Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Why You Need To Update Your Website

Recently we decided to give our website a bit of a makeover and are loving the results. Even though the website was down for a few days and we did this a couple of days before Christmas (I know... what were we thinking?) it was worth it. There's a number of reasons to update your website and after at least a year of trading online you should know what tweaks need to be made to make it better. These ideas will come from other websites, your own discovery and, most importantly, your customers. Here's why we think it's a great idea to update your website.


Well, your version of pretty anyway. Obviously, if you're a techie website you don't want lots of flowers and birds floating around. It doesn't work because you're sending a confusing message to your potential consumer. You don't want them to ask 'have I landed on the right website?' and navigate directly away. You also don't want them to question your credibility. However in saying that, don't be too stuffy. You want to appeal to people as humans not robots (even Googlebots) so try adding a bit of colour and flamboyant font. Don't overdo it though - you don't want to look like you sell rainbows and dreams. Use lots of 'you' not 'I' in your copy and make headings and menus familiar and easy to understand. Your best bet when doing a redesign is to check out your competition. What are they doing well? Get a few ideas here and there but try not to completely rip them off!


While still looking pretty. So, somehow you need to convey all the information you want the customer to know in a few concise boxes. So... how much do they really need to know to make a purchasing decision? Well, cost and a description of what they're buying is essential. What do you offer that sets you apart from your competition? Is delivery free? There's a lot you can offer in your menu - information about your company, delivery and payment details, a list of what you provide (what is your customer looking for - make it easy!) How will this purchase benefit them? Presentation, quality, delivery time. But remember, keep it easy. Don't put too much on the page otherwise it might get lost. Steer away from overused phrases like 'one stop shop' and 'customer service guarantee'. Reinvent those to 'Specialists in XXXX' and 'smiles guarantee'. Be creative and get noticed.


If you're in retail customers need to get to the money page (checkout) in under three clicks. Homepage, product page, checkout. If you're selling something like an ebook then you pretty much want them to land directly on the page where you have your offering. Make it concise. This is what we're offering. This is what you get. This is what you need to do to get it. eg. Supply us with a name and email or proceed with payment details. Simple.


So your customers know they're in the right place you need to ask your self a few questions:

Is there a common question your customers are asking you? This is a clear indication that you need to add certain information to your site.

Who is your customer? You may want to focus on interests, age or gender. For example, if your customer is a 21 year old who is into sports and outdoor activities your vernacular needs to be young, upbeat and fresh. If your customer is in there 60's you may want to steer clear of Gen Y colloquialisms to avoid alienating your audience.

Are you meeting your customers needs? If you're wanting to attract a corporate customer, try adding highlighted information throughout your site for your customer to learn more. Do you offer corporate incentives or discounts?