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Monday, December 16 2013
1998 Called and Wants Its Website Back. Why You Need a Website Update.

website design planRemember the early days of the Internet? Everyone went online to create websites, and in the quest to make them as interesting as possible, tossed every feature they could onto the page. Backgrounds were anything but solid colors, and the more fonts and colors you could incorporate into your text, the better. If you could add some music and animations, it was bound to get some attention, and why not impress your visitors with a hit counter, letting everyone know that 14,567 people had been there first?

Thankfully, business Web design has come a long way since those early days of sensory overload, but even if your homepage doesn’t still have a cloud print background with text in purple Comic Sans, your site could be out of date. If your site is outdated, your customers may think your business is as well.

If it’s been some time since you overhauled your business’ website, take a look to see if you have any of these issues.

Outdated Appearance

Even if your website doesn’t look like you built it yourself sometime in the late 1990s, it can still appear outdated. If it’s been a few years since you’ve adjusted the layout, freshened up the content or added new images, your customers will notice. Even major corporations with millions of customers who are accustomed to their layout tweak their website appearance every few years, and you should, too.

Don't go color crazy. A professional looking site should have a concise color scheme to it that consists of just two or three main colors. Those colors should compliment each other by either being similar within the color spectrum or by contrasting each other in a sensible way.

Also, choose colors that convey the right message to your target audience. Most colors can have sub-conscious, psychological effects on viewers. Use that to your advantage. For example, if your target audience is primarily women then research has shown that soft color palettes that use neutral or natural colors work best. Or if you want to convey an image of trust or authority then darker hues should be used. Do a search for psychological effects of colors for more examples.

Your Purpose Isn’t Clear

Why do you have a website? Is it to sell products? Provide information? Spur customers to contact you? If the purpose of your site isn’t clear to you, it won’t be to your customers. Develop a website mission, and design the site so that everything works toward that goal. Your content will be more useful and your customers will return seeking that value or recommend your site to their friends.

No One Is Responding to Your Calls to Action

Look through your site and identify the calls to action. The places where you ask site visitors to do something, like make a purchase, watch a video, follow on social media or download a special item. Use your site analytics to determine how many people are following through on that call. If the numbers are dismal, you need to make a change. Employ A/B testing of two versions of your call to see if you can identify the issue, and make changes accordingly.

Just about every page of your website should have a call to action. These days, every page is a potential entry point and if the page doesn't ask the visitor to do something then there's potential for a lost opportunity.

SEO Is Non-Existent

Visit a few search engines and type in some keywords related to your business and/or your business name. Are you showing up in the first page of results? The second? Or are you relegated to a spot somewhere on page 10? If you aren’t at the top of the search results, you need to update your site for better search engine optimization (SEO).

The search engines want to see fresh content on a regular basis now. Enable the blog function included with your website and use it to communicate about your business, your products, or your services. Even when you think there isn't anything new you could talk about, there is. You just have to work at it.

Not Mobile Ready

People are accessing the Web via mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, as much as or more than their computers now and that trend will only grow. If your website isn’t mobile friendly, you could be driving away potential customers. So take some time to overhaul the site and make it easy to view on smaller devices.

That doesn't mean every site should have a multi-page mobile optimized version though. Examine your situation and what you offer. If it's likely that mobile users will buy what you sell then do it. Or if you provide a service that people on the go might need then absolutely do it. If not, then investing a ton of time in mobile could be a waste of your resources.

Keeping your website fresh and relevant is an important part of successful online marketing. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your site is a “one-and-done” proposition. Commit to regular updates and tweaks to keep your customers interested.

Posted by: Carol S. AT 11:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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