Cost is a huge deal when running a business, especially when you’re first launching one! When I left my full-time, comfortably paying job to start my own business it was really hard for me to reconcile certain costs. I wanted to save money where I could. Luckily, I have the design knowledge and experience to create my own branding and website but starting out without a back log of clients made simple investments feel more like expenses to me.
There were things that I knew weren’t going to be immediately necessary for me to have, but one area where I knew I couldn’t cut any cost was on my website. These days a web presence is vital to businesses of every size. Being able to reach customers who would otherwise have no idea you’re out there is huge, especially for someone like myself who relies on being able to connect with business owners and solopreneurs from all over the US.
My website is an invaluable tool that allows me to display my design and branding skills, share information and knowledge, and connect with small businesses and individuals. I have spent countless hours refining it, and truthfully tend to over think my own materials. I always have a much clearer vision when I am working with a client to build their brand.
Web design can be a big investment for businesses and if you have a functioning website you may just want to leave well enough alone, but as your business grows and changes, so should your website! Here are 5 reasons you should invest in a new website this year!
01. You need a rebrand
a. Maybe your business has been around for a while and your materials are feeling outdated, or perhaps you never properly branded yourself in the first place. Whatever it is, occasionally, your look may need a refresh. When you update your look, it would be a shame to leave your webpage in the past! Your entire brand needs to be cohesive from web to print. Branding increases customer loyalty and trust. If your website is notably different from your physical store front and print materials customers may be confused about whether it’s even the same business! A rebrand can be a great way to bring together your business’ identity and create a clear vision for you, your employees, and clients.
02. Your website is off brand
a. Much like needing a rebrand, sometimes there is simply a lack of cohesion. If you haven’t developed your website because you were focused on a physical location or mainly utilized social media more, your website could fall behind the times. If your social channels or print materials have gone one direction and your website got left behind or your content on your site just doesn’t communicate the right message you need to invest in a new site ASAP. Wherever you find brand identity issues, you should reconcile them. A properly branded website is essential to customer attraction and retention. Remember that brand loyalty is huge. You want your customers to see your colors, logo, pattern, etc. on your website as well as printed materials, and social media.
03. Your website doesn’t convert
a. If your website is bringing in traffic, but it never goes anywhere, chances are there are issues on the site that need fixing. Your customers may not know where to find the info they’re looking for or you could have broken links and not even know it. Or perhaps you just aren’t reaching your online traffic potential. If your website isn’t helping your business it could be due to poor design, lack of SEO, or weak content. You need your website to be functional and beautiful. I’m sure you can think of a frustrating web experience if you just take a second… now, did you end up working with that business, or have you been back to that site? For me (and the majority) poor design and functionality are red flags and instantly mean I’m looking elsewhere.
04. You don’t have a digital strategy
a. If you’re not targeted in your digital approach your social media posts and web content will prove ineffective. You may get a burst of activity now and then, but if you aren’t clear about what you do, what your expertise is, and who and how you can help – you need a new site. This is a lot like being off brand; you need to have a strategy that communicates your brand. Working with a professional, or just sitting down by yourself to create a clear plan can do wonders for your business. If you have been just throwing together digital media assets you may want to consider starting fresh. You can take relevant material from your old site and incorporate it to a new sparkly web presence that screams your brand and communicates the right message to your audience.
05. Your website isn’t ranking
a. Any business wants to be able to be found on the web. If you’re a local based business and you can’t be found on Google or Bing, there are most likely problems with your optimization and ranking efforts. There are several key steps a business should take to rank in local results – like setting up a Google My Business account and verifying your page in Search Console. If your business is online only, not ranking is an even bigger problem. If you are having trouble reaching potential clients and customers online, getting a professionally designed and optimized site is a must.
You may not need all the bells and whistles, but a strong website is an absolutely necessary investment if you’re serious about your business. Working with a professional brand strategist to build a website and develop content strategy is essential to creating an online presence that you can be proud of. Brand cohesion is incredibly important for businesses of every size! Your business will be legitimized by proper branding and your customers will be able to more strongly identify with your business. If you haven’t taken the time to build a real strategy or brand your business I highly recommend you invest in a new brand and website this year. You’ll be amazed at what a proper online presence can do!