Sunday, 1 January 2012

A few signs that your website is out of date

As everybody knows, your website is crucially important when marketing your business, for most it is the first point of contact for almost all potential customers, and where your business is introduced in brief and in detail to the world.

In many cases individuals would rather make an assumption about your business based on a few seconds on your site than picking up a phone, meaning your business is introduced to a potentially vast variety of individuals on a daily basis, the only issue is whether that introduction leaves a positive or negative impression.

In this series of articles I will be discussing the manner in which you are able to build a successful site that fulfills the ultimate task of any commercial website that should be for relevant visitors to enjoy a positive experience that boosts your businesses profile, contact base or sales as a result.

I will begin by addressing the issue of your existing site and some tell tale signs it may be time for an update. Looking at one's own site objectively can be tricky, and assessing its effectiveness likewise. However if any of the following conditions are met, it is likely your business could gain a great amount from an update.



1. Site visitors are decreasing.




Clearly this is not limited to solely the design of your site - it could just as easily be caused by a substandard service offering or unfocused marketing.

If alternative influences are ruled out however, decreasing visitor attraction/retention can be the result of your site not offering the experience a visitor requires from your site.

One solution to this issue is a clearly structured user workflow definition, to anticipate and design for the intended actions a user would take on visiting the site, and make sure your site is planned and intuitively structured to suit that activity.

Alternatively, interrogate your visitor traffic information, from which page do visitors most commonly leave your site? do people most commonly leave from the home page or another page?

Assuming your web designer has installed Analytics reporting on your site - this can be investigated with relative ease. This will tell you which areas need your greatest attention, and ensure the greatest commercial benefit is derived from your website.


2. Have you checked your site on a mobile?





As you may (or may not) have seen in previous articles, mobile internet traffic accounts for 15-45% of all UK internet traffic according to the BBC and National Office of Statistics, that's a huge portion of your website visitors!

Mobile visitors require a different set of features and styles to those required by a desktop or laptop visitor. A site that appears broken for a mobile visitor will only cause frustration and leave a negative impression of your business for that viewer. Similarly, a tailored mobile site would instantly demonstrate your business as a contemporary organisation, and guarantee your mobile visitors leave your site feeling satisfied and impressed - thats 15-45% of all your website visitors!

Ignore mobile internet at your peril!


3. Your site simply looks dated





A tricky one to establish objectively as I mentioned earlier. Check out your competitors' sites, have a look at other websites for businesses you interact with. How do they compare with yours?

Imagine you were looking to work with a business describing themselves as 'established', 'market-leading', 'cutting-edge' or other similar terms, but they clearly have not invested in their website? As your website can often supply potential clients with their first impression of your business, it is vital that it creates an immediate positive impression.


4. It's been two or three years since you last updated your site





I don't have to tell you that the digital sector moves at a serious rate of knots, and keeping on top of it can be a daunting task. The unfortunate truth of the matter is that if you do not keep your website up to date you can be left behind by your competitors and appear out of touch to any visitors.

Areas such as Search Engine Optimisation, Pay Per Click advertising, social media integration and other online marketing can have a huge impact on your business' success online, and they are all fast-paced and constantly evolving sectors.

Two or three years is only intended as a guide, and several factors come into play such as the lasting effectiveness of your design and the market sector in which you operate.





If you would like a free consultation or a chat about your business website - simply enter your contact details in the form in the right column and I will get back to you asap - I will never spam you. Ever.

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