Time for a new website? Here are some things to consider, advice from our Digital Marketing Agency.
The beginning of a new year is an exciting time. For many business owners, it’s an opportunity to take stock and prepare to launch new ideas to their audience. This process of reviewing and updating goals and objectives is crucially important to any business. Perhaps you are hoping for more growth this year, or are aiming to enter a new section of the market. Whatever your goals, your marketing and communication strategy will play a key role in achieving them.
However, even with an on-point message and beautiful branding, if your website isn’t performing optimally, it will hold you back. If you’re looking to improve your marketing strategy, reach more potential customers, and grow your business this year, reviewing your website is a good place to start. While a new website might not be at the top of your To Do list, here are some indicators that it’s time for an update, and some reasons why a new year could mean a new website look.
1. It’s been a while
If you haven’t updated your website for three years or more, it won’t be performing optimally for you. It will inevitably start to look outdated, and it will become less compatible with up-to-date operating systems and devices. Customers will be put off by a clunky website that doesn’t perform well. It might be time to overhaul your online presence, making your website easier to find and use – and enjoy the benefits to your business.
2. Website Security
Websites that don’t stay up-to-date risk compromising their security. Old software that isn’t supported on newer devices will become vulnerable to security breaches, and this can swiftly become a major problem for your business. If you are selling anything through your website, handling customer’s financial information, remaining fully secure must be a priority. This means staying on top of the latest technical requirements for security.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It doesn’t matter if your website looks great if no-one sees it! SEO is a great way to drive more traffic to your site. It involves doing keyword research, to establish the words and phrases people use on search engines to discover businesses like yours. Once you know what these keywords are, they can be strategically inserted into your website text, making it more likely to appear near the top of search engine results, and therefore making your business much more discoverable.
SEO is complex and keyword strategy is only a small part of the process. Your website metadata needs to be optimised for SEO; you need to acquire backlinks (where another website provides a link to yours) to demonstrate strong domain authority. Various technical issues in the back end of your website will need to be addressed to ensure you have good SEO. You don’t want anything to limit your SEO, so ensuring a smooth customer experience and lining up all the technical elements is key. SEO can be intimidating and complicated, so it is often best to ask a professional for help with this side of things. It’s safe to say a website needs to be regularly updated in order to reach its SEO potential and maximise your business.
4. User Experience (UX)
The user experience of using your website is key. Customers who find a website hard to use are unlikely to continue to purchase through it. User experience can be affected by technical factors, such as slow loading pages, jumbled graphics, and blurry images. However, simple editorial mistakes can also have a hugely negative impact – copy that has been written poorly and doesn’t provide all the necessary information, or badly planned navigation of the site making it difficult to get around. Having a regular review and revive strategy in place is the only way to ensure the user experience for your website is maintained at a high level.
5. Optimising your website for mobiles
A huge amount – more than 50% – of searches are done on mobile phones. So if your website isn’t optimised for mobiles, you are going to miss out on business. If a customer uses their phone to look at your website, but half the text doesn’t fit on the screen and they can’t access the navigation buttons, it makes your business look unprofessional and unreliable. Mobile optimisation also affects your SEO – search engines will show websites that are optimised for mobile use nearer the top of their search results. So it’s well worth getting your website updated to include being fully optimised for use on mobile phones.
6. Your business is growing…
….And so your website needs to keep up. With an ever growing client base, you probably need to add functionality to your site to meet the needs and expectations of your customers. Perhaps this will take the form of a live chat function, to ensure you can keep up with their enquiries. Or maybe you need to extend the capabilities of your store to include international shipping and inventory taking. Either way, it’s vital to maintain a website that reflects the achievements and growth of your business.
7. You’re rebranding
With the clean slate of a new year, many businesses take the opportunity to rebrand. New-ness sells, and so even for the most successful business, there comes a time when it makes sense to update your branding with new colour schemes, fonts, tag-lines, photos and even logos. If you’re considering this, consistency is key. Website visitors can be put off if one page of a website has been updated, but others look different.
They may think they have been misdirected or even taken to a malicious page. Even small differences, such as mismatching fonts or menu styles, can be really off-putting and distract from your brand goals. If your site has grown significantly, and elements have been gradually added by different areas of your company, it might well be time for a complete branding review of the website. This can ensure consistency throughout.
8. Website Speed
A freshly updated website should have had a good technical uplift. It will be running smoothly and efficiently. This doesn’t just make it more pleasant to use – improving the speed of a website can dramatically improve conversion rates, therefore having an immediately positive effect on your business. And speed isn’t just about catering to customer’s attention spans – fast websites also rank much better on search engines such as Google.
9. Changing markets
Most businesses find that their target market can shift, or that the pace of global events leads them to need to focus in varying areas. For instance, a clothing business finds that although their demographic hasn’t altered, that demographic’s interest in sustainability has increased. They therefore need to address this concern in their marketing and communications, ensuring their website reflects this new area. Businesses that demonstrate this adaptability, and remain sensitive to the concerns of their customers, are the most likely to succeed. Whether this takes the form of a blog, videos giving information about their manufacturing processes, or simply updated information pages, a website is a key component in communicating your company message to your customers.
Need a new Website or Help with Your Digital Marketing?
There are many reasons why a new year might mean a new look for your website. If you need help with managing your digital marketing, talk to ePresence. We are a results-driven digital marketing agency in Cork and Tralee, Ireland. We consult, set up, manage and support integrated digital marketing campaigns to help busy marketing and sales professionals meet their challenging growth targets. If you think the new year could mean a new look for you, get in touch with ePresence today.