Ok, it’s a big call but your website really is the most important element of your digital strategy. Yep, maybe even more important than your Instagram and Linkedin profiles. We could also argue that a website is one of the most important components to your business, full stop. It not only showcases important information about your products, your team and business story but is also where your potential clients get a real understanding of how you present your business to the world and, ultimately, make a decision to contact you (or not as the case may be).
While many companies have a web presence, many are incredibly outdated when it comes to communicating effectively with their prospects. Just as cars date, fashions change and house styles evolve, so do websites and our understanding of how best to communicate online. In fact it would be fair to say that websites and technology change at 10 times the pace of everything else around them. If your website is dated and you are using dated communication strategies then it’s highly likely that you are losing customers. Why? Because we trust web sites that are clearly being looked after and loved, more so than websites that look like they haven’t been touched or updated for weeks/months/years. As my Grandma used to say, “if you see dust you can’t trust.”
In this article, we shed light on the 7 clear signs you should look out for to determine if it is time to give your website a professional overhaul and a fresh coat of pixels.
1. It Is Not User-Friendly
88% of online customers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience and its simple to understand why. It’s 2018 and your prospects are likely to have seen thousands of websites. They are used to fast load speed, intuitive navigations and sleek design that clearly communicates your business offering.
Most businesses have a large and diverse product/service range and want to communicate with ‘everyone’. It’s very easy to try and showcase ‘everything’ you do, which can be overwhelming for visitors and water down your core offering. If your website makes it tough for your user to discover content and a headache to understand your offerings, you have not only left a poor first impression, your prospect will likely bounce off your site never to return!
2. It looks dated/ordinary/crap
If your website is over 4 years old, you are likely lagging behind in design trends. Yes, 4 years is a long, long time in the web world and, when your website just keeps working, it’s easy to put a redesign on the back burner.
It’s worth considering our thoughts and the actions we take when we buy something from a physical store.
Store A has the lights on and the door open. The floor is clean, the shelves neatly stacked. The attendant is helpful and they stock a good range of associated products.
Store B has a single light on and the door is shut. We’re unsure of whether it’s open or closed. When we decide to go inside the shelves are nearly empty and we can’t find the store assistant.
The price and product warranty is the same from each store — but which one do we feel more comfortable buying from?
If you said Store B then I clearly don’t know what I’m talking about.
The wonderful world of the web has progressed and the fight to capture your prospect’s attention is only getting more intense! From hand-made illustrations and page motion animations to dynamic gradients and responsive logos, business websites need to be fresh, memorable and, if possible, aspirational. Despite what they tell you most purchasers/clients make emotional decisions as opposed to logical decisions so it’s important to be visually appealing.
An updated and modern design isn’t just for show, it is one of the key factors in your customer’s purchasing decision.
3. Your Website Is Not Mobile Responsive
It’s official, more users are browsing the internet with their mobile phones and tablets compared to desktop users.
Nothing might be more annoying than exploring a site where you will need to use your fingers to enlarge each page to read the text or having your thumb constantly clicking on the wrong link!
Having a mobile and tablet-friendly website is important in capturing and converting a huge chunk of traffic that visits your site on the go.
4. It Does Not Accurately Reflect Your Brand
Maybe you have been running your company for a few years and your business model and clientele have been refined.
Your brand values have changed but does it seem apparent on your current website?
Or perhaps your existing website has never really communicated your brand values and you’ve just ‘put up with it’.
Whether your audience has changed or your site never been ‘quite right’, it’s important for established businesses to have a presence online that aligns with the brand and, if applicable, aligns with their real world presence.
Your website has the potential to elevate your brand to a whole new level but you’ll only promote it and guide people towards it if:
a. It aligns with your brand
b. Clearly showcases the work you do
c. You’re proud of it
Starting in 2018 web users have become savvy. We’ve all been using the internet for 20 years (more or less) and we know when a business isn’t being authentic. Ensuring your website aligns with your brand and who you are is one of the most effective ways to demonstrate authenticity.
