Every marketer who’s ever been responsible for content marketing knows that keeping content fresh, relevant, and up-to-date is incredibly important. Part of any content marketing strategy involves keeping your website populated with meaningful content that will engage and draw users to your site.
However, the urgency of content creation means that you may not be reviewing your website design as often as you should.
A good website with a modern feel and quality navigation enhances the user experience and drives repeat visits. There’s an old adage that you should update your website with a completely new design every year or two. Realistically, this may not be possible and you might be thinking that if your website is currently working for you, why change it?
Well, there are a couple of reasons. The first is that even a well-designed, functioning website gets stale from both the perspective of design and technology quite quickly. Everyone has had the experience of going to a website and immediately recognizing that it hasn’t been updated in years.
Those signs include missing key elements such as rotators, newer social media icons, or relying heavily on flash technology. It’s particularly egregious when your website doesn’t respect that many of your visitors will be viewing the site using mobile devices.
This is most noticeable when your website lacks responsive design or a dedicated mobile version. Another dead giveaway that your site has not been updated recently is that the screen resolution it was designed for is too large for mobile devices, and too small for a modern desktop monitor. Where you’ve got screen real estate, you need to use it, and where it’s not available you need to ensure that only the most relevant content is presented.
So let’s say that you recognize your website is starting to get a bit dated. How do you justify to your CFO or CEO the costs associated with a complete website redesign? Every marketer I’ve ever talked to has struggled to get the budget they need to be successful on the tactical day-to-day activities of marketing. Getting enough budget to redesign your website is often like pulling teeth. So, to help justify your decision and get you the budget that you need here are a few tips on calculating the ROI of a website redesign:
If your site is not optimized for mobile and tablet usage, use your CMS or Google analytics to determine how many visitors are coming to your site using these devices. Being able to demonstrate the user experience and quantify the number of affected visitors can go a long way making your case.
If your analytics show that people on mobile or tablets navigate away from your site faster than those on desktops, you have a compelling reason to modernize your website with responsive design.
If your site is heavily dependent on flash technology, those same analytics can help determine how many visitors can’t access your content because they are using an iOS based system.
Check for brand consistency. What often happens is that your brand slowly changes and develops over time. If the website has been static for a long period, it immediately shows that there is a gap between your current marketing materials and your existing website. If you can show that your new designs are more effective than your old ones, this will lend weight to your argument that the website needs to be updated.
Crunch the numbers. (You know your CFO loves numbers.) Have your conversion rates been dropping over time? How many of your new leads are coming directly through your website forms, landing pages or website “contact us” page? If you’re evidence shows that these channels are less effective than they used to be, you can use that data to calculate the value of the lost opportunities. Use your knowledge of your organizations conversion from leads to closed sales. Estimating lost revenue as a dollar figure may be the most powerful way to justify the budget for a new website.
Doing a win/loss analysis of your most recent deals can reveal how important your website and the information on it is to the decision-making process of prospects. You may be able to connect a lost opportunity and the dollar figures it represents to a quote like “... but I couldn’t find the information I needed…” or “… I didn’t realize you offer that product/service”. Even in cases where you have won the deal you may have won “…despite your website.”
So with these tips in mind, you can build a case for a website redesign using strong metrics which makes getting budget approvals significantly easier. Keep in mind, once you have acquired the budget for a website redesign, it’s also a great time to evaluate whether your current CMS has the features and functionality you need to keep your website’s content up-to-date.
To find out more about picking a quality CMS, you might want to read this article.
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Paul Doerfling Author
Paul Doerfling is the Marqui Product Manager and contributed this article to CMS Critic.