As a small biz leader, you know that getting a website up and keeping it up-to-date with current information is a job. In fact, it often requires so much time and effort from us (or our team) that once we get one up, we tend to keep it up . . . forever. The problem, of course, is that tastes and technology change rather quickly these days.
This is complicated by the fact that more and more people check our businesses out by going to our websites before they ever have a conversation with us. So, if we’re still using the website we designed two or four or six (yikes!) years ago, we are communicating a message–but probably not the one we want to communicate.
It’s kind of like clothing. I used to wrestle with some of my staff over this one. I’d have to keep reminding them that for the vast majority of people, when they come to do business with us they bring their eyes. Whether we think customers should make judgments about us based on how we dress is irrelevant–they do! Which is why I was forever reminding them (and others), "Clothes don’t make the person, but they do make the message about the person."
The same is true for our websites. Whether we think customers or potential customers should make decisions about us based on the quality or design of our websites is irrelevant–they do The only relevant questions then are, "What kinds of messages are they currently getting?" and "What messages do we want them to get?" Everything else is extraneous.
Personally, I had to face this issue this month. It was hard for me to believe that I had actually designed my website two years ago (time flies). Realizing that, I started doing some web research on web 2.0 design changes etc. Once I did that, I had to admit, my two year old site looked very old school. In another posting someday soon, I’ll talk about the changes I made and why, but for now, I just want to leave you with the question I started with, "When was the last time you updated your website?" And I’m not talking just about content. I’m talking about a wholesale update. If your answer is any number over two, it’s probably time for an extreme makeover.
Note: If you click on each of the images, you’ll get two larger images. Then you’ll actually be able to see the differences between the ’06 and ’08 versions. Though neither is perfect, you can at least clearly see the change in philosophy and design between old school and new school (and this is only a two year difference)
To see my company’s new site up close and personal, click on http://www.makeitremarkable.com