Is your website due for an upgrade?

Is your website due for an upgrade?

Is your website due for an upgrade?

Websites for industrial markets don’t always get updated as often as they should. It’s not that the industries themselves are not dynamic, evolving engines of change in our economy. Of course they are. But the website gets locked into the date when it first went live and becomes ruled by the maxim, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

If that’s you, the task of getting a new website up was checked off your to-do list years ago, and it’s likely no one’s ever bothered to put it back on a new list. It’s too easy to give updating and upgrading your site a low priority. Maybe the site looks rather tired, but it still does the job.

Does it? Are you sure?

If you think of a website as an online brochure, then what you have is a static presentation that could be costing you new customers and lessening your ability to retain your current ones.

Admittedly, industrial websites are different than B2C sites and even B2B sites selling services. Those sites depend on extensive creativity to lure customers in and intrigue them with the possibilities the business has to offer. A plant manager doesn’t want to be intrigued. He wants to go to your site and find out if you have the material and wherewithal to keep his supply chain moving – on time, just in time.

If that plant manager is looking for a new supplier, you want a website with up-to-date practices for Search Engine Optimization, with an attractive but simple design that shows your company’s capabilities. Beyond that, you want your website to be an easy-to-use tool for that plant manager. You want him to find your site, quickly see the services you offer, determine if the products or materials you sell are what he needs, then request a bid or proposal. He should discover where to find all that simply, right from your home page.

Even if you thought your website did all that, style and technical changes may have undercut your site’s effectiveness in the intervening years. So how do you know if your website is out of date?

First off, if your website is two years old or more, you need someone with SEO expertise to closely review your content. Google is the leader in search engines and has actively modified its search algorithms so that keywords, while still significant, don’t work as they once did. Relevant context for those keywords has become increasingly important.

Secondly, are all the functions and links still working on your site? If your site was designed with Flash, those elements probably are not working in most browsers. Click on videos and motion graphics on your website, and if any of them stutter or fail to work, you need to upgrade the back end of your site.

The third thing to look at is the attractiveness of the design. Does your site pop out when compared to other sites? You don’t need grand, complex presentations. What you do need is a site that looks professional and polished, that raises a potential customer’s confidence in you. If you think the site looks a little tired, think of the impression it makes on others.

Finally, is it responsive? Does the page adjust to still be readable on tablets or mobile devices? This is bit of a trick question. If your site was designed a couple of years ago to be responsive, it may be responsive in the wrong way. Many websites were designed to show a different version of a website when viewed on a small screen, using separate pages than those shown on a desktop computer. Those sites no longer rank well on Google. The search giant, however, rewards sites that have the same pages adjust to the size of the screen on which they’re being viewed, giving those sites higher search rankings.

Go back to the first question I asked: Is your website still doing the job you need it to do? If you don’t know, give Market Pipeline a call. Whether we designed your current website, or another web developer did, or you had your brother-in-law’s son do it, we’ll give you an honest evaluation and give you choices to upgrade and stand out among your competitors online.

Hey, if your brother-in-law’s son actually did a good job, we might give him a call for our next opening.

I’m Jeff Wendland and I am a digital marketing manager for Market Pipeline. I work with a broad base of clients helping them improve their online presence and grow their business.