When I meet new or potential clients, the first things we discuss is how I can help with digital marketing. It's what I do after all. Generally, clients want more traffic to their websites, more enquiries, more business, more sales, or just more awareness of their products and services. Digital marketing will help you achieve these. But the website plays a central role in all of this. So, naturally, the first thing I do is look at their website and try to determine whether it's fit for purpose.
One of the first questions I will ask a new client is 'how happy are you with your current website?' And often-times, the answer is 'quite happy with it we've had it for a while but it works'. The majority of times, my first recommendation is to get a website makeover. This can come as a surprise, after all I don't build websites so why would I recommend this in the first instance? But the fact is, no matter how good your digital marketing strategy is, it will never be enough if your website is not built to handle the traffic, and does not provide your visitors with a great experience that leads them through a journey. No amount of blogging, linkbuilding, advertising or social media will ever be enough if the website isn't strong enough.
So, if you're wondering whether your website needs a makeover, ask yourself these 10 simple questions:
1. Does your website work well on a mobile?
Let's face it, the majority of us rely on our smartphones to do most of our browsing. This means your website doesn't just have to be mobile-friendly, it should be mobile-first. Having the exact same design and layout on desktop as you do on mobile will lead to a poor experience on mobile, resulting in a high bounce rate. So, take a look at your site on your mobile. Do you have to zoom in to be able to read text and click on buttons? If so, it's definitely time for a re-fresh.
2. Is your website filled with stock imagery?
Once upon a time, every website relied on stock imagery. But nowadays, there is no excuse to use stock imagery when we all have access to high quality cameras (even on our phones). A little bit of stock imagery is acceptable (i.e. for blog articles, for example), but as much as you can, try to include your own photography that showcases you, your team, your products, your personality. So, if your site is full of out-dated and cheesy stock photos of people in meetings, consider a re-fresh where you can showcase your company's personality by using original imagery.
3. Was your last re-design more than three years ago?
A lot has changed in three years, particularly in how we browse and look for websites. It may not seem that long ago, but three years makes a huge difference in the digital world. If your website is more than three years old, you might not need a complete overhaul, but certainly a re-fresh.
4. Is there a clear call to action on every page?
A call to action could be anything from 'get in touch' to 'add to basket' to 'sign up to newsletter'. Whatever your call to action, you should have one on each page. And that's because it's important that each page has a reason for being there. If your pages are just filled with images and text and no CTAs, consider a re-fresh.
5. Is it easy to contact you via your website?
Your users shouldn't have to look too hard to find out how to contact you. Whether via a form, an address, an email address or a telephone number, you need to make it easy for people to get in touch - otherwise they simply won't.
6. Is your website linked to your social media accounts?
It goes without saying that every website should have clear social media buttons. If yours doesn't, or if they're hard to find, then it's time for a re-fresh.
7. Is your website text-heavy?
As people's attention spans get shorter and shorter, it's important to grab their attention quickly and then convert them before they get bored. Too much text is likely to drive visitors away. So, if your website is very text-heavy, consider trimming the text down and replacing it with imagery, video content, infographics or other types of interactive content that will keep your visitors engaged.
8. How quickly does your website load?
Nothing makes people angrier than a site that is slow to load. They just won't stick around. If your site is slow to load, it's definitely time to speak to an expert about fixing this issue.
9. Do your competitors have new websites?
If all your competitors have shiny new websites that are filled with interactive content, are quick to load, and with lots of CTAs, then you'll need a re-fresh to stay competitive. In this fast-paced environment it's very easy to lose business by not having an impressive website, so make sure you're not losing out to your competitors.
10. Is there anything out of date?
Businesses evolve and change all the time. If there is anything on your website that is now out of date (e.g. a staff member who no longer works there, an old address, a service you no longer offer), then that's as good an excuse as any to go for a re-fresh.
If any of these questions rang true to you, then I recommend getting an expert to give you an opinion on next steps. It doesn't always mean you'll need a brand new website, which is costly and time consuming, it could be that all you need are a few tweaks like changing some of the content around, removing unnecessary content, adding some CTAs and perhaps tweaking the layout.
If you're wondering whether your website needs a makeover, get in touch today for some friendly, no obligation advice.