What is the one thing we recommend when refreshing a website?
Updated: Jan 23, 2020
I just updated my website and as I was sharing the news across my social media channels, I was asked that very interesting question, quite hard to answer in a few words. (Thank you Julien!)
And that prompted me to put into words the process I went through for my own website.
1. What is your objective?
That is probably the reason why I updated my website. I wanted to change a few things in the services I offer. Business change over time, clients have been asking for more strategy rather than management, and I enjoyed working on digital and social media strategy, so I wanted my website to reflect a change in those services.
If a client is asking for a website refresh, that would be the first question I ask them. What do you want to achieve with your website? Do you want to show potential customers the different services you can offer? Is your objective to sell products through your website? Do you want to inform and educate your members? Is your website the main platform to attract your customers?
Knowing what we want to achieve from our website is first and foremost. That allows to then think what needs to be showcased and what features may be necessary to include in the web design.
Most of the times visitors will land on your website, visit your home page and if on that home page they don't find the information they are after within a few seconds, they will leave your website. That's what we call a bounce rate. Therefore that home page (or welcome page) needs to summarise what your business is about and showcase how you can help your customers.
That leads us to a second point...
2. Who are your customers? Who are you talking to?
This is a critical question in marketing and often one of the first ones I ask my clients. Customers should be our main focus.
Once we've analysed who our customers are, where they live, what they like and dislike, how they communicate, but as well how we can assist them, fill their wants and needs, then as a marketing expert we can create a message that will talk to your audience, your potential customers.
We will also be able to select imagery (or plan a photoshoot) that will resonate with your potential customers.
(More about that in another post about branding and brand identity...)
3. Menu and web navigation creation
Now that we have a better understanding of your business, your brand, your clients, then we can start working on the hierarchy of your website. That's when we decide which items need to be included in the menu, what needs to be showcased on your home page (featured products, services, vision of the business...)
It is essential to spend some time thinking how users will navigate your website. It needs to be easy. We know attention spam is very limited, therefore the main aspects of your business need to stand out.
A good website needs to be easy to navigate, visual and appealing whilst providing the right amount of information to your customers so they purchase your products, they subscribe to your newsletter or they call you to book an appointment.
Lastly, let's talk analytics
And then we need to track how your website is going. I didn't write about SEO (search engine optimisation) in this blog because it would be way too long (another blog idea...!) but it is essential to have at least the bare minimum back end SEO on your website and link it to Google Analytics and Google Console to be able to track how your site is working, keep an eye on those bounce rates.
After a few months tracking, you can then make some adjustments in your web content, contact forms, pop ups etc....
Thank you for reading! I've tried to keep it short so it's a non exhaustive list of things to look for when you are thinking of updating your website.
Let us know what you think.