What is the shelf life of a website? While some companies change their websites like seasonal fashion, many of us let our web presence gather a little dust (we’re not pointing fingers). A website should see a significant overhaul at least every 1-‐2 years. Technology evolves, products and services change, social media and blogging are added to the mix, and if you haven’t revisited your overall web strategy, you’re getting left behind. Here are some reasons to consider changing things up:
1. Does your website fit today’s screens? Sites designed for yesterday’s screen resolution look very odd on today’s high screen resolutions (1024 pixels or greater). Your audience knows immediately if your site looks puny and doesn’t take up much screen real estate. This clearly states to a prospect, “This site is old.” Not only is this a sign that your website is past it’s expiration date, it’s like paying for a billboard and only using a quarter of the space.
2. Is your site optimized for mobile screens? If your website is not working well on mobile, you’re definitely not getting very much from your web investment. Research shows searchers use mobile devices for searching 55% of the time. Mobile has established a clear lead. Chances are that this will continue to grow over time.
3. Is your website fast and compliant? Technology changes all the time and your website is no different. Old and non-‐compliant code can slow you down. Google and Bing don’t like slow websites and degrade them in the search results. You may also need to add mobile features and video, or take advantage of technologies that will help you gain credibility and improve your site’s performance. The best designed websites will help you convert search-‐engine traffic into solid leads and sales. Technology alone does not win over visitors, but a compelling online experience certainly will.
4. Is your message compelling and vibrant or tired? One downside of the web is that content gets tired —and fast! Make sure your message gets a regular refresh to give your audience a reason to come back. Do you need to add a blog? Do you have a new service or product? Take a critical, dispassionate look at your content for outdated info or positioning. If your brand looks like it’s still stuck in 1992, consider a makeover of your brand assets. This also creates an instant marketing opportunity for promoting your relaunch.
A word of advice: don’t change just for the sake of change. Create a plan and make sure that plan maps solidly to your marketing strategy. In the end, it’s all about winning more business and better serving your customers.
Your website may very well be the most powerful tool in your marketing kit. Not only is it the place prospects and clients go to learn more about you and your services, but it has a huge impact on their ultimate purchase decision. This was concluded from a survey conducted by RainToday.com that included more than 200 buyers in professional services purchased, such as construction services; IT consulting and services; legal services; management consulting; marketing, advertising, and public relations; and training services.
The influence of professional services websites on purchasing decisions has increased significantly over the past four years. According to the survey, 74% of buyers report the service provider’s website holds at least “some influence” over their ultimate decision to buy services from the provider.
It’s clear that professional services firms must take advantage of this power. With well-designed websites they can:
- Establish that they are professional: through professional design, writing, and arrangement of content.
- Establish that they are worthy of consideration: through an overview of their services, their client list, biographies and case studies that show how they helped clients and delivered what they promised.
- Establish themselves as an authority: through blog posts, publications, videos, and other resources to help build credibility, reliability, and trust-all essential elements necessary to win clients