When you launched your business, one of the first things you probably did was spin up a website. Though it's served you well since then, we're willing to bet that it's chugging on a little slow these days - and maybe developed the digital equivalent of a few leaks. If you want an online presence that can help you swim with the apex predators in your industry, it's time to upgrade from the digital equivalent of a dinghy to a boat with all the bells and whistles. Or, to paraphrase Roy Schneider's famous Jaws line, you're gonna need a bigger website.
Continuing our Sharkapalooza theme, let's take a look at the hows and whys of a website that will blow your competition out of the water.
An Up-to-Date Website is a Sink or Swim Situation
Like anything, websites need ongoing TLC and maintenance. But those tweaks to your "About Us" page and fresh new images will only take you so far. Sometimes a total overhaul is needed. Here are a few reasons why it's worth shopping for a new and improved digital "vessel" to keep your brand moving forward.
- Your design is old-school. Website design trends change with shifts in technology and user expectations. If your website doesn't match up to present-day design and accessibility standards or isn't optimized for mobile, you're throwing potential traffic back into the ocean.
- Your site lacks crucial functionality. Does your site let users shop, sign up for newsletters, take advantage of real-time customer support, or browse a stunning interactive portfolio? If the answer's no, and any of those are a crucial part of your business, you're doing yourself a disservice. A site upgrade will help plug those leaks so that you can set sail towards greater profitability.
- Your server can't handle the traffic. If your site traffic has grown along with your business, you'll want to make sure your site can ride the wave. Scaling up your website's backend will reduce downtime and lag - ensuring a 404 error message won't take a bite of your business.
- Your site doesn't reflect your brand. Has your brand identity shifted, or has your business launched a whole new product or service line? If so, your website needs to be reworked, so it's in line with who you are and what you do.
Now that you know the signs that indicate your website is in deep water, here's how to bail yourself out.
How to Get Your Website Sea Ready
You're ready to escape the doldrums of outdated web design in favor of better waters. This is what to keep in mind when updating your website for the modern era:
- Rebuild with your brand in mind. Before you start on a site revamp, have a plan in mind. What information needs to be included on your site? What functionality is vital? How will your voice and brand identity come across? For smooth sailing, always lead with your brand.
- Optimize your content plan. Today's users scan rather than read. Ensure that your site is easy to navigate, with plenty of white space, informative headings, and compelling CTAs.
- Give yourself room to grow. No business stays the same forever, so make sure your site can be adjusted, scaled, and expanded as your products, services, and traffic all expand. This may mean a flexible template, the possibility to easily add a shop or extra server capacity.
- Design according to current best practices. Your new site should align with current design recommendations, including responsive design practices. For some ideas, check out competitor websites and take note of what they're doing. And don't skimp on quality photography, multimedia, or typography.
- Pay attention to SEO. Every website should thoroughly be search engine optimized. While Google's algorithms change from time to time, their goal is always the same: to unearth relevant, useful, usable content. You can optimize your SEO by getting strategic about your content, optimizing your tags and titles, ensuring you meet accessibility standards, and minimizing load times.
Are you trying to hunt down a great white in a boat that just won't cut it? The team at StellaPop can help. Drop us a line for expert advice on building a website that can handle anything the market sends your way.