Developing a new website is a big job. It always takes longer than expected, there’s so much to do, there are bugs and delays and there are always far too many people involved...
But your website is your shop front. It’s the first port of call for not only customers, but potential customers. It’s the face of your business. It represents, or should represent, your business, as accurately as possible.
If it’s time for a new website, you probably know it. Maybe you are an in fast-moving industry (the reality is some industries need to update their site more often than others), perhaps your site is a good few years old now (we recommend a full site redesign and redevelopment every two years), or maybe you’re heading towards a big rebrand or business change.
But sometimes you don’t realise that your dated website might be detrimental to your business’ success. Ask yourself the questions below and see if it’s time for a website spring clean...
1. Is your site still representative of your business?
Businesses can change quickly - whether it’s adjusting your yearly goals, a rebrand or a takeover. But often the last thing on your mind is updating your website to reflect these changes. However if your website is going to be the first port of call for current and potential customers, it’s important that it is representative of where you’re at as a business. If you no longer think your website represents your business, it’s time for a change.
2. Have the aims of the site changed?
Maybe you’ve switched from a predominantly outbound marketing business to focus on inbound, or you’ve changed your product offering or focus slightly. How has this affected what you hope to get from your website? If the aims of your website have changed you really need to assess if your current site can fulfil your new goals.
3. Is it still doing what you want it to do?
Even if your goals haven’t changed, is your website actually doing what you want it to do? If you created it to generate leads, is it actually generating leads? If you built it to increase your brand’s awareness, has it helped your online mentions or branded traffic? If your website isn’t achieving the goals you set out for it, it’s time to make some changes.
4. What are your customers saying?
What do your customers think of your website? How are they using it? What features do they wish it had? Your customers are a great indicator of what your prospects might think of your website. If your customers suggest significant changes to your site it’s probably a good idea to listen to them.
5. What’s changed since your last update?
Last year we learned about the importance of your site being mobile friendly and the importance of responsive design. If it’s been a while since your last website redesign there’s a good chance some of the technology on your site is now out of date, which can result in a drop in ranking or decreased user friendliness.
6. What do your analytics say?
Keep an eye on your analytics - use the data you already have to inform your next decisions. What pages are most important to your site? What are users expecting when they arrive? Tracking significant changes to online behaviour in your industry, both offsite and onsite, can show you how and where you need to make improvements.
7. What are your competitors doing?
There’s nothing to make your website look dated than your competitor launching a brand spanking, all singing, all dancing new website. But this is a great opportunity for you to have a look at what you site could be doing differently. What does their website have that yours haven’t? What have they prioritised? What have they removed? If you competitor is responding to changes in the market, you should too.
8. How significant are small changes?
Some of the above can be fixed with small website changes if you have an in-house developer, and it’s important to make regular tweaks to your site, but if there are several small changes to make to your site it’s often easier, cheaper and quicker to completely start from scratch. Speak to your development team to get their advice on the best course of action.