For most businesses, their website is like a branded bus. It drives around, picking up customers and delivering them to their destination which may be a sale, a signup or just a brand imprint. But for every website that runs like an air conditioned Mercedes, there are a dozen old junkers rolling around on bald tyres with peeling paintwork that are keeping customers from reaching their destinations.
Here are 7 reasons why you should service the bus and update your website.
- Your customers have to find your website
In order to get on the bus, passengers need to know it exists and be able to find the bus-stop. This means visibility! If your customers can’t find the timetable … how are they going to get on? Part science and part persistence … you need to be building a website with timely content, logical coding and metadata that engages customers in a way that search engines can read and reward. A key process, SEO tweaks should be conducted monthly for best results.
- Your website has to look the part
you’ve built a wonderful business that satisfies your customers needs in a way that’s satisfying and delightful, then your website needs to reflect that in the way it looks and feels. Noone wants to climb aboard a grimy bus for an uncomfortable ride regardless of the destination. And customers will form a picture in their mind of your business based on your website. So updating your website to reflect your company’s ethos and offering is critical. How often? Getting it right at the start and revisiting the vibe every 2 or 3 years is recommended.
- Your website has to be safe and secure
Web security is the seatbelting, suspension and myriad safety features on the bus that keep customers safe and ensure that it doesn’t get hijacked and sent careening over a cliff. In the online world, cyber-bastards who are motivated by greed and mischief abound.
They may be intent on smashing you through the guardrails, stealing your takings or just slowing your roll. Your software provider is constantly reading and responding to these threats, but unless your website is refreshed to accommodate these changes, your running on bald tyres! Update monthly for peace of mind and a firm hold on the road.
- Content is king for websites
If your website doesn’t have great content on board, customers will grow bored and start looking out the window at the roadside billboards. Videos are great.They’re the onboard movies on your bus and some people have a preference for video content. And for the visually oriented, some pertinent and well placed pictures need to accompany your articles. Reward is by way of page ranking and customer engagement and content should be updated every month.
- Making your website usable
Usability in our bus-metaphor equates to the ease of access for your customers. In the pre-mobile era, usability centred on the look and flow of information on desktop and laptop devices. Sites focussed on the look of pages “above the fold” and designed their content accordingly. Then came the explosion of mobility as shown below.
From virtually nothing, now over half of all page views come from the mobile phone. So in order for your customers to be able to admire your bus and operate the doors, your website has to be responsive and navigable using touch and pinch gestures. Keeping up with these trends suggests usability updates be made annually.
- Managing your website’s effectiveness
Making your website effective generally means assisting your passengers to their destination. Something like a big red button they can press that gets the bus to set them down where they want to go. In website terms, this is a “call to action”, usually a button, that takes them to a sign up or sale point. So incorporating CTAs into your website is the primary process to boost effectiveness.
That done, you want to be able to monitor and respond to users visits … just think of it like installing a CCTV camera on the bus to see how they’re behaving. This can be done on your website by watching your statistics, heat mappingvisits, tracking what’s being clicked on and tracking conversion rates. It’s something to monitor frequently but audit it at least annually.
- Make it speedy!
This means ensuring the bus is running like a German band. It needs to arrive like lightning, load like gravity and drive like Mario Andretti. In the world of instant-everything, users don’t wait around for massive photos to load or for pages to keep reloading the same data. Speed is also a consideration when search engines rank sites on their results pages, so you have the real need for speed!
This means optimising file sizes and ‘caching’ parts of your page that are constant across the many pages of the site. Not all hosting services are created equal either. Faster load times can be gained as simply as selecting a hosting account that is a geographical and technical fit for your site and its customers. Check it once then keep it in mind when you add content.
We hope this has been light, easy to understand and gets you thinking about your website and what you can do to pimp your ride. At Webjuicy, we spend our lives under the hoods of hundreds of humming websites and we’d love to help you get yours up to speed. If there’s anything we can help you with … just click here and we’ll get a human to respond within a day. Until then … stay juicy!