unbound blog 3-6-14It’s that time of the year – out with the old, in with the new. You guessed it:  I’m updating my site, refreshing my brand. What I love most about my job is sharing it with you, so this post is all about “How Do I Know When It’s Time to Update My Website?”

Ideally, it’s a good idea to spend a couple of hours every month working at your site, keeping it up-to-date and aligned with your business goals. But let’s face it – even those of us who do it for our clients, tend to let our own work get behind… – a typical case of the shoemaker’s children walking barefoot.

Rebranding and updating your site can have the same effect on your business as a day at the spa can have on you. It’s worth it!

Why I Decided to Rebrand my Site

It can be quite embarrassing when you visit your own site for the first time in months and realize that information has changed, or perhaps you have been pursuing a different focus. I’m a big one for speaking in one voice, so looking at my site, I realized that it was no longer ME.

While my website offered a range of expert services in multiple areas, I really just love building websites, because it allows me to use my techie side to create visually pleasing sites for my clients. That’s where I’m at my happiest.  I find it rewarding, because my skills empower my clients, and it gives their online businesses a place to call home.

As I started thinking about my site and my business and lifestyle goals, I started going much deeper into my rebranding than I ever anticipated…

  • I refocused my packages
  • I updated my pricing
  • I redefined my purpose
  • I fine-tuned my mission
  • I adjusted my service offerings

and much more.

It has been like recreating my business in its entirety, and I realized just how much I have learned and the extent to which my business has grown. I feel rejuvenated and look forward to Unbound success.

But first I want to help you rebrand YOUR website too.

When you look at your website, does it look dated? Even if it doesn’t –  if you have not updated your site in six months or more – it probably could use some TLC.

Technology changes at lightning speed, and design trends change nearly as fast. At the same time, the market’s demands grow. Your site has to be able to keep up with all that!

Now, remember that there’s more to redesigning and rebranding your website than just making it look good. While most technology changes are for the better, they each bring about their own set of problems, which you have to solve. It’s about presentation, loading times, user-experience and much, much more.

Before You Start Updating and Rebranding Your Website

Before you decide to update and rebrand your website, first ask yourself these questions, so that you don’t waste time spinning your wheels:

  • What is my mission? Why do I own this business?
  • What service offerings make me happy?
  • What changes would my clients like to see?
  • Is my pricing current, reasonable, competitive and justified?

In thinking about these questions, you will discover whether your business is making you happy, and how you can improve certain elements. Unless you’re happy doing what you’re doing for the foreseeable future, you will have to redefine your goals and methods to help you get onto the right track.

 

Aspects of Updating and Rebranding Your Website

These are some of the basic factors you should consider to ensure that your website is running smoothly and providing your visitors and experience.

1.  Responsive Design

Does your site look good no matter which device or browser your visitors use to access it? The key is to make the transition from one device to another seamless, without hindering user experience. You can test your site here.

2.  Content Management System

Is it hard to update your site, because 1) you don’t know how, or 2) you don’t have time? Those excuses are costing you, but they are easily solved. If you don’t have the time to do it, it might be a good idea to hire someone to do it for you. Search engines also like sites that are updated regularly. WordPress is a great content management system that allows you to easily add pages and posts and for those who want to venture in a bit more you can easily update even more!

3.  Outdated Functionalities

Are there items on your site that take up space, but offer very little value? Some business owners have started removing certain social media tools from their websites, claiming that they no longer bring the value they once did. Use this time of redesign and rebranding to delete outdated functionalities.

4.  Loading Speed

Nobody wants to wait more than five seconds for a site to load. Smartphone carriers and ISPs limit the amount of data people are allowed to use, and therefore you should ensure that your site loads fast and downloads very little data. Using a solid and credible host helps mitigate speed being an issue.

5.  Bounce Rate

Do people visit your home page but they don’t click on any of the other links to go deeper into your site? You may not know that, unless you use analytics tools, such as Google Analytics.  If your home page is causing you to lose visitors, it’s time to update it, to rebrand it and to entice them to go deeper.

Closely related to the bounce rate, is low traffic. If your site is slow to bring in visitors and to keep them coming back, it’s definitely time to update and rebrand your website.

Bonus Updating and Website Rebranding Tips:

  • If search engines don’t know you exist, update your SEO efforts.
  • Update the copyright year in your website’s footer.
  • Check for broken links, those pesky hyperlinks that lead to pages that no longer exist.

Ultimately, you get to decide when and how to update and rebrand your website. If you don’t know where to start, contact Unbound. We’ll happily advise you!