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Ask Haley: How do I know if it’s time for a new website?

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Q: How do I know if it’s time for a new website?

A: Before I help answer your question, let’s take a look at three reasons why having a clean, informative and professional looking site is important:

  • 95% of prospective clients will check out your website before agreeing to meet with you.
  • More than 90% of candidates will review a company’s website before applying for a job.
  • One in four candidates will decide not to apply with a company because of its website.

So how do you know if your website is in need of a small facelift or complete overhaul?  Use the following as a guide:

  1. Your website is stuck in 2001. If your website looks outdated, it makes your company look outdated, and no one wants to do business with a company that’s behind the times.  If your site is stuck in 2001, you’re going to find it harder to sell your services. It’s time for a complete re-do.

    On another note, technology changes fast.  Even a great looking site needs to be updated every 3 to 5 years to keep current.

  2. Your website doesn’t convey the right message. Here’s a quick test for you. Ask 5 people (inside your firm or clients) to go to your website and tell you what they think your site says about your firm.  If all five people don’t reply with the same answer–and an answer that matches how you want to be seen in the market, then it’s time for an update. You may just need to tweak the copy and graphics, but your site needs to clearly convey a strong message about your firm.

    You should also check out your top three competitors’ sites and compare them to your own.  Which site makes the best first impression?  If you’re not the winner, it’s time for an update.

  3. Your website is hard to use. People need to be able to easily find information on your site. Can candidates search jobs right from the home page? Can clients learn about your services in one click?  If people can’t find what they’re looking for on your site, they are not going to stick around.

    A great website is well-organized and intuitive.  To see if your site works, watch someone try to navigate your website. Or you can use a tool like Google Analytics to see where people go on your site–and where they give up.  If you find pages with high bounce rates (pages where a high percentage of people exit your site), you may want to redesign those pages.

  4. Your site is static. A great staffing website gives users a reason to come back over and over again.

    One way to keep your content dynamic is to add a blog, newsletter, news section, resource center or any other area where content is frequently updated.If you would like to make updates to your website frequently, but your current website makes it difficult, you may want to consider having your website built on a content management system (CMS).

  5. Your site is hard to find via the major search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo! If you’re not ranking highly with the search engines, it is definitely time for a redesign. Improving your navigation, keywords, page titles, headlines and a few other technical things can dramatically improve your search engine rankings.

    To find out more about optimizing your website, check out our Free SEO 101 for Staffing Guide.

  6. Your site was built using tables, frames or flash. Tables, frames, and flash are tools used in building websites, and they all have their role. However, sites should not be built entirely on any one of these tools. Without going into the technical details, your website should be built using CSS. CSS is the best way to build a website because it enriches your website with SEO friendly tags, and light code. It also makes updating your website much easier, and less time consuming.

So how do you know if it’s time to update your website? The bottom line is how well is the site working for you?  Is it bringing in clients and candidates?  It is sending the right message?  Is it helping you sell more?  If your answer is “no” to any of these questions, then it’s time for an update.  By staying in the “now” with your online presence and paying attention to traffic, usability and design, you will succeed in helping your staffing firm stand out and put your best “face” forward.

If you’d like a FREE website critique or if you’d like more information on a new website, contact us at 1-888-696-2900 and we’d be happy to help you!

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