Author: Steve Kiernan II 11/30/11
In our consulting practice, we’re often called upon to help companies redesign their web sites-nothing extraordinary there. What is extraordinary is how often we hear that the primary driver for changing a corporate site hasn’t been defined at all. This means that, when we’re engaging a client in a design/development project, our first question isn’t “What do you want on your new site?” it’s “Why do you want to change your site?”
Not sure what your own answer to that question would be? I’ll offer 5 reasons why it may be time to redo your web site:
1. Your site was designed with you in mind
Sure, you know what you want your site to be but unless you, or other people in your firm, are your company’s primary customer why would you spend time, effort, and dollars marketing to yourself? Don’t build sites that you love, build sites that your customers will love. I know it sounds like common sense, but ask yourself (and answer honestly) if your current site appeals to your customers or to you.
If you find that it’s the latter no worries, you’re not alone and identifying the issue is more than half the battle. Now, go find out what appeals to your customers and implement some changes!
2. You have a site just because your competition has one
To be clear, I’m an advocate for having a web site, especially if your competitors have them. But your site needs to be part of your ongoing business development process, one that you’re actively planning and executing. The “If you build it, they will come” strategy isn’t a strategy.
If you are not doing anything with your web site today, start thinking about how you can use it to engage people and create a dialog with your customers and prospects!
3. You haven’t updated your content in the last 30 days
This is an easy, but often overlooked, one. Look at your site’s metrics (we use Google Analytics on all our sites), specifically the “new vs. returning visitors” numbers. The quick regression is this: returning visitors turn into customers and customers turn into repeat customers. If you’re not giving people a reason to revisit your web site, you’re missing huge opportunities to generate additional revenue over the long term. Years ago it may have been ok to create a static web site based on your fancy tri-fold brochure but today, that’s a recipe for failure. I’m not suggesting that you turn your web site into a veritable cnn.com with ever-changing, up-to-the-minute information, but I do believe you need to provide valuable content that’s updated on a regular basis so that today’s visitors come back next week to see what’s new.
If the content on your web site today is the same as it was last year, it’s time to create new content!
4. Your web site doesn’t consistently generate sales leads
Your web site should be the center of your firm’s marketing universe. A good site will help you measure all of your marketing activities and provide concrete evidence about what’s working and should continue and what should be changed to increase its effectiveness.
If your web site is just sitting there, not generating leads, what exactly is it doing for you?
5. Your web site isn’t mobile friendly
You can choose to ignore mobile, but you may do so at your own peril. The impatience of the average visitor to a corporate web site is well known-we give most sites less than 10 seconds to make an impression. And guess what? It’s even worse on the mobile web, and mobile web use is soaring so ensuring your site is accessible on mobile browsers is a good idea for today’s businesses.
If your web site isn’t readable, and fast, on a mobile device, it’s time to go mobile!