Your website is an explicit representation of your brand, and it is often the first point of contact new customers have with your business or organization. A good website is visually appealing, easy to use, and most importantly, educates your audience about who you are and how you can help them address their needs. A good website turns visitors into customers, builds credibility, and increases repeat visits. A poor website can plummet traffic, deter leads, and cut conversions.
Many businesses wait until there is a glaringly obvious problem with their website to take action, but it’s best to refresh your site before this. Not only will it save you time and money, but you won’t have to sacrifice potential customers or profits to poor user experience.
In this blog, we will provide questions you can use to assess your current website. In many cases, you may require more than a new website to fix your problems and may need to take a look at your brand and overall business goals first. Strong branding ensures your website conveys the message you need it to.
Do You Need a Website Refresh? Start By Evaluating Your Current Site
To determine whether or not you need a new website or a website refresh, begin by asking yourself a few questions to evaluate your current site:
- Is the website easy to navigate?
- Does it look good?
- Do the images look crisp and clean?
- Is the information your visitors are looking for easily understood and accessible?
- Is your organization reaching its sales or communication goals with the website as the tool?
- Is your brand accurately and consistently conveyed through the language, voice, visuals, and information hierarchy?
If you have difficulty answering these questions, you should consider looking at the health of your brand before spending money on your website. Often clients come to us asking to make their website look and perform better because they’ve identified it as the problem, but often a bad website is merely a symptom of a weak brand. While investing in a new site isn’t a bad thing, it won’t deliver results without first addressing the underlying brand issues.
Think of your brand as the crust of a pizza. You can invest in premium toppings, like a new website or expensive advertising, but if your crust (brand) is undercooked or unestablished, you won't have a good pizza, no matter how much parmesan cheese you put on it.
How to Evaluate Your Brand
Begin evaluating your current brand with a few questions:
- What is my business or organization about? What are our mission, values, and vision?
- What are our organization’s goals over the next two years? Five years?
- Who is our audience? Will they be changing at all over the next few years?
- What are their pain points or challenges?
- What is our value proposition for them?
- What does the online customer journey look like and are our internal processes built to match that journey?
- Do we have solid documented brand guidelines? Do we know what our organization’s personality is and how we want to represent ourselves?
It’s not always easy to answer these questions, and you may need to invest time in meeting with key players in your organization to reach a consensus. But the effort is well worth it—a strong brand is the cornerstone of any organization that wants to stay successful and relevant for years to come.
Once you’ve documented your answers to these questions, you can take steps to improve the strength of your brand. We also recommend creating a Graphics Standards Manual (GSM), which sets clear brand standards and ensures all visual representations of your brand stay consistent, including your website. Consistency is key to building consumer loyalty and trust.
How Red Rocket Can Help Refresh Your Website and Brand
You are so familiar with your own business and brand that it can be challenging to evaluate it objectively. Your mission, goals, and values may be clear to you, but that doesn't mean they are being communicated effectively to stakeholders on your website.
That is where Red Rocket Creative Strategies can help. Our branding and digital specialists help you see the complete picture. We ask the right questions to ensure any website project we undertake is built upon solid branding and messaging.
Businesses and organizations can be quick to blame lagging web traffic on their website. In reality, a poor-performing site is often a symptom of a weak brand. Before making changes to your website, ensure you have a well-defined brand to build on. Then you can have more confidence that any investment in your website will bring you the ROI you’re seeking.