5. Not Aligned With Your Current Marketing Strategy
Your strategy five years ago might have been to get as many enquiries as possible through an onsite contact form. Today you are trying to build authority through blogging and email subscriptions. We can relate.
But is your website geared up for your change in approach?
Whether it is a dated content-management system (CMS) or poorly designed call-to-action areas, a lack of key website features will hinder your marketing efforts. You could ‘bolt on’ a plugin here and there but in all likelihood it will look and feel like a bolt on, and will likely not be the most effective approach.
If your strategy today is drastically different from when you started your business, it is only natural that your website evolves to align with your goals.
6. It Has Poor Conversions
The aim of your business website should be to help generate leads, enquiries or direct sales — depending on the nature of your business.
If your marketing activities are constant but you are seeing a decrease in your online sales or leads, it could be a sign that your website is not connecting with your audience.
Of course, if this is the case we recommend refreshing your website. However, a redesign shouldn’t happen until you understand why your existing site is no longer winning leads. This could come back to your calls to action or it could be that the site is not structured to maximise sales and conversions. Whatever the reason it pays to analyse the reasons.
Google Analytics offers some incredible insights, as does studying your competitive space to understand what your competitors are doing differently. Perhaps even altering calls to action and measuring the response (A/B testing) will help?
Ultimately a poor conversion rate is one of the clearest signs your site needs a refresh but, as with any web design project, it’s important to make some informed decisions before leaping in.
7. It Is Not listed on Google
For any business to succeed online and win leads it’s vital that future and existing clients can find them online. Imagine looking for a business that you know exists but being unable to find it. Amateurish right? Try the Yellow Pages 😉
The internet is constantly expanding and competition is ramping up at a rapid rate. If web users can’t discover your website how are new clients finding you? Word of mouth is great but the first thing people will do when they hear about your business is Google you.
Today’s web design platforms allow design agencies to integrate Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) into a new website, ensuring new sites get the best possible kick start on search engines. Discover why SEO is important to your business survival.
If your old site hasn’t been setup for SEO or uses outdated tech and strategies such as flash graphics, hidden text or just poor site architecture, Google will find it difficult to index and, consequently, it won’t understand where your site should be listed. These are problems that plague older websites and will prevent you from reaching your potential.
Of course, these are all factors that can affect poorly built new websites (lets talk, we can help) but are more prevalent on older platforms that haven’t received the love and care they need to stay relevant.
Having a modern, fresh, intutive website is key to online business success. While there isn’t a need to redesign your website every year, taking an objective look is crucial to understanding whether your current design is helping you hit your business goals.
At Blue Wave Concepts, LLC, we not only help clients build their web presence from scratch, we actively assist businesses with their existing web presence to update and refresh their current websites with modern and proven strategies that not only enhance their brand but also delivers real business results!
Drops us an email or call and let us begin your digital refresh today!
Drones are currently dominating the world of aerial photography and videography. Their ability to ascend hundreds of feet in the air, fly over areas inaccessible to foot traffic, and carry state of the art cameras makes them ideal for capturing breathtaking photos and videos. In fact, many of the shots that drones capture would be impossible to get any other way. From overviews of construction sites, to mapping of properties, to glimpses of real estate, to stunning pictures of special events, drones are redefining what it means to take photos and videos.
And, with the right equipment and the right web design company, you can take advantage of these unique and stunning images to redefine excellent web design. A small number of digital services companies, including us here at Distinct Consulting, are beginning to take drone footage and use it in our web designs. This footage adds a new level of excellence to almost any website. Here are just a few of the ways in which you can also use drone footage to help your web design excel in Rockleigh, New York.
Drone footage is attention-grabbing.
The most obvious advantage of drone footage is that it is simply breathtaking. A short video of a drone gliding over a forest, or a photo of a sunset from 100 feet up, emblazoned on your home page, is going to grab people’s attention. They immediately notice that your images are different from your competitors’. Your stunning aerial shots might make them wonder: If this company can get this kind of image for their website, what can they do for me? And, once you have their attention, you are more likely to keep it as you use the rest of your high quality web design to communicate the ways in which your business is the right choice for them.
Drone footage is beautiful.
