It’s the new year, which means it’s time for companies and marketing teams to introduce new tools, initiatives, and other types of shiny new toys for managers to corral, train, strategize, and implement-ize.
In the world of marketing your business, there’s never a shortage of things to experiment with. In the past year, we’ve seen A.I. like ChatGPT explode onto the scene and an uptick in short-form videos driven by the popularity of Tik-Tok, as Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts desperately try to keep up. All of these are great new tools that you should one hundred percent use, but they also shouldn’t leapfrog to the top of your to-do list either.
For many of our clients and plenty of businesses, finding new ways to attract customers is at the core of marketing. That’s what we do. But properly leveraging those attractive digital marketing tactics requires a solid foundation. Think of it this way: you’re not throwing a party, sending out invites, or telling everyone how amazing the party will be, without a house to throw it at. Your company’s website is your house, so before you go telling everyone to come over — you should at least tidy up.
How to Tell if Your Company’s Website is Behind the Times
First, the good news. The days of really, offensively bad websites are over. These days there are enough resources, website builders, and the like that allow companies to always field a decent website. Well, almost.
Here’s a glimpse of the Yale School of Art website which exists as a sort of crowdsourced experiment where all of the members of Yale’s School of Art can contribute. This is a really cool idea for an art school, but if your B2B manufacturing website turns out like this, you might be in need of an update.
Now, the bad news. You should be updating your website’s design every 2 – 3 years. Now, there’s no hard science behind that number; more of a rule of thumb, and in less competitive digital spaces, you may be able to stretch that number out. This is why our first way to tell if your website is behind the times is to…
Check Out Your Competition
Take a gander at your competitors’ websites; this is important; be honest about your own website in comparison. Start with the overall design. Does yours look dated? Then, move on to the content. Is their website doing a significantly better job of showcasing products, services, and the company behind them? Are they offering way more educational content that converts leads into customers? Are they making it significantly easier to connect with sales? If you’re in a more transactional business, check out how they are greasing the wheels of their website to make it easier for customers to engage in more transactions.
All of these are different ways you can stack up your website against competitors. Now, being on par with your competition is fine, but ideally, you want to be ahead. The competitive landscape of websites is an arms race, and just like A.I., Tik-Toks, and whatnot, there are plenty of website features that can also become shiny new toys to chase. Just remember your goals and how well your current website is accomplishing them.
Crunch the Numbers
Speaking of goals, set some quantifiable goals for your company’s website. You can use tools like Google Analytics to get a baseline understanding of performance and then set your goals for growth from there.
Outside of Google Analytics, here are a couple of other tools we use at Hivehouse Digital to measure website performance:
- HotJar – Hotjar is pretty neat, as it gives you “heatmaps” of where users are scrolling, as well as visuals of where users are clicking. This can be a great tool to refine your website and determine where users are heading and which areas they are ignoring.
- Semrush – Semrush gives you all sorts of website analytics and data, including super valuable SEO stuff like keywords, traffic analytics, and technical issues that can affect how your website ranks in search results.
- PageSpeedInsights – A free tool that lets you measure the speed of your website, one of the most important aspects of SEO.
The Mobile Experience Sucks
Around fifty percent of traffic comes from mobile devices, so it’s imperative that your website works well on smartphones and tablets. If your website doesn’t scale well, users will leave. According to a study by Goodfirms, 73.1% of web designers think that non-responsive design is a top reason why visitors leave a website, and 53.8% of web designers cite “not being responsive on all devices” as a top reason for a website to be redesigned.
It’s a Pain in the Butt to Make Changes
Does it feel like you need a computer science degree to update your webpage? As we mentioned earlier, building a website has become more accessible in recent years. That same level of accessibility is extremely valuable when making updates to your website.
At Hivehouse Digital, rather than diving into custom-built code every time you need to make an edit to a blog post, we use a page builder to facilitate the quick changes a nimble and adaptable marketing team needs.
While custom-coded websites can offer more extreme customization, they also require the in-house knowledge of how to write and edit code to make simple edits. On the other hand, a website builder offers ease, convenience, and flexibility, which is more valuable on a day-to-day basis — especially when it comes to marketing your business.
“I Think Our Company’s Website is Fine.”
So, after using the tools above, you’ve come to the conclusion that your website does in fact need an update. For a lot of businesses, the hardest part of overhauling a website isn’t the lift, it’s getting everybody to buy in.
You may have heard the phrase “I think our company’s website is fine” uttered around your workplace. Here’s a story for the folks who think the status quo is working. According to a study by psychologist and researcher Dr. Elizabeth Sillence and featured on HubSpot, Dr. Sillence asked study participants to visit websites on the subject of hypertension and rate whether they trusted or didn’t trust the website. For those that were deemed not trustworthy, 94% attributed their uneasiness to the website’s design.
Is your website helping potential customers really trust your brand?
Hivehouse Can Help
Ultimately, in our space, B2B digital marketing, we work to educate customers and drive them to websites to learn more or begin working with sales. You can think of TikTok, A.I., and every other shiny new marketing tool as the branches of your digital presence, but the trunk — what’s holding everything together is your website. And without a solid trunk, your branches won’t bear any fruit.
Luckily, you’re at hivehousedigital.com, and what we do is help B2B businesses build websites that drive business and represent their brand well. Sound like something you might be interested in? Let’s talk.
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