Any marketing professional will know how important company websites are. It’s likely to be the first place your potential and current customers are going to look, to learn about your business. And if yours is outdated, unresponsive, or just doesn’t fit well with your company’s image or values, you’re in danger of missing opportunities.
The problem is, web design and trends change at a rapid rate. As a marketer, you have other responsibilities as well updating and maintaining the website. If you don’t have the time to research and keep up with the latest trends and updates, this part of your job can seem daunting!
To help keep your website up to date and projecting the professionalism of your business, the points listed below are worth considering. These will also help give an indication as to whether your website needs a complete makeover, or just a few tweaks to ensure it’s working efficiently.
Does it work on mobile?
With 80% of internet users owning a smartphone, your website needs to be mobile-friendly and responsive to accommodate these users. If your website isn’t optimised for mobile usage, visitors will find it hard to view and interact on their smartphone.
But it’s not only mobile compatibility, it’s also important your website is compatible across the board and is optimised for all web browsers and screen sizes. The golden rule here is to give your customers what they want – ease of use. If you don’t, they’re likely to go elsewhere to get what they need.
Is it responsive?
Apparently, your website shouldn’t take more than 10 seconds to load and if it does take 10 seconds, you’ve already damaged your relationship with the user. They will have noticed the delay and no longer feel in control. The users’ mind will wander and more often than not, they’ll leave your website.
Ideally, your website should take between 0-3 seconds to load. This makes the user feel in control, and this is key to increasing user engagement. The same goes for any links or downloadable content; you need to ensure everything works and is almost instantly available at a click of the mouse.
If your website speed isn’t up to scratch, you might need to update the software. Often old websites don’t perform how they should and if it’s older than 3 years, it could be time for a new one.
Does it look outdated?
First impressions are important. As outlined earlier, your website is likely to be the first place your potential and current customers are going to look to learn about your products or services. Keeping your website simple, easy to view with plenty of whitespace helps the user take in all the information they need.
Keeping in touch with design trends is also important – it helps you give users what they want to see right now. Whilst it’s important to have your own brand identity, you’ll still need to maintain a fresh and trendy design which creates a better experience for your users and keeps you on the cutting edge.
Is it engaging?
Is your website easy to read, with a clear call-to-action? Lots of businesses tend to overload their homepages with information. This information may be useful, and it’s usually stuff customers need to know. But the way it’s presented can be overwhelming which will deter certain individuals.
Ask yourself these questions about your homepage; as a first-time visitor, would I clearly understand what the business does? Does it make me want to investigate further? Does the style and feel match the personality of the business? If you answer no to any of these questions, you need to make some changes.
Is your website Search Engine Optimised?
The reason your business is online is mainly to help your customers find you. Finding your site is how your customers will access key information about your business, work out how to get in touch with you, and potentially purchase your products or services.
When optimising your website to increase traffic, you’ll need to set up analytics and insert a tracking code into your website. This is going to give you an indication as to what’s working and where you should concentrate your efforts. It’s interesting that changing some of the basic and straightforward errors can benefit you greatly, whereas some of the more technical changes have less of a benefit.
The essential point is, if you’re getting buried under your competition in search results, you need to do something about it.
If you’ve answered no to some of these points, it might be time to look at redesigning your website. Whilst some of these points may be individual problems you can fix whilst keeping your current design, others could be signs of a larger issue. Having a strong website is part of sustaining a successful business – don’t let yours fall behind the competition.