Online marketing (including web design) is one of the fastest, most rapidly developing industries. Containing a mix of marketing, technology and communications, the principles and tactics required to be effective can change every quarter. The way users interact with websites advances just as frequently. Keeping up with all of these changes can feel quite demanding. It may also feel like you put a lot of money and time into redoing your website, only to go through the same process 2-3 years later. This results in the big question: How often should I redesign my website?
There are three main symptoms the come up 2-3 years after a website redesign:
- The website no longer represents our company.
- The competition’s site “looks better”.
- The number of leads generated are not improving.
When you first launch a new website, those three symptoms do not exist. In fact, it is the direct opposite response. After launching a new site, most web designers hear something along the lines of “We’ve already made our money back.” or “This looks awesome!” But, what happens over the course of time if the website is left alone? Let’s take a deeper look into each of these symptoms.
Your Business Changes
Companies evolve over time. As your business grows products and services improve, internal staff changes, and branding matures. Any combination of these three factors require that the message and communication on your website evolve as well.
If you launch a site and leave it untouched for two years yet your products, staff and branding changes, the website becomes “outdated” in comparison to the current status of your company. The issue here is that the website was left untouched while the bar for excellence is continually rising.
Marketing Tactics Change & Your Competitors Stay Ahead
The same marketing tactics that worked last year may not be as effective this year. New tactics are formed. If you are not actively staying up to date with the market, you will fall behind. Because most business owners do not have time to actively follow marketing trends, it is critical to hire marketing personnel to be responsible for this (more information on this below).
Unless you are at the top of your marketing, you’ll probably find that the competitors are spending more on marketing than you are. As long as they spend more time, resources and take action to do marketing correctly, they will stay ahead.
The Website Lifecycle
Most businesses go through what is called a website lifecycle. The website becomes outdated and it needs to be redone every few years. Similar to depreciation, your once well-oiled machine slows down. This chart illustrates what happens to your website during this cycle:
This reactive approach is expensive and time consuming. Fear not – there is a proactive solution to the website lifecycle problem.
The Website Future Proofing Solution
The key to stopping this expensive and time consuming website cycle is to actively improve it. Immediately following the launch of a website, start improving it.
“Improving the website 10% each month will result in a 120% improvement in the next year.”
There are three main tactics you can utilize to future proof your website:
Hire Someone to be Directly Responsible for Your Website
If you don’t have time to stay on top of the latest website trends, hire an expert. Hire someone who is able to develop and implement effective online marketing strategies to grow your business. Just like you would hire an accountant, a sales team or a fulfillment team, put a plan in place to make sure your online marketing is always improving. Improving your sales is a direct result of improved marketing.
Start focusing on the items that will grow your sales (and ultimately grow your business). Staying on top of your website will improve leads, which improves sales, which improves production and so on. We accomplish this by having a monthly meeting with our clients about how their website is performing. This proactive approach allows for increased lead generation and saves money in the long run.
Grow Qualified Traffic to Your Website
More leads are a result of more qualified traffic. I say qualified because more traffic does not necessarily mean more leads. Highly qualified traffic is much more likely to convert to a customer and make a higher sale.
Driving more qualified traffic to your website can be completed in various ways including:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) (Getting found on Google)
- Pay Per Click Ads
- Content Marketing
- Social Media
The key is to find the best routes to drive traffic. The idea is to prove the sales process, test it, then repeat. You’ll end up with a highly efficient conversion machine. Because you are continuously testing and modifying your process, it won’t become outdated.
We design ongoing marketing strategies, implement the tactics, test the response and bring back reports to measure the increase of sales. It ultimately results in a greater increase in leads (and sales) and a lower customer acquisition cost.
All in all, you should be proactively improving your website so that you don’t have to redesign it every couple of years. By continuously improving the website over time, the list of outdated and ineffective items doesn’t exist.
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