It’s been a long time since simply having a website was what could put your business ahead of the game. It now needs to do more than just be there. It needs to engage your market, not just look good. It needs to be simple to use but still meet the needs of your customers. It needs to be an asset, not an embarrassment. You may believe your website already ticks those boxes, but odds are if you’ve had it more than a couple of years it’s probably based on web technology that’s been superseded. So if you want it to continue to be an asset to your business, you should already be planning its revamp.
And here’s why…
Website browsing via remote devices such as mobile phones and tablets has increased exponentially. You may well have thought things through carefully when your website was originally designed, and probably did ensure back then that the specification catered for mobile users in some respect. However, as you’ll read below, technology has flown forward in the last two years and users are now expecting to be able to interact more and more. If your website doesn’t facilitate that interaction, you could be losing out.
Keeping up with technology
Bearing that in mind then, and following on from the above point, the fast pace of change in both web technology and user connectivity is having a significant impact. Not only are users expecting to be able to do more, but what worked well technically two years ago (eg. how browsers rendered web pages) may not be working well now. In fact, your website could be suffering from being based on downgraded coding practices and unsupported file types (eg. Flash). That’s not an issue you want to have.
Mobile devices are king
The use of mobiles is now ubiquitous. And because of their more limiting screen size, how a website displays is paramount to maximising a user’s experience and converting them into customers. Put simply, it’s critical a website is responsive. What does this mean? In essence it means your site needs to detect what type of device is browsing and adjust content accordingly. By making your website responsive, you will enhance your user’s experience and enhance your website’s ability to be an asset to your business. And it’s worth mentioning at this point that Google is monitoring this too… but more on that in a minute.
So, what should you do?
First things first, you should examine how well your current website is performing. Are you getting enquiries through it? Are you making as many sales as you’d projected? Is it a proactive asset in your business?
With those questions asked, you may now have started to wonder if you’re actually getting the results you want. So what should you do?
Hopefully you have some sort of website analytics reporting available to you. Google Analytics is a popular package, but there are many others. Have a look at your stats. What are the long term trends looking like with respect to unique visitors? Visitor interaction? Bounce rates etc… If they’re heading in the wrong direction, or even staying static, you need to take action.
Search engine rankings
If you want to attract more traffic to your site it’s not just a matter of reviewing your marketing strategies and social media campaigns. In addition, alongside both of these, you should be working out how to improve your search engine ranking. The key starting point for this is your website. Google certainly knows if you’re updating it regularly with fresh content. It also knows if your site is mobile friendly and responsive. If neither of those boxes are ticked, you will be dropping further in the search engine rankings every day. But how can you tackle this problem?
One important component in raising your search engine ranking – once you have a well-built responsive website – is a regular supply of new content. This can be in the form of special offers, industry updates, upcoming events, company news, blogs etc. It’s up to you to choose what will work best to draw your customers in via their keyword searches on the search engines. The best way to add this fresh content is to incorporate a content management system within your website. This will mean you can do it quickly and easily in-house without needing to wait for an external agency to do it for you. Whichever content management system you pick, make sure that it’s easy to use, connects with your chosen social media platforms, and ideally supports your email marketing strategy.
What will improve conversion rates?
If you actually already have plenty of visitor traffic but enquiries and/or sales are not resulting from this, you need to rework your site to improve conversion. Strategies that can affect conversion include:
- Strong calls to action
- Use of keyword specific landing pages
- Clear messages supported across all marketing channels
- Fast loading web pages that display well across all browsers, devices and connectivity bandwidths
- The ‘Click Journey’ being as short as possible
- Utilisation of a great contemporary design to appeal to your market
- Up to date content
With those points in mind, have a look at your site now and see how it measures up.
In conclusion, we would suggest that to ensure your website is working as hard for your business as you are you should review it regularly. This review needs to check that both technology and user expectations haven’t left you behind; that your website statistics are being reviewed and action is being taken when necessary; that the performance trends are always heading in the right direction. Then, in addition to this, we’d recommend that you keep the content on your site fresh, engaging and up to date. Stay ahead of your competition, and your website will no longer be holding onto your market by its coat tails, but rather trail blazing your brand.