As our businesses grow and evolve, inevitably we are faced with the necessity of rewriting our business website or starting a whole new business website. The prospect can feel overwhelming, but eventually, even the most resistant among us grows tired of embarrassment and humiliating explanations about why our website is not current.
Obviously an out of date site impacts our competitiveness, perceived professionalism and ability to attract and close new business. It costs us business revenue and hurts our confidence.
Where do you start this daunting task? Here are a few ideas:
1) Like any new strategic move, the best place to start is to consider and record your business objectives. Will your website be basically a “brochure” site, where visitors learn everything they need to know to understand your business? Perhaps you intend to collect contact information from your visitors and do ongoing marketing. Maybe you will sell your services, or products from the web. Another objective would be to establish your credibility and position yourself as an expert. You may want to use the site to disseminate information and aim for the site to become a trusted resource for your prospects.
2) The next thing you might want to do is examine and assess your current or previous website efforts as to their effectiveness in bringing you new business. If your websites have not been effective, what is your understanding about why that might be so? Some things for you to examine would be:
- Promotion of the site. Did you list the site with major search engines? Have you used ongoing promotion? Do you understand what to do to promote your site?
- You never optimized your site for keywords. Maybe you stuck in a few keywords right before you launched but by then you were so exhausted from the effort of creating the site that you never went back and did this job completely and effectively.
- You never studied or applied any search engine optimization ideas or concepts. You “looked into it” but became confused and frustrated at the complexity and expense so you abandoned the effort.
- Your site is poorly written, confusing, and not client-centric. You go on and on about yourself, but don’t talk enough about what the prospect could get from working with you.
- You have no strategy for driving traffic to your site. You put up the site and never touch it again for years — until you HAVE to revise it.
- Is your site badly designed with no thought to marketing principles, simplicity or creating identification? Did your site designer put in all sorts of “bells and whistles” but they’ve never equated to more business for you.
- Is your site poorly written and doesn’t effectively communicate the solutions you provide?
- Do you make it easy for a prospect to contact you for a consultation?
3) If you are revising or upgrading your site, there are a number of areas for you to assess.
- Perhaps it’s time to improve your branding and present a more polished professional appearance.
- You may want to design a whole new look and feel to your website.
- Consider upgrading your logo.
- Perhaps it’s time to simplify your navigation.
- Make it easy to contact you and to get “contact information”. Better yet, make it very easy to schedule a complementary consultation with you.
- Improve the quality of the writing and the marketing language.
4) Lastly, write up a list of criteria for your new website.
- Get professional marketing writing.
- Improve navigation.
- Decide on your web strategy.
- Collect contact information.
- Figure out how to drive traffic to your site.