I love analogies. Read any blog I’ve written or chat it up with me for more than 10 minutes and I’m bound to use one or two. Especially when I’m talking about work.
So before anyone takes offense to my use of cosmetic procedures to illustrate my point, understand that I’m merely pointing out differences. You’re all beautiful in my book!
When to use Botox for Your Website:
Do your images make your site look tired?
Does anyone remember hairdos that had names? The beehive, the pompadour, the Rachel? So trendy and fun at the time and yet, if you saw someone with the same beehive they had in 1972, you might question their sanity.
The key to a fresh looking website is to keep with the times. What may have looked modern and fresh when the site was built may look outdated, out of place and downright old if you’re not careful.
So let’s get specific. Take a good look at your homepage. Are there images? If not, then start there and find a modern image that conveys your branding.
If you do have an image, does it look like it was taken within the last 18 months? Is it clear? Is it personalized to your business? If you answered “Yes,” then you’re ahead of the game!
Your image doesn’t have to be complex. In fact, a simpler image can be better. If you don’t have any personalized images, pay for a good set of modern stock photos. Free stock photos get overused and nothing that is overused looks new.
This tip falls into the Botox category because inserting a new fresh image can take years off your site in seconds.
1. Idle Blogs are Lame
Psst. Hey, business owners with a blog. You. Yeah, you!
When was the last time you updated your blog? Was it January 2015 or, worse, January 2012?
You know who you are.
“Subscribe to my blog,” your website said. “It’ll be fun,” it said. So your unsuspecting website visitor goes to your blog and what do they find?
Ok. Enough blog shaming.
This is totally fixable. Sit down and in 90 minutes you can write 3 blog posts about your business, publish one, and keep the other 2 for later in the month.
“But, Trish, I don’t have time to blog.” Yeah, me neither. This blog post was due 2 days ago and my gentle natured social media manager nudged me today to finish it. I get it. It takes time, even if you know what you want to say.
If your company does not have the staff to keep the blog up to date, then the options are clear: outsource your writing, or remove your blog from your website.
As an SEO geek, I always encourage clients to stick with the blog because it helps you rank in Google, but only if you keep up with it.
This tip is Botoxy because blogs keep your site looking renewed.
2. Being Out of Touch
Do you live under a rock? Do you have a clue as to what is happening in the world at this moment? Nothing says “this website is out of touch and so is its owner” more than dead social media channels. If your social media channels exist on your website, you are essentially inviting people to connect with you socially. If your social channels are inactive, why would anyone connect?
Again, like the previous Botox tip, this is totally fixable. Share industry news, share something funny, ask an open ended question and generate a discussion and then once in a while, promote your business. That’s the magic, not so secret, grossly underused formula. Share, Engage, Engage, Share, Promote. If you reconnect with your audience and find something that is meaningful TO THEM, you can see the crows feet on your site start to disappear, right in front of your eyes. (Do you see what I did there?)
3. Your Call To Action is Hidden or Passive
All dressed up with nowhere to go?
You want your website visitors to have a clear understanding of what you want them to do. If you were hosting a party, you’d likely have food, drinks or activities at that party. Your Call to Action or CTA has the same function on your website. Don’t assume the visitors will know what to do. It is important to include your phone number or language that says “Start here” or “Buy now” above the fold on your website.
If your CTA leads to a sales page, that’s perfect. If you sell an immediate service (like plumbing), make your phone number clickable and easy to read. If you offer a service that some visitors may research ahead of time, you may want to offer some educational materials to them on your site. I’d offer that info in exchange for an email address. This allows you the ability to reach back out at a later time. This may require the help of a developer, but it is well worth it.
Now that I’ve covered a few quick fixes to give your website’s face a fresh look, let’s discuss when your site might need to go under the proverbial knife.
Signs Your Website Needs a Facelift:
Mobilegeddon. An over-the-top moniker, I know. The internet is in a battle for your attention, so it can get a little melodramatic out there.
With that said, if your site isn’t mobile ready, you do need to make that change to stay relevant. In 2014, the number of mobile searches surpassed the number of desktop searches.
If you’re not sure if your site is responsive, use your smartphone and Google your site. If the site looks like a teeny tiny version of your site, it is probably not responsive.
Having a responsive site means your website design and layout adjusts to the screen it is on. It helps your web visitors navigate your site better and improves the overall experience. This will require a developer’s help to make this update.
2. Nobody is Visiting Your Website Anymore
Eric Carmen and then later Celine Dion brought the gut wrenchingly sappy “All by Myself” to the pop culture lexicon.
There are 2 components to consider here. Have your visitors decreased? Are the visitors you get going to fewer pages?
This speaks to the overall relevance of your site and how easy it is to navigate. If you’re losing visitors, you’re losing money. When your website stops acting as the sales tool it once was, it may be time to revisit the tool as a whole.
These are 2 signs that indicate your site needs a true facelift. Nobody wants Willie Loman to be their website.
If you’ve made all of the adjustments above and you’re still not seeing the kind of leads you need, it may be time for a marketing consult, an eyelift, some backlinks, a little rhinoplasty and some mobile optimization.
I hope this post both educated and entertained you a bit. If you’d like to know if your website needs a facelift or some Botox, feel free to contact me. Initial consultations are always free.