We just launched our new site, and â to be quite honest â it was overdue.Â And, it might be overdue for your company as well. As marketers, we certainly understand the growing importance of investing time and energy into our web presence, but that doesnât make it any easier to move a new web initiative forward. What did make it easier was asking four simple questions.Â By answering these questions, it became apparent to us that it was time to commit to that elusive next-gen site. We encourage you to answer these questions in regards to your current site.Â Let us know how you fare.
1.Â Does your current site represent your organization/brand well?
Most people talk about their website like they do an aging car. They use phrases like, âitâs functional,â âdoes the jobâ or âjust needs a little work.â I seldom hear a statement that makes me feel they are truly proud of their site. And, I would argue, in this era of immense digital consumption, that is what you need to do, be proud of that online extension of your company. Trust me âŚ if your people, philosophies or professional offering have changed, and your website somehow hasnât, it is probably time to move forward with a greater sense of urgency.
2.Â Is your site easy to update?
There are a lot of outstanding development software options available that are simple, powerful and affordable. WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and ExpressEngine are all well-established, proven content management systems with strong community support. If you currently have to pay an outside resource to make simple copy or content changes, you are potentially using old technology and it is costing you money and business. Take advantage of new technology â the sooner the better.
3.Â Does your site have a defined, understood purpose?
Once upon a time, websites were developed with the basic purpose of âbeing there.â These magical times were called the â90s, and launching a website was an accomplishment in itself. It wasnât meaningful or purposeful; it principally was a way to provide basic company information to early adopters of technology. Those days are well behind (most of) us. If your siteâs purpose is simply to act as a digital placeholder for your marketing message, itâs time to lace up those Reebok Pumps, upgrade that dial-up modem and start planning your next site. A great place to start is identifying your siteâs core purpose.
4.Â Does your site offer appropriate opportunities for visitor engagement?
Visitors take time to find your site. They consciously âclickâ their way through a sea of content to land on the island youâve prepared for them. More and more research supports the idea that these visitors arenât just looking for information, they are looking to actually engage with your organization as well as your content. Boil it down, and the best business opportunity the web provides is to truly dialogue with your prospects and customers. That said, the need to provide points of connection throughout your site can not be overstated. Providing opportunities for interaction isnât fulfilled with a âcontact usâ page. A great site includes engagement opportunities as part of its DNA. Downloads, live chat, sharing opportunities and real-time surveys are just a few of the growing number of true engagement tools available to enhance your communication with your site visitors. If you arenât taking advantage of these types of tools, you are most likely disappointing visitors and not fully realizing the power of modern media.
Answer these four questions honestly, and you will have answered the bigger question in the process. Do you need a new website? Let us know if you have any questions or if we can help.
Email Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org.