Take a moment and think about everything that has changed for you and your business in the past four years.
Whether it's your life, your business or the lives of your friends, four years can be an eternity. Now take a look at your website: how many updates have you made over the same time period? What percentage of the content on your site is current and up-to-date? If you've seen changes in your product/service line-up, market focus or team, does your website do those changes justice?
As a general rule of thumb, we recommend a full website review/overhaul every four years. Here's why:
1) Your Business Changes
Five years is a long time! New staff, new products or a new target market are just a few of the components that can significantly affect your business. Change is exciting, so embrace it! Show the world that you've evolved, and don't shy away from what's new and different.
Furthermore, if you're trying to inspire your team around a new vision, a fresh website can serve as your rallying cry. Make the website design and strategy process collaborative, and use it as an opportunity to gather feedback from your team about what makes your brand special.
2) Website Styles Change
For many of your potential clients, your website serves as your first impression. This is why a fresh and modern website is a competitive requirement. If your site looks out of date compared to your competitors, then your brand image will suffer.
Long single-page scrolling websites, fixed top navigations and grid layouts are just a few of the many styles that have become incredibly popular in recent years. New animation options, icon styles and advances in web typography are a few other details that can make a huge difference. From high-quality photography to video and other great ways to tell your brand's story, a website redesign can give you a crucial edge in your market.
3) Online Technology Changes
Google's recent focus on mobile standards is a great example of how external technology changes can impact your bottom line. If you haven't taken the time to ensure your website is mobile friendly, then your search rankings and profits could suffer.
It's important to note that changes in online technology represent not only threats, but opportunities as well. For example, designing with the Apple iWatch in mind is a great way to show that you're a progressive brand. Secondly, responsive website design offers a new tool to ensure your website looks and works great on any screen.
We have also seen incredible advances in social media integration, CMS technology, search engine optimization, HTML 5, video functionality, CRM integration, eCommerce systems and many other technologies that can help you make a greater impact online. Four years ago, many of these innovations wouldn't have made the conversation. Today, they are essential pieces to any thorough website strategy.
4) You are Ready to Activate Your Website
Basic starter websites, also known as brochure sites, are built to establish your credibility and inform people about what you do and how you do it. This isn't enough! To really make an impact, you need to take your online presence to the next level. Creating a website that actually generates leads should be your focus – and we call this activating your website.
Activating your website requires an investment in online strategies and tactics to drive traffic to your site and engage visitors so they ultimately become clients. Incorporating sound website architecture (CMS), SEO, online advertising, social media, CRM and content marketing strategies are all part of the plan.
A company's readiness for this stage is usually related to its maturity and goal to evolve past a DIY approach to marketing. The skills and strategies required to achieve success are quite progressive and not found in any one person. Once this decision is made, the website is the first place to focus as it is the foundation of the overall strategy and is a great place to start when evolving or resetting a brand.
Is it Time for a Website Upgrade?
If you are ready to evolve your website or if it's been more than 4 years since you've made significant changes to your website, consider revisiting your online presence. Start by looking at your competitors and see if your site still compares. If you aren't sure whether it needs some work, ask a few (brutally honest) people with great business acumen and design sense for their opinions. Lastly, ask your team for their thoughts. Are they proud to show your site to friends and family? Is your sales team confident referring top prospects to your site? If not, then this needs to be a priority.
While changing your website can feel overwhelming, it may not require a full overhaul. Perhaps the site only needs a technology upgrade or a re-skin with a new look or template. Maybe some fresh photos and text updates will do. Whatever your need, we can help!
Interested in Applying This to Your Business? Request a Free Consultation.
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