So, in full disclosure, I know that this is a self-serving tip. After all, we do help people design, build and update their websites. But this week’s tip goes out to those who have websites that are out of date or don’t fully reflect who they are and what they do.
Nothing confuses or turns away a prospective customer like a website that is out of date. For many people, your website is the first (and sometimes last) impression that they have of your organization. So, in these tight economic times, it’s best not to turn away business with a website that doesn’t fully reflect your current business model or tell people what you do.
All marketing, including your website, should create a sense of trust and confidence so that it’s easy for people to understand what you do and how you can make their lives better. There are two main ways to update a site: Update the navigation and content. Often the changes to your organization will fit neatly inside your current design. Most good website designs should allow for expansion of content and services over time.
Sometimes all you need to do is revisit the content pages on your website and make sure that the information is current. If you’ve added new products or services, this can often be incorporated into the navigation of the site. You might want to update photographs on the site, and make sure that the testimonials, sample work and other information is reflective of your best work. In the best of all possible worlds, each time you add new products or services, you are able to easily update your website.
A content management system that makes it easy to add or remove pages without having to learn a lot of technical skills can help keep the site more constantly updated. Change the overall design and layout. If your business has significantly changed in the past few years (as has ours), a new design can often better reflect the changes to the organization. Our research has found that updating your website with a strong design that resonates with your target audience can increase sales and leads from the site by up to 400%.
For Customer Paradigm, we last updated the overall design of the site four years ago. Back then, we were more focused on selling software and putting on educational seminars. While we still do that, our emphasis today is helping businesses and organizations with all of their marketing needs, from coming up with logos and brochures, to designing interactive websites with strong search engine positioning. Our older site didn’t resonate with the target audience, and didn’t reflect who we are now, and where we want to go as a company.
Our new site incorporates our new logo (Thanks to Esther), and a new design (thanks to Ryan) that demonstrates cutting-edge design, subtle flash movement, with an easy to use navigation. It’s also extremely search engine friendly, too. We’ve incorporated lots of bells and whistles into the design, including the ability to personalize the site, or to dynamically change the layout of the site if someone arrives from a search engine like Google after searching on specific keywords.