Five Ways to Tell if Your Website Needs and Update by @AmbbieLee

by Amber Henning

Websites are quickly becoming the cornerstone of any successful marketing plan, especially for those in plumbing and other service industries. According to a survey by Score.org, 91% of people do research online before making a decision on any goods or services, so if you think your website is not important, it’s time to rethink it.

Your website has two jobs. One is to instill trust in your customer.

The second job your website has is to connect you and your potential. You need to make is as easy as possible for your prospective client to contact you. If it’s not easy for them to get an appointment, they are going to go somewhere else—quick.

But how do you even know if your site is out of date or missing the mark? Things change so fast in the digital world and while you’re busy working on your business, your website can often go ignored. Luckily there are a few tell-tale signs you can utilize to determine if your site needs some updating.

1. Your mobile site doesn’t work
If you got a website a few years ago, your site may not have the type of mobile functionality that people are coming to anticipate when they visit a website. Many web designers even design for mobile first since the majority of website traffic is coming from cell phones and other mobile devices. If your mobile site doesn’t function or load properly, this is a key indicator your site needs an update.

2. Your site was designed with tables
A few years ago, the majority of websites were built on a table layout. You can tell right away when you a site built on tables—which immediately dates your site. Specifically, if you are in the plumbing business, you want your potential clients to see you are a modern, operating company—and a website with a modern design and layout can convey just that.

3. Your site uses flash animation
At one point having an animated flash intro made your website seem like it was on the cutting edge of technology—but these days flash animation just means your site is old. If you still need animation, there are great alternatives using JavaScript and HTML5 to make video more accessible without the need for Flash.

4. Your site doesn’t have enough calls to action
The amount of time people spend on a particular website has changed over the years. Nowadays people are looking for information quickly—and if you do not give them an opportunity to contact you, you might lose them as a customer before you even got a chance to talk to them. Make sure your site has multiple calls to action- phone numbers, contact forms, appointment schedulers, whatever you can do to make contacting you easy to find for people will help convert your website visitors into clients. Don’t forget to make sure there are contact opportunities even for those that aren’t technologically savvy.

5. Your competitors have updated sites
Your local competition and their websites are a good indicator for if you’ve fallen behind on the times with your site. If you look at your competitor’s websites and they look more modern and attractive than yours, well then it is obviously time for an update. Your local competitors are exactly who your potential customers are looking to. You want your site to stand out above the others so they call you, instead of someone else.

Your website has a lot of power—so don’t ignore it. It is often the first impression that you make on your customers and first impressions can be everything. If you want them to pick up the phone and call you next time they need help, then you need to show them you are the best company to call. An updated website can tell the story of your business and create the kind of trust that people require.

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Amber Henning is a writer and advertising professional with Social Eyes Marketing, a full-service digital marketing agency. She is dedicated to helping other learn how to support and grow their small businesses with the means of quality content and strategic marketing efforts.

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