From The Rock

Is it time for a website redo?

By | May 29, 2014

An organization’s website is oftentimes the first or second impression for a new customer, and if the site is outdated, dysfunctional or unorganized, it could be the No. 1 reason customers aren’t calling. The Obsidian team recently attended a PRSA Memphis luncheon where Amanda Mauk, digital marketing manager at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, walked attendees through the long process her team went through to develop Le Bonheur’s new website. I was amazed at the insight she provided and was impressed by the level of organization it took to complete their final website.

That discussion got me thinking. When should a company redo their website? Well, there’s no clear or definite answer, but Amanda’s presentation gave me a few ideas. Many of our clients, new and long-term, ask us what we think about their websites and if we think it’s time for them to update. It truly depends on a number of things, like budget, goals, purpose or potential rebranding. Let’s start with a few questions:

  1. Did you create your website yourself?
  2. Do you have to pay boatloads of money just to make a few content changes on your site? And, does that take forever?
  3. Is your website stuck on the second page or further of Google organic results?
  4. Do you have the right amount of content on your site?
  5. Can you track results or leads from your website?
  6. Is your website compatible with Google? (Is the platform doing its job when it comes to search engine optimization?)

If you answered “yes” to the first three questions (and you aren’t an expert web developer) and answered “no” to the last three questions, it may be time for you to redo your site.

Jumping into a website redo is no easy task. I think one of the first and most important things to remember is that you should not rush. It’s important to get it right so that your investment does not go to waste. Amanda talked about how Le Bonheur’s website redo took a year to complete, but the end result was exactly what they wanted and needed.

Secondly, don’t go with the cheapest company you can find to redo your website. Go with a company who has proven results and a great track record. Ask for a list of clients you can speak with about their experience before you make a decision.

Thirdly, identify your target audience. Drill it down to exactly who you believe the primary customer utilizing your site will be.

Then, make sure your company’s branding materials and messages are consistent across the board. Your collateral should also match your website.

Finally, don’t do it alone if you don’t have to. Form a website committee that can work together to complete the redo. If you don’t have someone to help, ask friends or family to review your content and the proposed design before you finalize the project.

Whether it’s the right time for you to completely redo your website or not, don’t let the site become stagnant. Take time often to update sections with relevant information. Otherwise, people will stop visiting.