Refresh For Success: Update Your Site Today - Warm Thoughts Communications
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Refresh For Success: Update Your Site Today

Posted on June 23, 2015

Responsive Website

If your oil, propane, or HVAC website was designed four or more years ago, you might still feel that it is “new enough” for the design to remain for a few years longer.

It is true that in many cases the design of a printed piece—a brochure, postcard, ad, newsletter, and so on—can hold up for that length of time.

But for a website, you have to measure in dog years.

So take a moment now to visit your own site and consider its current design. (“Design” includes how the site was coded and what content is included, and where.)

9 reasons to refresh your website’s design

Take the following into consideration when deciding whether it’s time for your site to be redesigned:

  1. Your site must be responsive

    This means they immediately adjust their presentation to fit various screen widths—desktop computers, tablets, and smartphones. Nothing says “out of touch company” today as a website that simply reduces to postage stamp size on smaller devices. (And Google is increasingly rewarding responsive sites with better rankings on mobile searches.)

  2. Your social media presence matters today more than ever

    Twitter, Facebook, YouTube: Adding these as live feeds on your site can help you deliver fresh content, improve your search rankings, encourage customer interactions (including reviews), and improve your customer care. Creating these feeds also increases your company’s general presence and entry points on the Web.

  3. Your messaging and content may well have changed

    The products or services you offer change over time…and so should your website. A site redesign provides an excellent opportunity to take stock of every sentence in your site: Is this still true? Is that missing all together? Is what we emphasized years ago still our emphasis today? Have our business goals changed? Do our navigation sections still make sense? Are these pictures/people outdated? And so on.

  4. You need a lead-development site, not just a brochure in the sky

    How many of your leads are driven by organic search results (do you even know)? If your site is informational and nothing else, you have likely lost thousands of warm leads to your competition, simply because they paid attention to search engine optimization and you did not. Correct the course—now.

  5. Google has changed its ranking algorithms

    A site’s content and structure might have attracted great search results a few years ago, but it often takes a site redesign—with a different approach to organization and how things are said—to satisfy Google’s algorithms today.

  6. You have—or don’t have—a blog

    A blog is great, because it offers a central location to feature new, compelling content on your site. But if you haven’t kept up with it, then you either need to delete it (because it makes the site look abandoned) or rededicate yourself to keeping it current. And if you don’t have one at all, you might want to insert a blog into your website for the value it can add. However you slice it, blogging can be an issue that by itself drives you toward redesigning your site.

  7. You have a site that requires a programmer to make edits

    You needed a programmer to code older sites, which meant you then needed the programmer to make any future changes. Today’s oil, propane, and HVAC websites can be created in a Content Management System (CMS) platform that allows anyone with access privileges to add or delete site content easily in minutes. This not only speeds up site communications; it also reduces your outsourcing costs.

  8. You need better security because hackers love older sites

    Older sites are easy targets for hackers, because newer patches and updates have been introduced to help prevent hacking. Why would international Russian hackers bother hacking your local oil, propane, or HVAC website? Because they can. A downed site infected with malware can knock your business out of the Web for weeks, cost you a lot of money, create bad first impressions and lasting customer frustrations, and—far worse—contribute to identity theft if the hack grabs any passwords or financial information. The newer your site’s code, the better chance you have of keeping hackers away.

  9. Your site looks old.

    Last but not least: Consider that design techniques change over time—but especially quickly for websites, as programmers develop new tricks and Web browser updates allow more flexibility and sophistication. Responsive design itself looks more modern than fixed design, because the techniques are only seen on newer sites. So look at the sites of successful service companies, as well as your competition and other oil, propane, or HVAC companies around the country. If you site looks dated by comparison, then customers could get the impression that your services and solutions are becoming old fashioned as well.

Redesign is NOT rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic

Don’t kid yourself—redesigning your company’s website is not just an exercise; it is a required business investment that must be addressed every three or so years. You need to take stock of all the above, consider the ramifications of ignoring the above, and keep your business’s online presence above it all.

An excellent place to start is to have your internal group or your agency do a full report on your site’s current status (called a site audit), as well as the status of your key competitors. (We offer free site evaluations, if you are interested.)

We are confident that you will recognize an honest need to do more than move around some deck chairs—and instead build a better ship to navigate today’s waters and those waiting ahead.

Jacob Peck

Jacob L. Peck is a Digital Account Executive at Warm Thoughts Communications. He has over 20 years of experience managing major accounts for top technology companies, including Apple, Epson, and Ingram Micro. He works with business owners and executives to acquire new customers and improve retention of existing customers in an increasingly competitive environment by developing Digital Marketing strategies that address their companies total web presence. Do you have questions about this article or how Warm Thoughts can help you? Contact Jacob today!

300 Broadacres Dr. Suite 205
Bloomfield, NJ 07003

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