To maximize the value of your brand, all your marketing channels should be delivering a consistent experience. With so many outlets available today for sharing your messaging, it’s easy to put your website on the back burner.
But your website is a critical component of your overall marketing strategy, and it should reinforce your brand promise just as well as you do in print or on social media. If it’s been a few years since your website had a major update, it’s time to evaluate it and consider an overhaul. To determine whether your site is hitting the mark for your brand, consider both strategic and tactical factors.
EVALUATE THE OVERALL STRATEGY
As Forbes notes, products have specific life cycles, and brands sometimes outlive products. In other words, things change. Consider the overall strategy for your site. What are you trying to say, and are you saying it as clearly as possible? Does your messaging reinforce your branding? Does it mesh with your other marketing, including social media? If the overall strategy or purpose of your site has changed, the site itself also should change.
CONSIDER YOUR USERS
Search-engine optimization certainly remains an important focus for websites; for your site to get its message across, it first must be found. But don’t forget that real people are browsing and reading your site, and your messaging needs to appeal to them. What are your users looking for? Are you actually solving their problems or simply talking about your company in the abstract? Visitors will return to an engaging, useful site, and they’re likely to become customers.
BOOST YOUR USER EXPERIENCE
Pretend you’re a first-time visitor to your site. What do you see and experience? Is the story compelling? Is the site easy to navigate if you’re just looking for quick information? Are there any technical glitches that seem frustrating?
When sites aren’t functional, users immediately look elsewhere. Your site should load quickly, with no errors or technical issues. Any third-party software like a shopping cart should provide a seamless and smooth transition for users.
MAKE IT MOBILE
Mobile devices now are responsible for well over half of all web usage in the United States. If your site isn’t mobile-ready, chances are you’re losing prospective customers who first see your site from a mobile device and quickly leave.
Over the past few years, mobile users have made their expectations clear: user interfaces that work as well as, or better than, desktop sites.
MAKE IT EASY TO UPDATE
A lot has changed in the website world over the past few years. Modern sites are much easier to update than in the past by using content management systems like WordPress. While a CMS will require a bit of a learning curve for new users, you should be able to get up to speed quickly to keep your site dynamic with frequently changing content.
GETTING YOUR SITE BACK TO BASICS
In this digital age, your website often serves as the face of your brand. Making sure it’s the best possible reflection of you is vital to your overall marketing strategy. At the end of the day, your website is speaking to people; incorporate engaging content and an inviting user experience to build relationships.