Is your website working?

Your website is arguably one of the most important things you need to market your business. You can’t market on social media without a website. It’s the point of contact between your business and the world around it; anchoring your spot within the virtual marketplace, exposed for the whole world to browse through to get an idea of who your business is. Meanwhile, Google's algorithmic robots are continuously crawling through the site to decide how important your website is.

Just like a living, breathing, growing thing - your website needs to be looked after. There’s a broad list of things to cross off when creating a website for your business. It’s not a two-minute job, and it requires careful thought and planning.

It needs to meet your branding guidelines to a tee, it needs to convey all the most significant and appealing information about your business, and it needs to be able to act as a communication platform that prospective customers can contact you through.

Oh, and it also needs to work.

The chances are, you've probably sat back and let your site do its own thing in the virtual universe. If your site is getting on a bit, then it might need some tweaking. Think of your website as a virtual property. Your domain is your home. Over time, houses are cleaned, plumbing is tweaked, new furniture is bought. We don't buy houses and then do absolutely nothing with them for 5 years.

Your website is the same, websites need to be monitored, regulated, and protected.

So, it might be time to ask yourself: Is your website working? Like, really working? And not just in terms of function - but does it still work for your business? We explore the signs that it might be time to take your site in a new direction and visit some of the questions to ask yourself regarding the functionality of your site, and how to determine your site’s value.

Common signs you need a new site

It might be the time to begin thinking about developing a brand-new website if any of these things are happening simultaneously.

  • Slow page loading speeds
  • High bounce rates
  • A lower percentage of conversions than what you originally started with
  • You haven’t updated your site in at least three years
  • You struggle to navigate your site
  • Your brand has outgrown the site
  • Web traffic is low
  • It isn’t mobile-friendly 

Grade your website to see how it is performing you'll also get a list of  actions to improve your websites SEO today.

Function

The chances are that you’ve probably paid a lot of money for someone to build your site. When your site is in the capable hands of a web developer, it’s easy to assume that it’ll be fine forever.

But it’s still important to get yourself familiar with your own site and get to know exactly what page links to what. If you pay for site management through an external company, then perhaps ask for a monthly report of your site’s health, as this can help you keep on top of the back-end health.

Ensuring that your site is backed up is fundamental too - particularly if your site deals with customer orders, subscriptions, or online booking systems.

Sometimes, the original site design becomes too clunky for fresher technological advancements, or for your new business endeavours - calling for an upgrade. Something that worked a few years ago, might not serve your website anymore. This is particularly noticeable when your site has been passed around several different marketing companies who have tweaked the site in different ways. Your website ends up being a ‘franken-site’, consisting of mismatched parts. 

The thing with websites is, they’re easy to tweak to get you results for that one thing you needed a few months ago. But now that tweak has affected something else. So, any more tweaks that happen need to be done with the original tweak in mind. Web management is complicated. Things can’t always be done willy-nilly. There are rules, and if your second language isn’t code - then things can get confusing very easily.

Test, audit, feedback, repeat

There’s never too much testing you can do on your website. Get feedback from other users. They might have spotted something that might have gone completely unnoticed. Go back to the drawing board: what’s the most significant thread of content you’d like your customers to browse? Is your main content easily findable, or is it embedded within a complicated chain of links? Keeping your site easy to navigate and displaying your hero content are key things to consider. Ensure that your most important content is easily found and ensure your 'call to action' buttons can be spotted a mile off.

These are all basic, common-sense website fundamentals. It's easy to get wrapped up in abstract ideas that might be technically impressive, but which don’t really offer your customer easy solutions or simple navigation. When it comes to your website, simplicity is always better. Leave the technical intricacies to the web structure, and keep the face of your site uncomplicated, making it as easy as possible for your customers to ask for help or purchase your products/services.

Does it work for your business?

Over time, your business will change, develop, and grow and your website is synergetic with your business. So, as your business grows, your site will move along with it.

But it's important to consider whether your website is still working for your business. Does your website still suit the business that you've morphed into? Does it still accommodate and reflect new business ventures, new product lines, or perhaps even new philosophies or beliefs? If your website no longer fits your desired branding and no longer has the 'look and feel' that you wish to portray to the world, then it might be worth relaunching a new site to fit some fresh branding.

Look at your web analytics and revisit the stats. Has your bounce rate increased? Have your orders plummeted? What's your frequency of contact form enquiries? Perhaps you've made changes to your business that just aren't reflected well enough on your website. Or perhaps there are changes to the market that your site simply hasn't caught up with as well as your competitor sites have. Just as your business keeps up with the ever-changing market, so should your website.

Oh, and while you're here...

Speaking of new websites, check ours out. Method has undergone a rebrand, and we've got a sparkly new site to match it. With a new logo, fresh colours and revamped content; we've had an aesthetic upgrade to better suit the business we've become. Have a look around, get to know it and who knows - maybe we'll inspire you to treat yourself.

Time to grow your business