Personally, I like change. As a kid, I rearranged my room every few months. Today, that tendency drives my family crazy. Because not everyone likes change, particularly on a web site. But there are times when change is exactly what is needed. Here are few indicators of when you need a refresh of your web site.
1. Your copyright year is not the current year.
Okay, it’s really really easy to change the copyright on your site. (As I typed this, I quickly went to check my own and realized it said 2010. Not anymore!) And not changing it looks like you haven’t touched the site in a year, and that’s never a good sign. Plus, legally, you aren’t protecting yourself anymore.
Note: I am not a legal expert, even though when many people year that I’m a copywriter, they think I’m an expert in all things related to the letter C in a circle. Uh, no.
2. You don’t send people to your site as much when chatting.
When you’re out networking up a storm, you might not mention your site as often as you used to. For whatever reason that might be, it’s a red flag that you don’t trust it to help you build your business.
3. Your traffic is down.
If you’re disheartened by the numbers posted inyour analytics tools, and see a slump in the works, it’s time for refresh. But make it a strategic one -- why would traffic be down? Are you still optimized for the right keywords? Have your industry terms changed or are there new players in the market?
4. You have a new logo/brochure/email mailing list/address.
Any new asset should drive a web site refresh, particularly anything related to branding. A new logo is the top reason to update the site -- colors and fonts should all be consistent so your customer has a unified experience no matter what channel they use to interact with you.
5. Look you’re doing well in a tough market.
Times are tough. Our clients are small businesses, and the ones I've chatted to all express some level of concern, varying from wariness to out and out panic. Many inspirational speakers will tell you that if you act successful, you will become successful. I believe that if your marketing conveys a message of success and drive, the work will follow. A polished site that is up to date and embracing the latest in web capabilities says to potential customers that you are probably doing something right.
Overall, when you’re thinking about a new site or a redesign, it’s important to consider your existing users. If your site has a high volume of returning visitors, they do not want to be forgotten. The trick is to keep the visitors you have while attracting more. That’s where a skilled web designer comes in.
When we approach a redesign, we do it from a very strategic point of view. And that means we ask a lot of questions. If you have analytics in place, that will really help, because it’s critical that we look at where your visitors are coming from. How are they finding you? Do people find your site only by typing in your business name or do they find you using more generic terms that fit your business? Which pages have the highest traffic? And so on.
So if you’re thinking about a redesign or web site refresh for your small business, it can’t hurt to start exploring. A conversation with me is always a great place to start.