Now that Spring is in full swing and first quarter is in the rearview mirror, it’s a great time to take a long, hard look at one of your company’s greatest marketing assets… your website. There are over 5 billion searches on Google every day. A percentage of those people searching may be looking for EXACTLY what your company does. Therefore, it’s important that your website not only shows up in their search, but that it compels them to click on the link and keeps them engaged while they’re on your site. After all, the average person only has an attention span of EIGHT SECONDS according to Microsoft. That’s why you need to have attention-grabbing content on your site. Here are just a few suggestions of ways you can Spring Clean your website so that it’s functioning at its optimum level in time for summer…
Time for Some Repairs
When’s the last time you visited your website? This should be a regular practice for you and other members of your team. While you’re there, check to make sure all your images are showing up and that there are no broken links. Even one broken link could suggest to your visitors that you’re not on top of your game. After all, your website is an online extension of your company and you want all first impressions to be positive ones. Even if – after you make it through the rest of this list – you decide a complete refresh is in order, a little maintenance will go a long way in the interim.
The 5-Second Rule x 3 for Websites
We’ve all heard of the 5-second rule where dropped food is concerned. Pick it up before 5 seconds has passed, blow it off and enjoy – right?!?! Well, unless you’re looking to drop 55% of all visitors to your site, you have approximately 15 SECONDS to grab their attention and keep them engaged. To improve your average “dwell time,” you need to make sure your graphics and content are engaging and that your messaging is spot on. Improving your UX/UI design (user experience/user interface) should be a major component of your website refresh.
Are You Hitting Your Target?
One issue many companies run into is that by trying to be all things to all people, their brand image gets muddied and they have trouble connecting with their target audience. Some companies aren’t entirely sure WHO their target audience is. To have a website that’s serving as one of the strongest tools in your company’s marketing and sales arsenal, you’ve got to nail down your target audience and create content/messaging that’s geared primarily towards them. If your current content is too ambiguous, it’s definitely time for a refresh.
Embrace the S-Word… SEO!
There’s been some confusion in the industry whether SEO is a dying art form or if it’s still vital to a website’s success. According to Target Marketing Magazine, while some of the tactics have changed over the years, Search Engine Optimization is still alive and well. The publication suggests a number of important tools to give your current site an SEO checkup, such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console, Yoast SEO, Bing Webmasters Tools and more. If, after a little analyzing, you find that your website is NOT getting it done in the SEO department, it’s well-worth the investment to partner with a digital marketing agency that offers website design and SEO among its specialties.
Big Screen to Small Screen
Just as some people prefer to view their Summer Blockbusters on the big screen (complete with buttered popcorn) and others prefer to wait until it comes out on DVD so they can view it on the small screen at home (in their PJs), the same holds true for internet exploring. Mobile traffic was responsible for 52.2 percent of Internet traffic in 2018 — that’s up nearly two percentage points from the year prior and those numbers are expected to climb even higher in the years to come. How does your website measure up when viewed on a mobile device? If it’s not great, you either need to make responsive design part of your website refresh OR have a dedicated mobile site designed. Not sure that it’s worth the investment? Well…. according to Nectafy, 88% of consumers who search for a type of local business on a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours.
How Are Sales?
If you had a salesperson on staff who was not making his or her quota, their job would be in trouble. You should apply that same logic to your website. If you have an e-commerce element on your site that’s not getting the job done, you might want to completely revamp the system. First explore WHY it’s not getting the job done. Is your online store not prominently featured on your current site? Is it not easy to use? Are the images/copy not compelling enough? Your redesign should DRIVE customers either to your brick-and-mortar location or to your online store and close the sale.
Call in Reinforcements
Given the fact that your website should be one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal, getting it in tip-top shape shouldn’t be a one-person job. Assign a committee – or if you have a smaller staff, the whole team – to comb through your current site and list what they love/don’t love about it. Also have them recommend sites that they like and why. Be careful not to fall into the “death by committee” trap, though. Ask for their help initially, but then keep all decisions related to your website refresh (or redesign, if determined that’s needed) to just a few key team members. If you hire an agency to aid with your refresh, you should have one or two “point people” they can look to in order to keep the project moving along. Plan a “reveal” party for all the team members who initially weighed in with their thoughts as thanks for their contributions.
If you DO decide to go all in on your website refresh, you might want to consider adding video and/or a blog if you haven’t already and optimizing your site for voice search (a rapidly growing trend) – among other things. Don’t try to go it alone, either. Partner with a skilled digital marketing agency – like Atlanta’s Woodall Creative Group – to serve as your online Sherpa and elevate your company’s digital game.