At the risk of dating myself, I’ll admit that I remember a time before the Internet was a thing we all had – a time when dial-up connections were only available in affluent households, when getting online was reserved for conducting business or researching for school. Hardly anyone had a website because even if you had one, who would see it? Today, that is a distant memory: if you don’t have a website, you don’t exist. But it isn’t enough to just have a website. Your site has to communicate key pieces of information, be easy to use across an ever-widening variety of mobile and desktop browsers, and look good.
It’s also important to evaluate your site every once in a while and make updates to keep your pages accurate and competitively relevant. Have you looked at our website lately? Just this week, we completely revamped our design and streamlined our content. We switched from a more traditional hierarchical architecture to a sleek one-page design, and our messaging now captures the key points we want to share.
Why the change?
In 2014, we had a robust site filled with all kinds of valuable resources for anyone to access; people could get a lot of valuable material from the site without ever speaking to anyone on our team. A little over a year ago, we stripped everything down to barebones information with the goal of making personal connections before giving away our resources. Unfortunately, that design didn’t have the impact we hoped for – the main feedback we received was that it was difficult to determine what services we offer, and without that information, clients were reluctant to reach out to us. We had to address this disconnect.
In the new design, you’ll notice a lot less text and a lot more links – we’ve clearly subdivided our service offerings by type rather than by business function, and virtually every click invites you to connect with us. Our power statements relay the big ideas behind the work we do, to capture the essence of our approach and inspire you to take action. In case you still aren’t sure about working with us, we’ve added testimonials from satisfied clients to convince you. While we still don’t provide resources free of charge, the information we’re presenting is clearer and speaks more directly to our clients’ needs.
How’s your site?
Whenever I visit a site, I quietly judge it in my mind, taking note of things like obnoxious ads, distracting design elements, difficulty locating the content I want, bad grammar and spelling, broken links, and other such detractors. If a site has a lot working against it, you can bet I won’t be back, and I am not alone – people no longer have the patience for a bad user experience, and they’ll move on to something better.
To your visitors, the quality of your website directly correlates to the quality of your business. If your website is terrible, people will assume that you business is terrible, or that at the very least, you don’t care that your website is terrible, even though it puts your business in an unfavorable light. Either way, that isn’t the impression you want to give. Think of your website as the digital face of your company, and care for it the way you would your own appearance.
When was the last time you took a critical look at your website? When was the last time you looked at your competitors’ sites? If you don’t know, or if it’s been more than a few months, then it’s definitely time to revisit your design and content. Trends and technologies change rapidly and continuously, so don’t get left behind!
Need an outside perspective? Marquis Leadership consultants are here to help. Whether you need to build a comprehensive digital and social media strategy, conduct a website usability study, perform a complete content audit, or just get a sense of the health of your web presence overall, we’ve got you covered. Connect with us today to get started!
Sarah Reebs holds a Master of Communications in Digital Media from the University of Washington and is the Communications Manager at Marquis Leadership, providing global business consulting services that accelerate what leaders do best.