Is your website design performing for your business? Are you getting the online traffic that you should? Are people finding you online?
If you have answered “no” to any of these questions, you need to look at your website design. In fact, even if you have answered “yes” to these questions, you still need to look at your website design and here’s the reason why…
Website design is very much a never ending story; You have purchased your domain name, employed a website designer, (or even spent far too much of your time on a DIY job); you type www.mybusinessname.com in to the browser on your computer or mobile device and your website displays… Hurrah! I’m afraid there is a popular misconception that once this process is complete you have done it… Tick the box and move on!
Warning, I’m about to burst your bubble… Your website design will never be finished. Here are the reasons why…
- Your website design is like a garden – Best-selling author, speaker and top marketer Seth Godin once wrote – “Great projects, like great careers and relationships that last, are gardens. They are tended, they shift, they grow. They endure over time, gaining a personality and reflecting their environment. When something dies or fades away, we prune, replant and grow again. Perfection and polish aren’t nearly as important as good light, good drainage and a passionate gardener. By all means, build. But don’t finish. Don’t walk away.” Let’s say you’re a retailer, you’re opening a new store, and you want people to come in and see the beautiful things you’re selling… You dress your window, add some beautiful in store displays and they come, and they buy! Is that it? Do you leave your store exactly like that for the next three years? Or do you update your window and store displays, maybe add some new furniture, change your counter top or get the decorators in to give the place a refresh. Chances are you will be doing all of these things continuously, you have money set aside in your budget for repairs, maintenance and improvements; you should be doing the same with your website design.
- Technology and trends evolve – A website from five years ago will look smaller and tighter than one that was built a year ago. As our desktop computer screens have become wider and larger, so too has website design… As we started to browse more on mobile devices, it became popular to have a separate mobile site that would be displayed for users on a tablet or smartphone and a full website that would appear for desktop users. Now, things have changed again, we expect a website to be responsive and able to adjust to provide an optimal experience for every user. As of 2013, the worldwide percentage of mobile internet users was 73.4 percent. Figures suggest that by 2017 that will rise to more than 90 percent, this has seen a move toward long, vertical websites that scroll. Not to mention the fact, that if your website isn’t mobile responsive Google will be sending you quickly down the hit parade.
- Your business will grow – As your product or service range expands, or team of staff increases; your website design should be updated.
- Search Engine Optimisation – Mr Google (and all the other search engines, for that matter) love fresh content. That is why it is so important to incorporate a blog or news page in to your website design. If you’re constantly adding new material to your website, Google will keep coming back to say hello and to ensure it has your site fully indexed. No matter what your business, there will always be something you can blog about, if you’re short on ideas, check out this post I wrote a couple of months ago. If you’re still stumped for ideas, call me… Believe me I can always think of something to say! The most important thing to remember is that whatever you do post, must have real value for your visitors, remember my golden rule… “it’s not about you”!
- Social Media – There will always be a new social channel. You will likely change the channels you’re using in your business, and your website design will need updating accordingly to incorporate these new channels.
- You’ll always have a competitor – If there’s a new kid on the block, just starting out, you can bet your bottom dollar they’ll have a super duper website design. It’s worth checking out your competition to see what they’re doing online.
The most important tip I can give you with regard to tweaking and evolving your website design, is to test it. It should be part of your business practice to do this weekly. Test your contact or enquiry form. If you sell online put through a test order. If you have a booking process be sure to test this too. Only by regularly visiting and checking your website will you begin to see how and when it needs updating; just like a puppy… A website is for life not just for Christmas!