Is your website working for you? When was the last time you really reviewed it? If it’s been a while, or you aren’t sure what to look for, you must keep reading.
If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll notice something is different; my site has a brand-new look and feel. But that’s not all.
The story behind my website redesign
Six years ago, I sat looking at my shiny, new website.
I loved it. The branding, the design, everything; it was perfect. It was very unique, and it was like nothing I’d seen elsewhere in the industry.
For years, I received positive comments about my website (and still do). But while my website looked very pretty, it didn’t seem to be working for me anymore. And the types of enquiries were showing that.
Your website should be working for you
A website is more than a place to collect contact details (or to give them). It should bring your ideal customer to you and help them qualify that you’re the right person to work with because you have the solution to their problem for a price they’re willing to pay. This helps weed out low-quality enquiries, so you can focus on the ones most likely to become actual business.
Scrutinising website performance
I’ve always used Google Analytics to track my site’s performance – please tell me if you have a business you use this amazing reporting?
On the surface, things looked fine, and I could see plenty of site visits month-on-month. But late last year, I noticed something was off. When I looked a little deeper, I saw that while I was getting plenty of people to the website, it wasn’t translating into the right enquiries for my business.
At first, I put it down to the economic climate, which likely had an impact, but my gut told me I was missing something.
I went back to my analytics, looked deeper, and found it. While I was ranking high in the search results, I wasn’t ranking for the keywords (search terms) that would get me discovered by my ideal client.
Finding a website designer
I connected with web designer and developer Holly from This Demanding Life at a networking event some years ago. We kept in touch and were chatting in December about email marketing, something we both love doing. The subject of my website arose, and I explained the planned tweaks to my copy to improve the site’s SEO.
But with a fresh pair of eyes on the site, it was clear that my website needed more. It needed a design overhaul for any SEO updates to be truly effective.
A fresh pair of eyes to review the website design, usability and accessibility
From talking to Holly, it was clear that a lot had changed in six years. The way users view content has shifted, and making text punchy and scrollable is important. The world of UX (user experience) had progressed, and my website wasn’t user-friendly by today’s standards, nor was it up to date with developments in accessibility, for instance, for people with sight impairments. These are all issues that Google penalises you for that affect your ranking in the search results and, therefore, in the end, your ideal client finding you.
Redesigning Vintique’s home on the web
The redesign has been a real labour of love. Holly has worked so hard listening to my wants and needs. She fully immersed herself in the wonderful craft of upholstery. She’s actually become a customer, too. Holly inherited her Nana’s chairs, and both have received the full Vintique treatment.
From our first conversation about the website, I knew Holly was perfect for the job, and the finished product confirms it. Her knowledge of style, colour and design, combined with her expertise in usability and the technical aspects of website development, have come together beautifully. I now have a fresh, dynamic website I’m confident will work hard for me and bring great results.
(If you’re reading this, you’re on the new site, so please take a look around. I’d love your feedback – especially if you’re a prospective customer!)
Why you should review your website right now:
This process has been another learning experience as a business owner, and it’s taught me a lot, most notably:
- Don’t set and forget: Once your website is up there, it’s easy to forget about it, especially if you are getting enquiries. But ask yourself: are these the right enquiries? If not, you need to do something about it. As mentioned above, don’t just look at the design. Also review the usability and accessibility of your site and the data.
- Make it easy: Your customers could be bouncing because your site doesn’t make it easy for them to do what they came there to do. Make it simple for all of your customers to buy, contact, or enquire.
- Do your research: The other reason could be you are attracting the wrong visitors. Periodically check which search terms your website is appearing for in the search results. If these don’t align with your income-generating activities, you need to do some keyword research. Google Search Console is a free tool; use the Performance Search Results feature to see the top queries your site appears for. Or, find a keyword specialist to do this for you.
- Check the numbers: Google Analytics is confusing if it’s not your area of expertise, but it pays to learn the basics to understand what the results tell you. For example, if you’re getting visitors to your site but your bounce rate is high, it means you’re attracting them, but once there, they aren’t acting. They’re not browsing different pages, clicking links or buttons to discover more about you and your business, and ultimately, if you are both aligned. You’ll want to fix this! I recommend finding a specialist to help you. Many offer 1:1 sessions to help you set up Google My Business and Google Analytics, and help you understand the data.
- Don’t wait: Everything is price sensitive at the moment, and it’s tempting to wait before committing to investing more in your business and marketing, whether that’s your website or anything else. But this is actually the best time to do it. Review your channels, review your business and your processes. Are they working hard for you?
Perhaps the most important thing I’ve learnt from all this as a small business owner is that just because you’ve always done something one way doesn’t mean you need to keep doing it that way. Things change – styles, technology, customer needs – and we must change with them or risk being left behind.
Do take a minute to look around the website and tell me what you think. And once you’ve done that, check up on your website if you have a business!
Are you an upholsterer?
If you’ve hit a plateau in your business or have a challenge you’re struggling to overcome, book a Spring to Success 1:1 with me and together, we’ll get you unstuck.