Almost all business is done, at least in part, online these days. When people are in the market for a new product or service, it’s highly likely that the first place they will turn is the internet. They will use Google, or they will consult their social media platforms for reviews and advice.
For this reason, I always stress to my clients that getting their website right is vitally important. Nowadays, there are so many free sites that you can use to DIY a website, it makes the design process seem perhaps a little too simple. But I believe that if you want to stand out and be noticed, there are elements that need to be considered, that a standard, free template, won’t provide.
But I’m not going to talk too much about that here. What I am going to talk about is, going back to my original point, why it’s so important to keep your website updated, and relevant.
A large part of my work, whether I’m doing a complete rebrand, working with a start-up business, or just looking at improving a company’s online image, is website design. It’s often one of the first things a client will want to discuss, because a website forms such a big part of the marketing strategy.
But it always amazes me how some businesses put so little thought into their website. There tends to be a thought process that once the website is up and live, it will just sit there and attract loads of new customers. But it really doesn’t work that way.
Websites are no longer just ‘static’
Since the introduction of social media, the way businesses and consumers use websites has drastically changed. They’re no longer just a ‘shop window’ for people to view your products and services. They are now much more interactive. Everything online is linked – we have easy access to social platforms, blogging, video, and so much more. And people expect to see elements of that across your website.
If you think about how people use the internet now, compared to even just ten years ago, the technology alone has completely changed. We are no longer tied to a desktop in order to consume online content. We can use our smartphones and tablets, which are with us most of the time. And this means that we can, and do, access our online world from wherever we are.
Because of this, online content has become much more fleeting. People need to be kept engaged, and are much less likely to spend so much time on each page or element they see on-screen. By nature, they flit between pages more quickly, because there is much more content to get through.
So unless your website has enough fresh content to grab and keep their attention, they’re just going to bounce, and read something else.
Something that I find is often overlooked by businesses is Google ranking. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve launched a new website as part of a rebrand, only for the business owner to come back to me a few weeks later to ask why they’re not appearing on the first page of Google.
What they fail to understand is that maintaining that website takes work from them, after the site goes live. If you just let it sit there, it won’t do a thing.
Google favours sites which consistently publish fresh content. That can be in the form of blogs, new product information, image updates, news sites, events calendars, and inbound links via social media etc.
To get on that front page, a company needs to be constantly reviewing and updating the right elements of their website.
As well as enticing new visitors to your site, you’ll also want people to want to come back. Give them a reason to want to do that. If your site never has anything new to offer, people are only likely to visit once, in order to get the information they need.
Return visitors are important to your business, and your website needs to have something fresh and new for them to see when they do.
Hopefully, this article has served to inspire you to look at your own website. Does it pull in new customers for you? Does it look good enough? How could you improve it?
If you’d like to chat through some ideas for your website, or another part of your corporate branding, we’re happy to help.