And Take These 5 Steps to Prepare for an Update…
by Lane Sennett, Online Website & Cloud Technology Specialist
The FIVE Questions
Here’s how to know if you need a website update:
- Just look at it! Does it look modern like the websites you click on when you see something interesting? Is it easy to look at? And, how does it look on a mobile device?
- Is the information it provides up to date? For your hours, location, offers, or services?
- Are the images or video’s recent? Have you added any content in the last 30 days?
- Are you hearing any comments or complaints about how your website works or its content?Ask your staff – what have they heard and what do they think?
- Or, is it just crickets? No comments, and not sending you any customers? Is it only a brochure that tells people your phone number and services without a call to action?
If you answered NO, to 2 or more of these questions – then your business can benefit from a website update, redesign or total overhaul. There is so much more your website can do for your business, and for the marketing dollars you are spending on it.
This 5 Step process will help you get prepared for an UPDATE
It does not have to take very long – maybe an hour for all 5 steps. What is an hour worth in terms of gaining more customers, and in the long run – more profit?
- Determine if you control and have access to your website. Or, do you have a Webmaster, marketing company, or other person who does?
What are the steps to access the website and make changes?
This is the who, what, how – get that documented and available first.
- What type of website and content platform is it? A WordPress site, GoDaddy WebBuilder (or similar provided by your hosting company), WIX, a custom HTML site by a web developer, or some other combination? Your options to update and change the site will be different depending on this answer.
- What is this website and its maintenance costing you now – per month, per year? This includes the hosting cost, the domain name cost, the maintenance cost and perhaps additional costs for add-ons like plugins for privacy, security, speed improvements, video hosting, e-commerce, and more depending on your specific business type. Now, is that cost in your marketing budget? Are you getting enough leads and customers thru your website to justify that cost?
- Who is your preferred customer? Do you have an ideal client profile?If you don’t have this in writing, a few notes at least, take about 10 minutes and write it down in your business planner. What age, sex, interests, habits or budget do your best customers fall into? Imagine your best customer and write down their description. This will help you determine what should appear on your website to attract those people.
- What are your competitors doing with their websites? Do some research online and find out what their websites look like, what do their ads look like, where are they advertising and what could you do that is better? Brainstorm a few things that occur to you when you check their websites, Facebook page or LinkedIn pages?
Now you know the critical facts. And, you have a starting point for decision making about how to update your existing website. You can also use your notes to prioritize what needs to change first.
There are many other details you could consider. These few steps will get you started in the right direction to update your website effectiveness, and your business marketing online.
Write down a few notes about how you’d like your website to look and what you would like it to do.
Create a short document which includes some links to existing pages where you like how they look, the layout, colors and design. You can do this online in Word, OneNote, Excel or any easy cut and paste tool.
Do you want to collect emails or phone numbers from the people who come to your website so you can contact them again to offer discounts, specials, or other invitations?
Do you want to develop a loyalty or continuity program for repeat customers?
Need help with working thru the 5 Steps? That’s what we do — and much more to help business with their online presence, marketing or other technology frustrations.
Call 360-227-1878 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can setup an in person meeting or a screen sharing conference call.
This article was written by Lane Sennett, a SCORE mentee.