Please update your old, creaky website. It’s time.
I don’t know about you, but I set some goals for business this coming year. I want to launch a 2 new products, blog 2x per week and make a profit at my brand new business…just to name a few. I also wanted to launch a new website, since the old one didn’t really work well or give my readers any idea about who I am and what my brand is about.
And as I was looking around for some inspiring website ideas…I was shocked to see how many sites have not been updated in years. Like have you been on Nordstroms.com lately? I swear it’s the same site from 2006. The navigation is funky, the links are FUGLY and its just generally looking kinda old.
Since I have been in the web business for some time, I decided to write a post today on what kinds of things you should be thinking about to take your small business website from drab to fab!
First things first, that website you built 2007 is old and busted. Sorry, I know its tough to hear. Maybe you are attached to your site, you shared lots of good memories. But listen up folks, the way we do business has changed so much in the last few years, heck, just in the last year alone, customers might be leaving your site because it looks dated.
Chances are, the last time you updated your site, it didn’t include links to social media or even a blog. It’s time to face the hard truth that your site could use a makeover, maybe the way you do business too. Now a days things are meant to be shared.
22 website ideas for your small business website makeover
So let’s think about it for a sec, what does the site of your dreams look like? What websites do you love? Just like when you go to the salon, you look at pictures to get ideas about what to do with your hair, start to do this with your site. Does it have more photos, does it have news, does it have a contact form? Here is a quick list of the questions you should ask yourself as you start to think about what your pretty new site should include. Have fun with it, get wild!
- What is the primary aim of your website, how will it advance your business?
- What are the secondary goals of the site, what else do you need to communicate to your users?
- What kind of site do you need?
- Who is your target audience? What age group is your market in, what industry?
- What are the important elements of your site? What needs to be there, what isn’t working and can to be left out?
- Have you checked your analytics, what are they telling you about the traffic on your site? Do you even have analytics?
- What design elements you want incorporated? Make a list of some favorite sites, collect photos, links etc.
- Timelines and budget. How much time do you have and what can you spend? Get these both decided web developers will ask!
- Do you simply need a makeover of the site you currently have? Or do you need to start from scratch?
- How are people going to share your content? Can they tweet, share or like one of your items or posts?
- Who will host the site? When was the last time you checked to see how much you pay? Is there a better deal out there?
- What should the site look and feel like, what emotion(s) are you trying to convey?
- Do you need to stay consistent with other marketing materials, brochures etc? Do you need to update your print materials as well?
- What kinds of media need to be displayed PDF’s, photo galleries, videos, audio ect?
- Social Media, do you want to link to your Facebook page, Twitter, Flickr? Do you want to incorporate a blog and or an RSS feed?
- Is it time to update your logo?
- Where should you include a call to action? You know, those little buttons that invite you to “learn more” “sign up now”.
- What is the desired action you want your customers to take? Sign up for a newsletter? Buy a product? Contact you?
- Who will build it? Start to get quotes, from web teams look through design portfolios, ask your friends to recommend someone.
- Should your new site include features such as a shopping system, a database?
- Do you need to be able to update it frequently? Post news and updates?
- Will your new site need SEO (search engine optimization)?
Start to work on this list and generate your list of website ideas.
Once you have some ideas together, contact a web developer/ designer team. Remember, you don’t want to hire just a developer or just a graphic designer. Someone that says they can do both is probably mediocre at both. Hire someone that you enjoy working with, that you feel is fair and honest and that really believes in your business.
Hire a project manager, someone who speaks geek and can speak artsy lingo too. They will save you the headache of trying to communicate with someone that speaks another language and will manage the process for you. And if you can, hire someone to help with SEO, unless you understand SEO, it can get really complicated really fast.