Like it or not, your website gives visitors an impression of your business. We’ve all seen life stages of a website as consumers, but may not have stopped to consider it.
Have you been on a website lately where you couldn’t find the date or time for an event because they still had last month up? Been sent to a broken link? Met the staff member in person and couldn’t recognize them from their bio picture? Played the Giant Finger versus Small Link showdown on your smartphone?
How about the site where you effortlessly got the event detail you were after? Read a post they just put there that morning? Learned more information than you thought you would? Easily communicate with them on their website from your phone? When you did, you either consciously or unconsciously made an opinion about that business.
There are 4 life stages of a site. What stage are you in and how do your visitors feel?
New or redesigned sites
Some new websites modestly enter and others come in with a bang and a campaign around it. In this stage you will want your visitors to feel your energy, look around and take action. Although if logins are newly required or changing, you should give your guests plenty of heads up or clear direction to avoid frustration.
It’s okay to launch without every page or detail you intended. This is the best stage to get feedback on what customers expected to see that wasn’t there yet or that they predicted they would find. It’s better to be seen as cutting edge than being cut from their choices. Enjoy this stage because it sets you up for the next one.
Time to put that feedback to work. Content is key. At least once a month is recommended for SEO advantages but find a schedule that works for you. Active sites don’t let details expire or go unchanged.
If maintenance is done internally or you’re using a team like ours, it’s worth the time. Businesses who stay relevant on their site come across as put together and can use it to stoke consumer confidence during those visits. It’s about building trust and when done well, the majority of the sales process is done for you. Stay in this stage for as long as you can.
It’s easy to get too busy and forgo making updates to your site so it just sits there as time goes on. If you designed your site to be long living it may be okay to do this for a short while. But beware of ignoring it too long – consumers want relevant information. If you are not answering new questions visitors are looking for they will keep looking and find them somewhere else.
If you think your site is feeling crowded and hard to navigate, your customers already have been thinking it too. It could be a good problem to have. There’s either been a great change in your business or more opportunity ahead. If you aren’t mobile responsive yet, you’ve definitely outgrown your site. It’s time to cycle through to the new or redesigned phase again.