Might you be disappointed with your website, or are you merely bored? Maybe you’ve visited the websites of colleagues and competitors and become ambitious to do a website makeover for your business venture? Before making any changes, first think carefully about your business goals and how your website can encourage and support their realization.
A website provides information about your company’s products and services and communicates to prospects the benefits of doing business with your organization. Older websites are likely to be static, rather than interactive. To update an older site, unfortunately it’s necessary to pay a web developer to make the changes. As a result, static websites often do not reflect much of what’s happening now.
Your job is to develop a website that gives prospects the confidence to work with or buy from you. Everything on your site—text, audio, or visual—must support that purpose.
How is my site under-performing?
Much depends upon the information you’d like your website to convey. Your site can consist of a single page and be an online business card. You could list three or four products and services, a photo, maybe a 3-minute video clip of you in action, plus contact info. That may be sufficient to convince prospects that you are a capable professional worthy of consideration. Or you may prefer a more interactive and engaging site?
In any case, include a current products and services list if you’ve substantively altered—simplified, upgraded, expanded, or eliminated— what you provide. Upload a new photo if the original is three years old or more. Describe how your company can bring value to clients today.
Your blog or newsletter must have a link on the website. Your social media platforms will likewise be accessible there, as will videos, webinars and podcasts that feature you in a substantive role. Many of those will be on the landing page. Another page can feature case studies that help prospects envision how your expertise might help their organization resolve challenges and achieve goals.
Can I accurately measure how prospects respond to my site?
This step might be the key to your website redesign. If you are serious about updating your site, contact an analytics service and sign up to obtain data that will guide the development of your website. There are a number of modestly priced website analytics services available and Google has a level that offers free analytics. Collect three or four months of data before the redesign.
First, you’ll learn the number of monthly visitors the site receives and the pages that are most often visited. Now you’ll know what visitors want to know. You’ll also learn which pages are least often visited and if there are pages that are quickly abandoned for other pages, or seem to cause visitors to exit your site. Ask your developer to build-in analytics or integration features, so that data will be yours at no extra charge, post-upgrade.
Is the site mobile-friendly?
I write or edit three monthly newsletters and the analytics for each consistently show that about 50% of readers use mobile devices to read. The other half use either desk models or laptops. Don’t frustrate your visitors. Optimized for mobile. Both interactive and static websites can be mobile optimized.
How’s the technology?
Recently, I met a truly brilliant MIT educated web developer named Al. He showed me the site of a nationally known not-for-profit organization that on its website has an inoperable “donate now” button on the landing page. It’s imperative that all links and buttons on your website perform as intended, on all types of devices. Audio features must produce sound; videos must play; documents must download; e-commerce transactions must be secure.
Share your brand story. Connect with site visitors and concisely tell them what motivated you to start your business, how you developed your expertise, your vision and the company mission. Disclose your guiding principles as the founder and leader and discuss how they are reflected in your business practices. Finally, make it known that you love what you do and value the opportunity to work with clients, in 200 words or less.