It's never been enough just to have a good looking website, but that is more true today than ever before. With hundreds of thousands of websites in every industry, it is not enough to have the best designed or most colorful site on the web. The answer to, "If you build it, will them come?" is now, more than ever, based on your ability to drive people to your website. A beautifully designed site can entice people to click around and check out what you have to offer, but the real value is in the site's content once people arrive. So if you have been thinking about redesigning your site because you feel it is outdated or needs a facelift, consider the following:
- if you have had a website for a while you have likely built up some equity with incoming links to your site from other sites on the web; this is the most important factor that Google considers when ranking a site for search results, so redesigning your site and cause links to not function will actually hurt your overall ranking; can you instead work within the design you have and the pages you have to tweak the content, create new pages, add forms and information? The more dynamic your site is (content being added and updated often), the better your ranking will be on Google.
- while you may be bored with the look of your site, it may actually be effective for your target audience; but how do you know? Analytics; make sure you have Google analytics installed on your site. Google analytics (a free service), will provide you with details on who is visiting your site, where they are from, how long they stay, how they found you, what search terms they used, etc. It is a invaluable tool and can help you tweak and update your site to be more effective.
- consider the content on your site; does it say what you think people want to hear about you or does it address the issues that concern your target audience? Too often websites talk about how great the company is who created the site, visitors don't really want to hear how great you think you are; they want to read about how you can solve their problem. If they see their issues pointed out and addressed, they will be interested, stay longer, and call or email for more information. If you talk all about yourself, they will quickly click to the next site on the Google search
So, why am I talking so much about Google search? Because that is the primary source for information these days, for both businesses and consumers. If you need something, what do you do? Go to your yellow pages? Ask a neighbor? Call a vendor for a reference? Nope. You Google-it. And so does everyone else, so it is critically important to try to increase your ability to draw people into your site (in-bound marketing). Your website has to be a magnet. You have to draw people to it.
More on how to do that with social media in the coming days!