So you and your website have been through a lot. Ol' Faithful has been around since you landed that key client, hired your first employees, and started your newsletter. It's treated you well, but maybe, just maybe, it's time to move on.
Look, we know it's easy to get attached to your website. Especially if it's still sending traffic and sales your way. But sometimes, we stick with a good thing long after it's time to move on - often due to sentimentality, inertia, or even uncertainty about what's next.
Here's when to rethink your current website - and how to launch a sparkly new one into the world.
Gettin' Retro With It: Is Your Website Outdated?
Looking around retro designs has made a comeback on the market, but in general, websites aren't among them. Here are some signs that your website needs a makeover.
- It looks and feels outdated. Take a look at your competitor websites. Does your website fit in with what your competitors are doing? If your site's lagging behind, it's time to rebrand. (Caveat: if your competitors are all behind the curve, now's the time to get ahead and stand out in all the right ways.)
- It's slow to load and requires old-school plug-ins. Speed, seamlessness, and mobile adaptiveness matter these days. Websites that score well on Google's new Core Web Vitals go to the top of Google; those that don't go to the back of the line. If your website flunks the Core Web Vitals test, relaunching is the way to go.
- It doesn't reflect what you're all about. Your website is a critical part of your branding. If you've expanded your product and service lines, overhauled your brand identity, or are targeting a new audience, a website do-over might be in order.
- It's not optimized for content marketing. Sure, a static website is hands-off and easy to maintain. But websites without a CMS (content management system) make it hard to add blogs, landing pages, news updates, social feeds, and other vital items for a robust content marketing strategy. Don't let your website prevent you from reaching your audience - or your audience from reaching you.
- It's not secure. All websites should meet recommended security standards. If you're gathering personal information or payment data, it's your responsibility to make sure your users' safety isn't compromised. A website with security holes should be upgraded, pronto.
Launch, Launch, Baby: How to Promote Your New Website
Decided that a new website is the way to go? Don't kick back and coast until the day it goes live. Launching an updated or all-new website is a great branding opportunity, so get on that promotional bandwagon asap.
Here's how to promote your new website:
- Tease your launch with a landing page. If you're spinning up something brand new, create an enticing page that hints at what's to come (this is a great way to capture emails, too!) If you're refreshing a current webpage, you can tease with a banner or pop-up.
- Create a "coming soon" campaign. Use your social and newsletter accounts to alert customers that something new and exciting is coming - and reward users for stopping by when the new site goes live. A discount, freebie, or exclusive content are all great options.
- Leverage paid ads. Create an updated paid ad campaign that teases your new branding or content, and use this to funnel people towards your new site. Focus on what's new about your offer or branding rather than the new website itself.
- Send out a press release. Send out a press release to the media and add your site (if relevant) to sites like Product Hunt and Hacker News. This works best if your site has some useful, functional features or will coincide with a product launch or sale.
- Get on the PR train. There are a ton of promo opportunities out there for experts and thought leaders, so use the time leading up to your launch to get your name out there through interviews, guest blogs, and feature articles. You'll get a ton of backlinks - and traffic.
- Make sure your SEO is on point. Your site needs to get human attention, sure, but it also needs to catch the eye of web crawlers. Do an SEO audit to ensure your site is Google-friendly, and don't forget to submit a sitemap.
- Host a virtual launch! Depending on what you do and how big you are, your new website might be enough of a big deal to justify an event being held in its honor. While in-person launches are probably likely to be small-scale in the era of COVID, a virtual launch can send a ton of attention and traffic your way.
While You're Here, Come Check Out Our New Website!
Surprise! There's a reason we've been delving into the hows and whys of launching a new website. The team at StellaPop has been hard at work building a killer new web presence, and we can't wait for you to see it. For a heads-up on the big launch day, sign up for our newsletter, follow us on social, or keep checking back!