Ask Haley: Is it time to upgrade your website?

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Q: My website is outdated, but I don’t really know where or how to start the process to update it. What should I do first?

A: The obvious answer is to start by defining your goals. What do you want your website to accomplish? Once you’ve made a list of the goals, spend a little time thinking about how your site could accomplish each goal.  For example, if one of your goals is to generate more sales leads, then the “how” could be an online order form or offering a free white paper to attract sales leads.

However, before you start designing a new site, start with an audit of your current site to define the gaps.

Here are some questions you should ask:

Design.

-Does the appearance of your site create the right impression of your firm?
-Does the design fit the types of clients and candidates you want to reach?
-Does the home page design clearly convey what you do?
-Does the design differentiate you from the competition?
-Do the pictures on your website tell a strong story?
-Does the design “show off” your strengths, testimonials, and success stories?
-Does the layout of each page focus people on the important information?
-Does the design lead the visitor to take a next step?
-Are your sales people proud to take prospects to your website?

Content.

-Does the home page content clearly convey what you do?
-Does every page contain a call to action?
-Is the copy engaging to read?
-Is the copy focused on clients and candidates (and not about you)?
-Does your site provide a compelling reason to work with your firm?
-Does your site help educate clients and candidates to better understand how your services provide value?
-Does the site offer educational articles, market research or other information that your sales people can reference
in their sales efforts?
-Is the copy optimized for SEO purposes?

Functionality.

-Does the site provide easy ways for people to respond?
-Can you post and maintain jobs on your site?
-Can candidates apply to jobs?
-Can employers place job orders?
-Does your website integrate with your staffing software?
-Do you have the ability to easily add content your site?
-Do you have a blog, e-newsletter or anything else that encourages a visitor to interact with your site?
-Do you have Google Analytics installed to monitor site performance?

Navigation.

-Is the structure of the website easy to understand?
-Is the navigational system so intuitive a 7 year old could understand it?
-Are the button labels easy to understand – to someone who is not a current client or candidate?
-Do you offer multiple ways to go from one page to another?
-Do you have site map?

Conversion.

-Are the forms on your site easy to find?
-Do your forms ask for anything more than you absolutely need?
-Do you have landing pages created to promote specific offers?
-Is your phone number easily available from every page?
-Do you make it easy to find your nearest office?
-Is your website linked to your social media accounts?

Once you’ve completed this “gap analysis,” you’ll have a pretty well-defined wish list for your new website. If your wish list is short, the best option may be to update your existing site.

But if you have a long list of feature upgrades, or you need to update the design, the least expensive option is most often to start from scratch. Even small design changes mean that you have to rebuild every page in your site, which is why a re-do is often cheaper than an update.

Hope these questions help!

Want our team to audit your website? Just email us at [email protected]. We’ll be happy to provide a complimentary review of your site.

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