Does your website need a makeover?

  • Categories:

    Digital Platforms

  • Date:

    May 12, 2022

Does your website need a makeover?

Digital Platforms

What I am about to share with you is the worst-kept industry secret ever: Your website is the most important element of all of your marketing efforts. Duh, right? It sounds so basic and rudimentary, yet it is easy to forget, overlook and leave unattended.

Your company’s website is the destination for all of your digital traffic, and you may spend a good amount of money to drive people there. The last thing you want is for your audience to be confused by your website, unsure of who you are or what you do.

While this blog doesn’t speak to your website specifically, I can provide you with some areas of insight, sharing with you a new perspective on which to view your MVA (most valuable asset).

The best way to evaluate your website is to ask yourself and your team these three questions:

  1. Is it achieving our desired results?

  2. Does it effectively represent our brand?

  3. Is it responsive?

You’ll want to answer these questions carefully. If you can’t confidently check off any or all of the boxes, it may be time to consider a website overhaul.

Does our website achieve the desired results?

This question is both simple and complex to answer.

You’re basically asking yourself, “Does it do what we want it to or not? Is it achieving our goals?” For example, if your goal is to sell X number of products, have your sales been increasing or on the decline?

That’s the simple part. Now we add more complexity into the mix.

To accurately gauge your website’s efficacy, you need to understand what users do when they’re on your site. Analyzing your bounce rate is a great way to do this. “Bounce rate” refers to the percentage of users who land on your website but exit it without ever navigating to any other pages.

A high bounce rate means users aren’t having a good experience and can’t find what they’re looking for. According to Semrush, as a general rule, an optimal bounce rate is between 26% and 40%. The only exception to this rule is if the majority of visits are via paid traffic, which typically has a much higher bounce rate due to the larger volume, as you’re casting a wider net and capturing people who are potentially less engaged and/or familiar with your brand.

Bounce rates will vary from page to page, but there is one part of your website that must have a lower bounce rate: your homepage. It’s like your company’s billboard, because it's your best chance to make a quick, positive impression. If people are quickly exiting your site after seeing your homepage, you have a problem.

Does our website effectively represent our brand?

Because your website is often the initial contact with and the first impression customers and prospects have of your brand, it’s important to know that you are portraying your company, its products and services, and its values accurately. Clearly conveying your mission and values can drastically influence your target audience.

Your website is a way for your customers to glimpse your brand’s soul and how you view yourself. Are you portraying yourself truthfully and showing them why they should care?

Every page on your website should set clear expectations for users on what the page is about and why it will benefit them. What is that page showing prospective customers? “You should care about this page because …”

Much of this may seem elementary, but you’d be surprised how many brands forget to answer these basic questions and immediately alienate their audience as a result.

If you aren’t telling people why they should care about who you are and what you do, you are wasting everyone’s time.

Is our website responsive?

A responsive website is one that effectively scales down based on your screen size. It provides a similar experience regardless of whether it’s viewed on a desktop computer or a mobile phone.

The statistics on how people have consumed the internet over the past eight years are intriguing. According to Contentsquare, more than half of internet traffic worldwide is via a mobile device.

This data shows that your website experience needs to be just as good on a smartphone or a tablet as it is on a desktop or laptop computer. Maybe you’re of the ilk who like to see it on the normal computer screen, but the information is pointing more and more toward a mobile-first experience. If your website isn’t responsive or appealing to these users, you are going to lose customers — if you haven’t already.

Page loading times are another major factor to consider. Long gone are the days when 10-second load times were OK. According to HubSpot, website conversions suffer by nearly 5% with each additional second of load time. This information-in-an-instant mentality is especially important to the aforementioned mobile audience.

If your site isn’t able to accomplish these two aspects effectively, you could be flushing away thousands of dollars in paid media, not to mention the organic traffic you have worked so hard to attract.

Where do we go from here?

Earlier I told you that if you can’t answer these questions confidently, it may be time to consider overhauling your current website.

With that in mind, how did you do? Do you think your site is up to snuff, or is there room for improvement? I don’t expect you to drastically change your website strategy based on this piece, but I do hope this is a valuable wake-up call if your site is lacking in some areas.

Too many quality brands are losing customers and money because they fail to invest in their MVA: their website.

Do you want to develop a website that effectively speaks to multiple audiences at once? Read my article on website best practices and dig into a brand that checks all the boxes.

Explore more articles from Wray Ward.