5 Signs You Need To Update Your Website

I talk with business owners and I’m often asked “should I redesign my website?” It’s a great question and here are my top five signs that you are in desperate need for a website update.

1. You have outdated information
Go take a look through your website and see if you can find any outdated information. Surprised? Most sites older than 6 months have some outdated information (staff changes, special offers expired, broken links, old pictures, etc.). If your copyright notice is 2009 or older, you’re in desperate need for an update.

2. Your site is not running on a CMS platform
Most sites will benefit from a transition to a modern, SEO-friendly, plug-in friendly content management system (CMS) like WordPress. You’ll instantly benefit from a thriving 3rd party ecosystem, thousands of website developers/platorm experts, and high-level administration tools. Another benefit is you can easily update pages or blog posts with a rich user-interface. Website maintenance is easily performed by yourself or in-house staff.

3. You are missing social media integrations
Does your site intergrate with Twitter, Facebook, and other social platforms? If not, you’re missing out on quality traffic streams and important social signals. You’re also missing out on communicating with your fan base and building your brand. Social media participation and integration is no longer a “nice to have”.

4. Your bounce rates are high
When was the last time you audited your traffic analytics? Compare your bounce rates from last year to this year. How are you doing? How is the “average time on page” or “average page views per visit?” What about your site visitor goals? If you’re doing the same or worse, it’s time to focus on the non-performing pages and rewrite/redesign them for better conversions.

5. Your site looks unprofessional
It’s understandable that when you started your business, you were bootstrapping and making due with whatever would fit your budget or with volunteer help from friends/family. With the advent of sophisticated platforms like WordPress, there’s no reason to have website that looks anything less than professionally designed. There are 1000’s of professionally designed templates you can use that out of the box put you light-years ahead of what you’re currently using. This is your business. First impressions count and you want to wow your customers, not scare them away.

Still undecided? There’s one more thing to consider. If you are at all concerned with ranking well in Google, having fresh, regularly-updated content is a must-have. Nobody wants to eat stale bread. It’s that simple. Fresh, relevant, and accurate content is the SEO mantra.

Are you ready to update your website? If you need help, give us a call. We are experts at website redesign or website migrations to the WordPress platform.

You Don’t Have a Website?

Your Website Is Your Real Estate Online

Having a website is like owning a piece of real estate (virtual, of course). It’s your place to call home and is the foundation to build your online presence.

But . . .

I hear a lot of excuses for why local businesses don’t have a website. Maybe you’ve even said these yourself:

  • I’m too busy
  • It costs too much
  • I get most of my traffic from referrals (or the “I don’t think it’s that important” excuse)
  • It’s too much of a hassle
  • I don’t know how

The list is endless, but every excuse misses the point. Your website is your brand online. It’s the face of your business to the world. It’s your personal piece of Internet property. It’s your official home for information about your company and products. It’s your center for branding and PR. It’s YOURS!

No other property is 100% yours. Google Places, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Yelp, and the like are all third-party properties owned by other businesses. They are here today, gone tomorrow. Third-party sites are fickle and come with terms of service that may or may not benefit your business (let alone your privacy).

Still not convinced?

Here are more reasons you must have a wesbite:

  • Your competition has a website (ouch!)
  • Your customers expect it
  • Your website is open 24/7
  • You can sell products/services through your website
  • You can generate leads through your website
  • You can instantly update your information, products, and catalogs
  • You can learn about your customers behavior (likes/dislikes)
  • You can provide your customers with support, FAQs, and other types of help

And this is just a partial list! Do you still think you don’t need one?

So what now?

You’re convinced, you want a website, but you’re asking yourself “now what?” You have some options (each with their own pros/cons).

Building your own site is possible, but you’re going to quickly find out that unless you have the design and technical skills, you’re in for a long process. You’ll also find your first attempts are less than spectacular. You’re going to spend hundreds of hours (yes, hundreds) reading, trying, designing, getting frustrated, asking friends/family for ideas or help, etc.

One of the biggest mistakes you’ll make is focusing on how it looks (graphics) instead of ease of use, optimization, and marketing. It may look great, but it’s going to struggle at converting visitors to customers. I’m not going to tell you “not” to do it, but I will tell you that as a business owner, it’s not the best use of your time.

You might think the biggest pro in doing it yourself is the cost savings. You just saved yourself $3500 dollars right? Or did you? Let’s do the math.

As a business owner, what’s your time worth? What’s your hourly rate? 75/hr? 125/hr? More?  Lawyers charge 300+/hr. Where are you? Let’s say you value your “CEO” time at 75/hr. If this project takes you 150 hours, that’s $11,250. Let’s say you cut that down to 80 hours, it’s still going to cost you $6000.  You’ll spend 80 hours on a website that isn’t optimized, looks “ok”, and doesn’t convert visitors to sales. That’s also 80 hours you didn’t grow your business.

Not a pretty picture. There’s many a business owner that set out to cross the desert of web design to be never heard from again.

Your best choice is to hire us to build your website. We have results-based approach that focuses on usability, local and organic search optimization, and lead conversion. When we create a website, it is part of a online marketing strategy. We design sites to answer the question “does your website make you money” with a resounding “Yes!”

The fact that we do this as a core function of our business means we are experts and efficient. We know what needs to be done and how to do it. It’s one of the smartest investments you can make in your business.