How does your site compare to your competitors?
Your website is the digital front door to your business. For your prospective customers, it can often be their first impression of your business (and we all know that ‘first impressions last’). Yet, if done well, your website can be a major attraction tool for new customers, and a simple way to retain your existing customers.
An effective website is not simply about ‘being online’. It’s important to present information in a clear and accessible way, and represent your brand in the light that your business represents now.
Done right, your website will clearly communicate your brand, gather useful intelligence and analytics about what your customer is looking for, and create a great customer experience. And ultimately, this can improve your first impression online, and can be a revenue generating tool.
So, how do you know when it’s time to upgrade your digital presence?
Even if your website is ‘updated’ with new content regularly, here’s a few checkpoints for your business to assess whether your website is working ‘for’ your business:
1. Does your website reflect your current brand and product offering?
Your website should effectively represent your business offering as it is now (not five years ago). There’s a strong likelihood that this has evolved over time, and if not, it’s a great opportunity to do a ‘health check’ on your business marketing and benchmark against your competitors. Similarly design trends change too - what worked for your business (and your customer) in the past may not work for you now. Consider the latest design trends and whether they’re a fit for your brand, and what your customers are looking for.
2. How does your site compare to your competitors?
If you’re not comparing your business to your competitors, rest assured that your prospective (and likely existing) customers are. Explore what your competitors are doing, and field questions with your customers to find out what they want from their digital experience with your business. Then, do better - be more specific to your target markets’ needs and what you want your website to achieve. This can be done through a competitor audit and customer research, combined with insights from your Google Analytics.
3. Is your current website ‘effective’?
All businesses will have their own definition of effective marketing - your website may be a lead generation tool, a portal or store for accessing your products, or somewhere in between. But by speaking with your customers and reviewing your web enquiries and customer analytics, you can establish who your site is attracting and whether they’re the right customers. If not, your website is telling a different story and experience to that which your customers are looking for. Measurement is the ultimate pathway to improving effectiveness, so ask your customers what they want to achieve online - then model your new website to give it to them.
4. Is your technology up to scratch?
Standards and trends change regularly, and having the right look and feel, and functionality and compliance, is important for your customer experience, as well as your web compliance. If your site is more than two years old, it probably needs to be reviewed or refreshed. According to Statista, half of website traffic comes from mobile devices, so consider whether your site is optimised for mobile devices, and check your website load time using tools like Pingdom to identify any problem images.
5. What’s happening on your site?
Your analytics will tell a detailed story of what your customers are doing on your site now, and whether this can be improved for your business. Google Analytics will tell you where the site’s traffic is coming from, where they’re visiting, and how long they’re spending on the site. If they’re not ‘browsing’ for more information, you’re potentially losing clients and engagement with existing audiences. An average bounce rate between 40–60% is considered to be OK, but if it’s higher than 70%, you will need to consider seeking expert advice.
6. Is your site secure?
Australian businesses run a 30% risk of data breach according to UpGuard. By updating your technology, you’re reducing your risk of hacking, and protecting your business’s and customer’s valuable data.
7. Is your Search Engine Optimisation working for, or against, your business?
There’s no doubt that SEO has and will continue to evolve, and complying to the latest guidelines can either make or break your referral traffic from Google. Consider your keywords and backlinks, and ensure regular updates and changes to your site to improve your ‘site quality’ metric.
8. Does your customer know what to do on your site?
Call to actions - such as buttons, images, and links - are the ‘next step’ for customers who are looking to make an inquiry. Don’t count on intuition and subtlety - your customer needs to be very clear about what you want them to do next, and in some instances, you may need to ‘spell it out’ to them.
Need an upgrade?
Contact us for a free site audit or to find out how we can help you maximise your website performance for your business.