Did you know that over 20% of searches on Google are related to location, and that 88% of people who search for local information on their smartphones take action within the same day? In order to bring positive changes in record time, you need to choreograph and integrate each and every step of the marketing process. Creative thinking, strategic planning, process development, organization, timing, and precise implementation are just a few steps for a successful marketing makeover plan. The diagram is a visual representation of a complete website makeover and how they are all related in your plan.
Does Your Website Need a Face-lift?
It is not unusual for a website to outgrow itself and become less effective over time. When you find that your website is no longer user-friendly, has an outdated design, is difficult to update or is just not effective in communicating with target audiences, it is time for a website makeover. If you are unsure if a makeover is needed, I put together a few questions to ask yourself:
1. Does your website clearly communicate the service or product you sell or provide? Your website is your best chance to make a lasting impression to your customers. What is the first thing visitors see when they come to your website? Do they understand your site’s purpose? In order to have a successful and engaging website, it should have a simple and clear message that all visitors can understand. The best way to communicate your website’s purpose is through a clear message on your homepage. This will also help search engines categorize your website for appropriate keywords and phrases. Think about what your website does or what you want it to do. What products or services do you offer? Then, on your homepage clearly display that message in your content. Many websites online fail to communicate the essence of their website to customers on their homepage and, thereby, lose valuable leads and sales. Your website is often a potential customer’s first impression of your business. Make it count.
2. Is your web address easy to type, spell and remember? What’s more important than the design of a new website? As someone said, words have meaning and names have power. This is becoming more and more important in the age of internet marketing and branding development. Many assume the first step to starting your own website is design, but choosing the right domain name is equally important–in fact, perhaps it’s the hardest part of the site creation process. If you consider the difficulty in transferring websites to new URLs – not to mention the potential SEO losses that could occur by doing so – it’s clear that you need to get things right from the start.
3. Is your website easy to navigate? Another important feature of a good website is navigation. Many website owners fail to include well-structured pages or clear navigation tabs that lead visitors to relevant sections of their website. Organize the information on your website in a simple and structured way. Think of the general path you would like a site visitor to take. In many cases, adding sub-pages to the top navigation will be the best option for organizing your information into specific categories. Think through your web pages’ structure so that it all makes sense in a logical flow. That way, when customers visit your website, they will have an easier time navigating to the information on your website that is most relevant to them. In some cases, adding sub-pages to the top navigation will be the best option for organizing your information into specific categories.
4. Are you connected with social media? Building a community for your business is one of the best investments you can make. It’s crucial to establish an online presence. Start with the networks you know and are active on – the most common being Facebook and Twitter. Include Facebook “Like” from your business Facebook page or a Twitter follow button will allow visitors to connect with you through other media. In addition to your social networking profiles, creating and maintaining a blog is one of the most effective ways to build community and a great way to increase content. (You can create a blog for your Yola site using the Tumblr widget). Blogs are a great way to have a conversation with your visitors and customers on a regular basis and improve the level of trust website visitors and customers have for your business over time. Boost your search engine power by listing your business on all popular social media sites and provide direct links.
5. Is the right person designing and maintaining your site? The web is a fluid and changing medium. Over the course of time you may choose to make changes, updates, and/or add information to your website. Your site should grow as your company grows, and you strive to meet the needs of the future. It should also be interactive in a way that has things that change within it to inspire energy and make it “hot” for your viewers. The maintenance of your site is as important as the development. The search engines thrive on new content, and you must keep this updated regularly in order to maintain a good position in the search results.
6. Is your website designed with only images? Does your website consist primarily of images or was it built entirely in Flash? Some images and bits of Flash are fine, but the foundation of your site should be live text or text generated by the browser. This is a search engine friendly option and is helpful to users with slower connections or those who are vision impaired and use screen readers. Also, image or Flash based websites don’t always render properly on mobile devices. Many mobile devices will not display Flash at all so you may be losing a large percentage of your target audience.
7. Does your website look like its stuck in the 90’s? Yes, we loved the grunge look and Beanie Babies back then but if your website has animated clip art (remember the cute dancing hamster), frames and scroll-bars, visitor counters, flashing text and pop-ups, its time to consider a redesign. If your website looks outdated, your business looks outdated. First impressions do count. If your website does not feel professional, your potential customers will move on – possibly to your competitor.
8. Does your website read like the Encyclopedia Britannica? Website visitors don’t like to read – that much. If your website has paragraphs upon paragraphs of text on every page, your main message might get lost. It is a good idea to consider a rewrite to condense your copy and maybe reorganize the structure of your website to make sure content flows. Excess information can be provided in downloadable white papers so visitors can print and read them at their leisure.
9. Does updating your content require a degree in programming? Is the content on your website needing to be updated and emails to your webmaster go unreturned? Or once you get access to your site, you can’t make heads or tails of how to go about changing or adding text? Updated content is crucial to having a website that entices return visitors and keeps search engines happy. If your website is not easily updatable, its time to consider a new solution that allows you to access and update your site content. Content management solutions come in different packages that are user and budget friendly.
Ready To Get Started?
Representing yourself on the internet is the most important thing you need to do for your business, and yet it’s the hardest thing to find time for. In today’s market it’s not enough to simply rely on website ads and word of mouth to get your company’s name out to the masses. Choosing the right website design firm or internet marketing firm is more important than ever! We have a proven track record, an amazing client list, and a huge following. Let us develop you a rock star Website Re-Design and Internet Marketing Plan that will boost your traffic and build your brand. Call us today to set up a FREE Consultation.