Do You Need a New Website?
Being in the business of making and selling websites, we often hear all sorts of reasons about why a client does not need a new website. From the creative to the ridiculous, we’ve heard them all. While a new website may legitimately not be the right option for you, there is a good chance that if you haven’t done anything with your website in a year or two, it might just be a very wise business move and one that nets you positive return on your investment. It seems that all things online (The Internet, Social Media, Design and Development Tools, Standards etc.) move at an incredible pace and what might have been best practice just a year ago, may have already given way to a better, faster, or cheaper alternative today.
I have four questions to ask yourself in order to determine in a new website for your business might be the best option for you. But before I get to those, I want to show you how those things made a difference for another business/website that we’ve been working on. In an effort to gain your trust, we’re gonna pull back the curtain and be transparent. We’re going to look at our own website and the recent overhaul we just gave it. My hope is that you’ll see two things:
- That every business needs to analyze their website periodically (even web design companies)
- That the small changes you make now can act like ripples – affecting other parts of your business in a positive way.
OmniOnline: Case Study
We haven’t been delinquent with our website. Our last business website was launched in the winter of 2013. At that time we launched it, we were pretty happy with it. It was a big change from our previous one, incorporating new colors, a new logo and all sorts of social sharing and forms that we’d never had until that point. It got the odd tweak here and there. We meant well when we attempted to have various staff members blog throughout 2013. I would say it was a pretty average approach to having and maintaining a business website. But forgive us, we were busy running our business. Sound familiar?
But after several months, we started to analyze our website from a number of different perspectives. We compared it to the best new websites we were building for our clients and became more and more unsatisfied with the look, feel, ease of navigation, display on mobile devices and organization of content.
We also examined how often our social media sharing buttons were being clicked and how our forms were being used. But most importantly, we studied our SERPs (search engine result pages) for a number of the terms we thought people would be searching for us by. The results were not what we wanted or expected. We discovered that we were ranking on page 2 or 3 for most of the keywords we thought were central to our business. That’s 20 – 30 businesses offering the same services that we do, showing up for potential clients before we did. We were certain that we were losing the opportunity to gain business just from that factor alone.
We also saw that our website title, tagline and meta description were not as clear as we wanted them to be. They needed to be more accurate and more concise to help people who searching for a particular service – realize who we were and what exactly we did.
If you’re interested in doing this kind of analysis your yourself, you won’t need a vast array of tools. Google Analytics is a free and invaluable tool when it comes to figuring out what is happening on your website. From there you’ll be able to start creating a basic keyword list that you can start tracking your SERP for. For the most basic type of analysis, just these two things, Google Analytics and Google Search – as well as some time – will allow you to start tinkering and improving your website’s SERP for various keywords that are important to you.
If you are interested in doing more fine-tuned experimenting there are tons of paid tools you can subscribe to as well as free resources. One of those is called Google Content Experiments and allows you to use your Google Analytics account to see how different versions of the same page perform in terms of click-thru’s and conversions.
If you’re lacking confidence in your ability to do these things yourself, or perhaps it is time you’re short on, then lets talk. We can help with this process of course. Just head to our contact page and choose a method of getting in touch with us.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this article to find out four questions that we paid particular attention to as we developed a plan for our new business website.
Part 2 is now live – read it here!