Guest post by Wendy Pruitt. Wendy Pruitt has more than 12 years of advertising and design experience spanning from collateral creation to website development. She holds a Bachelor of Advertising from the University of Florida and Art Direction degree from the Creative Circus. She currently supports the CSR team with our own website and brand guidelines, and is our go-to design and development resource for clients.
Does your site need a makeover? While your website might not look it was built in the 1990s, it may still be in need of some improvements.
Determine if your site needs an update by asking these four questions:
1. Is your site responsive and mobile-friendly?
Pull out your phone and load your site. How does it look?
More than just colors and fonts, there are two big reasons why you need to care about how your site looks on mobile devices. First, Google says 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing. Ouch. To compound the issue, Google has shifted to mobile-first indexing. That means that the mobile version of your website is the first thing Google will index. If you don’t have a mobile-optimized site, it can negatively impact your Google ranking and any organic SEO you’ve built.
2. Does your website reflect you and your company?
There is nothing wrong with using a template to get started, but it’s important that your website reflects your brand and your vision. Customers have come to your website to learn more about you – make sure their first impression is the right one. Do the colors and fonts match the logo and brand feel? Is the copy clear and concise so visitors know what you do? Have you added photography, either from a custom photo shoot or with stock photos? Your website is one of the most important extensions of your marketing efforts and needs to reflect your brand as much as possible.
3. Is your site on a platform that will grow with you?
A pre-packaged website builder is great when you need to get a site up as soon as possible (I’m looking at you, Wix) but website builders have their limitations. Using a propriety builder may hinder your ability to effectively grow your website presence. As of 2015, more than 1/4 of websites are built on WordPress – an open-source CMS that is fully customizable and expandable. Even a simple WordPress site can expand with you, making it easy for a designer, writer or programmer to update, expand and grow. You should consider several things like whether you want to hand off the editing/updating of your site, whether you’d ever want to sell your product/service online or perhaps book appointments on your site. Does your website builder tool include these functions? And if you are considering implementing any SEO or SEM marketing, a digital marketing professional will recommend WordPress as the industry standard platform.
4. How do customers get ahold of you?
This sounds silly, but take another look at your website. Have you included a phone number in both the header, footer and contact page? Do you have a working contact form connected to an email account that is checked regularly? Is there a message on every page that encourages visitors to do something – call, inquire, click? Ideally, we want website visitors to convert into leads, so make sure to make it easy for them to get ahold of you. There are even chat plugins you can use to start the conversation with visitors right on the site.
While having some web presence is better than not having one at all, it’s important that your website works as effectively as possible. A hard-to-read site with limited content isn’t doing you any favors. You’ve spent a lot of time honing your marketing message – make sure the right content is portrayed to potential customers.
While having some web presence is better than not having one at all, it’s important that your website works as hard as possible. A hard-to-read site with limited content isn’t doing you any favors. You’ve spent a lot of time honing your marketing message – make sure the right content is portrayed to potential customers.