Of course, something can be attention-grabbing, but not in an appealing way. You can get someone’s attention by putting a scary Halloween image up on your website too, but unless you are selling Halloween decorations, that type of image isn’t likely to earn you any business. Drone footage, however, isn’t just attention-grabbing. It is also beautiful. When done right, drones can be used to catch stunning natural images of trees, animals, sunsets, sunrises, even cityscapes, skylines, and other aerial views.
These images stand out because they capture surroundings in a new way. When you are trying to build an aesthetically pleasing website, drone footage can add layers of beauty and appeal that would be hard to find anywhere else. As soon as people land on your site, the beauty of your website will make them want to stay and learn more about your business.
Drone footage is customizable.
Another reason to use drone footage in your web design is because this type of footage is extremely customizable. If you use a digital services company that has their own drone, you have the opportunity to incorporate exactly the kind of footage you need for your company. You can tailor the material you get to your brand, your goals, your location, and your customers.
For example, say you run a wedding dress boutique. You might be able to capture drone footage of weddings in which the bride is wearing one of your products. Or, if you are a real estate company, you might be able to use drones to capture images and virtual tours of the properties you have on the market. When it comes to drone imagery, the sky is the limit regarding what type of footage you capture and use on your website.
Drone footage is informative.
Finally, drone footage can help your website excel because it is informative. You can use drone footage not only to impress and engage your visitors, but to educate them too. For example, you can use drones to highlight properties you have for sale. Customers can use this footage to learn more about the property they are thinking about visiting or buying. You can use drone footage to get shots of a construction site so people know how the project is coming along. You can use footage of special events to show people the good time they will have if they hire your event planning company. Regardless of what you want to teach your visitors, a drone can provide you with the footage you need to communicate your message.
Drone footage holds a lot of promise for websites. If you want to learn how drone footage might help your own web design, contact us for more info. We use our drone and our expertise to capture and use the right footage to create a stunning website for your company.
Web Designer vs Web Strategist – Your brand goes beyond just the individual item you create to market your business. You need someone on your side that understands all the factors that will affect the success of what’s being created to help drive sales. Most designers cannot do that. They can only create what you envision. What you envision and what your clients want may be two different things. Thus you need someone that can take it ALL in, both the owner and the client side of your brand, and craft the experience everyone wants. We’re the Web Strategist first then the Web Designer.
When it comes to your marketing strategy, how much time and effort do you put into boosting your brand’s credibility? Whether you have an online store or a blog to run, it’s essential to prove your worth to potential customers to build a following.
If you work on improving the credibility of your brand, you’ll be able to generate more leads, boost conversions, and enhance engagement on your website and social media. When people are new to your business, they need something tangible that tells them you’re worth investing in as a business. It’s your duty to lead the way so that, when the time comes, they feel confident taking action and making a purchase.
Brand credibility is one element you can’t afford to skimp out on. Without it, you’ll neglect a huge portion of your target market that wants to love your brand but simply feels they can’t trust it.
Here are a few ways you can boost your brand’s credibility and see a peak in conversions.
Incorporate social proof
People are looking less and less towards the opinions of big brands and advertising and leaning towards word of mouth marketing, reviews, and the opinions of friends and family. Nielsen reports that 92 percent of visitors will trust a recommendation from a colleague or friend while 70 percent will trust a recommendation from a complete stranger. If you think your brand doesn’t need social proof as part of its conversion strategy, think again.
Social proof is about proving to your audience that your customers love your content or products. It could be testimonials, reviews, influencer endorsements, trust badges, brand logos, social media shoutouts, and so much more. If you leverage this on your website and it’s one of the first things new visitors see, they’re more likely to stick around and boost your engagement rates.
Something so simple from someone with a large following and influence can be the exact boost your brand needs to get noticed by your audience.
Engage with your audience on social
People want to feel connected to the brands they choose to invest in rather than feel like just another customer. A great way you can do this with your business is by getting active on social media and engaging with your followers. It encourages positive engagement and shows an emotional side to your brand that your audience couldn’t see before.
Big brands like Wendy’s use humor to entertain their audience while reminding them to continue buying their food items.