The days of building a website and leaving it alone for months or years are gone. Small businesses need to have a strong Internet presence where their clients can find accurate, up-to-date and fresh information about the expertise and services any time and anywhere they want.
Here are five clear signs that it’s time for an owner to consider a website redesign.
Same as it ever was
Situation: The content on a website must change these days. Static websites convey a lack of interest and attention, which translates to a lack of interest and attention on the part of customers and potential clients. A stale, old website – with broken links, a 2008 copyright, former employees or an outdated address – is worst than no website at all.
Answer: As a small business marketing consultant, I have helped a number of companies find new and novel strategies to update their websites with minimal effort and maximum results. None of these strategies require a great deal of the owner’s time.
An island all its own
Situation: A number of businesses establish a website without thought or concern for how fits into the business’ overall goals.
Answer: A website must be integrated into a company’s overall marketing plan, for the website cannot and will not perform in isolation. For instance, if a website offers a deal, then employees should be aware of it. It should match up with any print advertising or in-store marketing.
A properly planned integrated marketing campaign can not only support in-store sales, but also serve as a tool for upselling clients. Proper content on a website also can prequalify clients or weed out poor leads. But these opportunities are only available through a carefully planned out marketing plan.
Not being the master of one’s domain
Situation: Every business owner should have control over the business’ web domain or domains. If an owner’s web design team or developer are the only ones who know how or where a domain is registered, then the owner is in a potentially compromising position. Web developers come and go. What if an owner’s web developer goes, taking with him or her all of the web domain information? There are ways to wrestle back control, but it can be time-consuming. Better to tackle the potential problem before it’s a problem.
Answer: At a minimum, obtain the passwords, access information and renewal dates for all web domains being used by the business. Better yet, take control of the process. Unlike the early Internet years, domain companies like GoDaddy make the process of managing web domains easy – it’s their business.
Being unsocial toward social media
Situation: Social media isn’t a nice-to-have anymore. Social media helps keep a business on top of mind. It allows business owners to highlight sales and services, as well as provide personality and insights. Businesses who aren’t using social media are being unsocial toward new and repeat customers. It could be the same as kicking them out of the business right as they are about to make a purchase.
The reality is that people are obtaining information about businesses from a variety of sources, including their smartphones, at all times of the night or day.
Answer: Work with an expert to develop a social media campaign. Without investing a lot of time and effort, owners can integrate a social media campaign into their business operations and their website. By determining goals for a campaign, owners can easily identify topics and ideas for generating updates for Facebook for Twitter tweets. Once a following is developed, owners can find an unintended reward from customers who engage owners through these media.
Leaving the data treasure trove hidden
Situation: The business owner has no idea if anyone is visiting the website, or when and what pages customers find useful.
Answer: Web pages are not like print advertising, where you place and ad, then hope it generates a response. Keeping track of who and when people are visiting a site is easily implemented. Tracking web traffic can be as complex or as simple as a business owner chooses.
Implementing a free tracking service can offer a treasure trove of data, including the number of visitors and pages visited each day. At no cost owners can discover their most popular web pages, time spent on each page, and the town or city from which visitors come.
For owners seeking more detail, more complex web analytic tools can cost hundreds of dollars and provide drill-down data such as click paths, and sites from which visitors come to and go from the site. While these details can be interesting, most of the actionable data can be found for free from Google Analytics.
None of these situations is fatal. Rather, each provides a unique opportunity for a small business owner to expand and improve the marketing, as well as the engagement, with both customers and prospects.
To learn more about resolving any of these situations, contact Bigger Pie Strategies.