it with interactive videos.  When choosing your images and videos, don’t settle for any less than high-quality relevant photos and videos on your new website—without landing in legal hot water.  As nice as it is to find images and videos on the internet, know your legal rights to use the photos and videos you use.  Using copyrighted images can open your company to serious (and expensive) legal repercussions (here’s more information on image rights and legalities).

Choose images for your website wisely and note the ‘relevant’ part of the right image. As much as you may love roman columns, a website for a pet grooming business full of roman columns is not a good fit.

Function & Navigation

A properly-organized website with intuitive navigation is more than a work of art; its part of an excellent user experience that converts users to customers. Approach your website redesign organization not as a business owner, but as a potential customer.  What do they want to know?  Where would they look?  Once you have a proposed organization of your website, use a sounding board to perfect your website navigation—and don’t stop.  Part of the website redesign process is testing and retesting until your final live deadline (and even after).

Optimization

If your site is well optimized, online searches should be one of the top sources of website traffic.  Local website traffic is essential for retail and businesses that rely on local users who need a quote or want to buy their products; think of the user looking for a service who picks up their smart phone asks Google for a list of local businesses that can solve their problem. Website optimization technology targets search engine users in cities and communities within 10, 20, or 50 miles from your location (or locations).  With professionally-written optimized content and technology, local optimization can get your well-built website redesign on the first page of search engine results.

Speed

Online users are tired of waiting for slow websites, and Google has taken note.  You should too (or the pros you hire to build your website) because faster websites gain you favor with Google and your online users.  If you don’t believe Google, look at the statistics: a recent study by KISSmetrics, 40% of users leave a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load.  As you build your new website, use this statistic when you look at page loading, image and video selection, and all other aspects of the final website product.

Mobile-friendly

It was a momentous day when Google announced the amount of mobile searches had surpassed the amount of desktop searches. Since that day, it’s also been clear that this is more than a passing trend—and another reason to design a new mobile-friendly website.  What does that mean? A mobile-friendly website is easy-to-read on mobile devices, has large buttons, a comprehensive contact us page, and a mobile-friendly structure.  If you approach a company or individual about a website redesign and there is no mention of a mobile website (not a separate one but a capability of your site), move on to your next website redesign option.  It’s that important.

Marketing Strategy

A website is the foundation of a solid marketing strategy, so keep your overall marketing goals in mind as you redesign your website.  If content marketing and social media are part of your plan, draft a website that is a valuable part of your marketing puzzle (or contact marketing pros that can fit all the pieces together).