Maintaining Your Website - When Should You Update?
March 29, 2016
It seems obvious but your site is a living organism that needs constant love due to a number of factors - savvier audiences, ever-changing technology and put simply your competition. With digital technology at everyone’s fingertips (even 3 year olds) we know people will look at a website with the shortest attention span to gain their first impression. We all know that the web is an amazing place for you to have brand presence and build awareness. It is also the single most captivating touch point that gives people acccess to your business any time, anywhere in the world.
You wouldn’t wear your summer wardrobe all year round so why wouldn’t you adapt your website as people and technology change? We dare you take a look at your site now - these indicators will get you started.
Check your stats, check your stats, check your stats,
Let’s face it - you don’t know what you don’t know. Make Google Analytics your friend - set it up now and watch what your site traffic like a hawk. Which pages do people visit most frequently? Which do people bounce away from? What keeps them lingering? Are your visitor numbers really low? By learning visitor behaviour you want to design and write content tailored to their needs and make sure it is easy to find - ultimately the goal is to keep them coming back or to pick up the phone to call you. This doesn’t necessarily mean starting again but a tweak here and there will make your site relevant to your audience. The beauty of Google Analytics is you can measure the success of your tweaks.
Eeeeeeeek, this is scary. You put your heart and soul into the development of your site, it took months to build and even longer to create content. Sorry but do it anyway. Find someone within your target audience (that isn’t your grandma, your neighbour or your friend - they’ll either be too kind or have no idea what to look for).
Set some parameters - tell them you’ll ask them questions about what they like, what they find uninteresting or irrelevant.
Now just observe the way they navigate the site. Only ask them questions if you think you can learn something.
Once they’ve looked at the site and they’ve answered your questions, ask them more. It is important to ask these after their visit so they aren’t lead - what do they think the business does? How do they perceive the brand? Would they share your site? Delve deep to extract and find valuable insight that you can use to adapt your site.
Another key indicator for your site (even though some may not like to admit) is keeping ahead of the design front. Does your site look like it was done years ago? Has your brand gone through any changes since your site was built? Has your audience changed at all? Have any of your business goals changed? Is your site laden with cheesy stock photography? Are the images American looking but your brand only plays in Australia? Was it built more than two years ago, or does it display outdated design trends? Is it responsive for mobile, tablet and all other devices? Again, present these questions to an unbiased audience, to avoid unwanted “website pride” (or call us, we love giving design critique!). All of these points contribute to the overall confidence and credibility your site is portraying.