Your website could well be (and more and more often, is) the first thing people see of your business. It’s where they go to learn all about you, your products and services. A company website is often described as a ‘digital shop window’ (whether you have a real shop window or not). A website isn’t just a part of your brand, from an audience perspective, it is your brand. So it’s essential that it is always fresh, up to date, and easy for the customer.
Ensuring that your site is on-brand, updated regularly and designed with great user-friendly interface (UI)/user experience (UX) can help you to increase growth, reputation, and profitability. On the other hand, if it’s old, unappealing, out of date and (possibly the worst failure of all) not mobile responsive, it’s almost guaranteed that you’re losing out on potential customers and opportunities – and therefore, revenue.
We’ve even had some clients where they didn’t have an online presence at all! Which is almost unfathomable in this day in age! Though, in all honesty, great for us as we love a clean slate and being able to build a brand and presence completely from scratch.
Website design & build
When we come to designing and building a website, the most important thing is that it’s right for you and suits the specific needs of your company and audience base. That’s why we always start any projects with a project briefing and scoping meeting, research and insight, and even competitor analysis or full audit of your current site and brand.
As a business you need to be reactive – to changing markets, industry or sector updates and any brand refreshes. It’s therefore important to be able to update your site quickly and easily in an instant. Internally, it has to be painless for your team to make any amends, additions or updates. If not, this can cause frustrations and also cost you valuable time and money. So it’s imperative that your content management system (CMS) is up to scratch. That’s why we always provide an easy to use and reliable CMS.
As mentioned earlier, often your customer’s first, and possibly only, experience could be through your website. So if your customers don’t interact properly with your site or find it unappealing and/or difficult to navigate and find the information they need, you should look into updating your UI/UX. You’ll find that even a simple redesign with clear CTAs and contact options will create a fresh and enticing experience for your audience. Your website a business tool first and foremost, and you should consider the work spent on the website as an investment that will help the site start to drive visibility, brand awareness and customer leads. After all, this is the main purpose of a company website, and should always be front of mind.
The site content is arguably the most important thing. It should not only reflect who and where you are as a business but also your brand and tone of voice. It should also offer all the information your audience could possibly want… and then some. Ideally, all content should be written with E.A.T. in mind – Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness.
The site copy and content also leads into SEO. If you don’t regularly update your website content it will almost certainly drop down the search engine rankings. Making it difficult to find and therefore, almost redundant. If you’re not driving traffic to your site, you’re not driving income either. So think about your keyword targeting, content tagging and also keep in mind that Google’s search algorithms are changed and updated regularly. So you need to be ahead of the curve.
How often should you redesign or rebuild your website?
With all that taken into account, the real question is – how often should you look to redesign, or even completely rebuild your company site? It’s important to keep up to date with your competitors and also make it appealing to your customer base in terms of both functionality and aesthetics.
We’d recommend at minimum refreshing every couple of years. Technology moves fast, trends change, new competitors appear. You need to keep ahead of the game. Your business can change grow and evolve, and it’s imperative that your website reflects those changes. It may even be that as your offering changes your audience and reach may need to change alongside it.
Here are some important questions that you may want to ask yourself:
• How long has it been since your site was last updated?
• Does the current site represent my company, brand and values?
• Does it work on all devices and is it mobile optimised?
• Is your website user-friendly?
• Does it link to all other digital touchpoints, such as social pages, blogs or downloads?
• Are you converting customers or generating leads at a decent rate?
• What are your competitors’ sites like?
• Is the imagery unique and personalised? Many websites tend to rely on generic and impersonal stock imagery.
• Can you easily measure effectiveness, bounce rate, or page views?
• Is it fully optimised in terms of SEO and content?
These things should all be considered with commerciality in mind. Once you have your site up and running you need to keep people viewing and returning to it. For example, using marketing emails and social media that direct customers to your site to find out more, view products/services or get in contact.
One commercial benefit is that you can monitor how users interact with your site. You can assess what pages or sections are performing well, getting interaction and dwell time. What location your audience comes from, from what devices, from what third party sites, and more. These insights mean you have a better understanding of your audience in order to improve your service and offering, and tweak or change anything necessary to really target your audience.
Improving your target audience
Speaking of target audience, with a well-promoted and optimised website your audience automatically expands – anyone in the world can access your business, at any time. It’s been said that your website is like a dedicated salesperson – promoting your business 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week. Which is an invaluable asset.
So don’t hesitate to refresh, redesign or rebuild your website, because even though it might not be a cheap venture, it is very beneficial in the long run and the ROI is vast.
If you feel that your company site could do with an update, get in touch with Relative Marketing at [email protected], we’d love to chat.