New year? Time to review that website of yours! 5 quick tips to look at with any website review.
The beginning of the year is always a great time to review your business, what condition it’s in, set goals and objectives for the year and the strategy to get there making sure you take into account all of the great thinking you’ve done over the Xmas/New year break. Once you manage to clearly define your objectives and strategy, putting together an effective action plan becomes a piece of cake.
The importance of your company website should never be under estimated. Websites work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your company and an out of date or badly implemented website says just as much about an organisation as a beautifully designed website with great content. The past year has proved the importance of growing your online presence and ensuring you have the right information online. It also showed a big uplift in people using the internet to carry out research on potential service providers but also purchase products and services online. There is no doubt that customers are becoming more savvy with digital and companies need to ensure they’re implementing digital strategies that keep up with their target audience expectations and also keep them ahead of their competition.
Again, the start of the year should be viewed as a great time to review your company website and make sure it’s giving your visitors the right information as well as being a true reflection of your business and the products and services you offer. We’ve put together a quick guideline below on what you should be looking at when you review your website. If you think that you require further help or you would like to use 96black services to improve your website get in touch with us today. We’re here to help.
Your quick website review checklist:
1. Review your website statistics
Hopefully, you’re using Google Analytics which is a fantastic tool that’s free to use from Google. If you are, it makes reviewing statistics just a little bit more palatable!
Website statistics can give you valuable insights into other areas of your business and their importance shouldn’t be overlooked. The stats will help to tell you how effective your marketing is being, where your website traffic is coming from, what content they’re most interested in and how the traffic is converting. What are the overall trends for your website? Did traffic increase over the course of the year? Is your bounce rate high indicating that you’re getting low quality traffic to your website or your website is of a poor standard and website visitors are leaving after getting to only the front page? Lots of useful business insights can be garnered here. For a newcomer, these statistics can be confusing. If you’re not sure on any aspect, give us a call and we’ll talk them through with you.
2. Review your website content and functionality
Your website content needs to be revised on a regular basis in order to keep your company and your product/service offering up to date. A lot can happen in a year and quite often, website content can lag behind. Staff changes, new product lines, updated services, new office location – all need to be updated online. There’s nothing more frustrating than going to see a business and finding it has moved offices and their website hasn’t been updated (trust me this is a really bad look!).
Review your content against your marketing plan. Does your website have the right marketing messages? Is the content aimed at your target market and do you have the right call to action on your site? It’s important that all marketing messages are consistent across different mediums to ensure that they’re working together to promote unified messaging to your market.
It’s also a good idea to look at the website from the perspective of your potential customers. Is your website easy to navigate and is it easy to understand what you do or offer? These are key factors that are often overlooked.
Regularly updated content will not only give prospective customers up to date information but will also boost your SEO results. A content audit should be run at least on a yearly basis to ensure visitors are presented with the correct information. Writing content is a time consuming process. A great way of getting in done in a quick and easy way is using content writer services. An advantage of outsourcing content writing is the fact that it’s being written by a professional and very often it includes writing the content in the way that will also increase your SEO results.
Now is also a great time to test that online form or email contact address. Are they working, do potential customers get responses when completing a form or engaging with functionality? Do a quick test and see how your staff respond and what type of customer experience potential customers are getting. You might be surprised by the results.
3. Make sure website displays correctly on all devices
As mentioned before customers are becoming more savvy with digital. These days, a lot of interaction with your website will be done with the use of devices other than a traditional computer, for example smartphones and tablets. It’s crucial to make sure that once a customer lands on your website he or she is able to view it properly and interact with it without any problems.
Have a look at your website on an iPad, Android phone and an iPhone. How does it look? Do you have any Flash elements on your website? If you do, these won’t display on iPhones and iPads. Does your website resize properly to display in smaller smartphone screens?
As more and more people use these new devices to connect online, the importance of ensuring your website displays correctly on these devices increases.
4. Check out your competitors websites
Have a look at your competition. What are they doing that you aren’t? Are they offering their customers or potential customers information or functionality that you should be offering? Make sure you’re not being left behind in your product and service offering and that your website is offering the right information and compares well with your competition.
As we’ve said, prospective customers are using the web to review product and service offerings from different companies without leaving the comfort of their homes or businesses so it’s vital to ensure that your website compares well. When we redesign a website at 96black for a client, we aim to set that client up as having the best website in the industry in terms of design, strategy and implementation. To do this we first look at the competition. We look to see what they’re up to and what we can take from them and do better (as well as what they’re doing wrong and of course our own fresh ideas!). It’s all about ensuring you’ve got a competitive advantage. Unfortunately, this will only last so long but can really make a difference to a business and it’s important that you review your competition to ensure you’re keeping up with changes.
5. Review your marketing and advertising
When you are reviewing the website, it’s important to review your existing marketing and advertising not just from a content perspective but from a look and feel perspective. Is the website design still current? Does it reflect your other marketing activities such as print adverts, business cards or billboards? It’s massively important that the touch points you use to engage with potential customers are consistent so that the potential customer knows they’re in contact with your company immediately. If the look and feel of your website is out of date with your other marketing activity then you’ll present a confusing image to your potential customers. Rule of thumb is to keep your online and offline marketing all consistent!