When my business partner and I started out, we didn’t have a lot to work with. We weren’t leaving large, prestigious agencies to strike out on our own. We didn’t have a list of clients we were taking with us, and we didn’t really understand sales prospecting and pipelining. The truth of the matter is we were a couple of college grads without much experience. What we did have, however, was a ton of creativity and the drive to work really hard to be successful.
Our website was our greatest chance of communicating that branded message to our audience, and we recognized early on that it would be our biggest asset. So that is exactly where we started, and where we put our focus in our early years.
This article, however, isn’t meant to share all of the successes and failures of our early years. It’s to talk about a question I get from friends and entrepreneurs, which is usually posed like this: “Your business is established, and you already have a pretty good website. Why do you keep changing it?” Here’s why we do it, and why we think you should too.
Building a new website improves how you do business
A website should be the full digital representation of a company and its offerings. So, going through the process of creating a new website is the best opportunity for a company to analyze everything it’s doing. When we go through a redesign, we ask a series of questions about the brand:
–Does our brand identity match who we are today?
–Does the voice of my business accurately reflect our culture and values?
–What makes us different?
–Do we actually do the things we say we do?
–Why do our clients choose to work with us?
I could rattle off a million more, but as you can probably tell, none of these questions have to do with technical details. They’re business questions we need to have good answers for, and if we don’t, well, now’s the time to answer them.
Every time we go through a website redesign, the answers to these questions either change or mature. It keeps us in check with the growth of our company and how it’s evolving and allows us to communicate the most accurate depiction of ourselves to the outside world. Overall, we use it as the catalyst to drive ourselves forward. Whether or not the change is dramatic, there’s always room for improvement within our company.
We often find the answers have a ripple effect in how we do things in the organization. For example, we might find our needs have changed, but our processes haven’t caught up. That could affect how we communicate in our pitches, how we set the tone for company culture, and how internal communications are handled.
It pushes your employees (in a good way)
Yes, predictability is comfortable. But it can also be extremely boring. We use our redesigns as an opportunity to break people out of their daily routine. Activities like fast-paced brainstorming sessions or full internal work days get people excited. It also gives our team an opportunity to show off what they can do, or figure out things they can’t.
We conduct these open sessions with a flat management approach. By giving everyone the same level of importance and say in the project, we get a more diversified outlook on our brand. Employees are often capable of doing more than what’s in their job description or what’s expected of them. We’ve had plenty of opportunities where employees have shown their leadership capabilities or revealed a new skill we never knew they had. As you can imagine, these types of revelations are not only beneficial to the project at hand, but extremely valuable to the company overall.
It’s our biggest sales tool (and probably yours too)
Our website has always been a direct reflection of what we’re capable of. This stems back from what I said at the beginning of this article. We didn’t have any clients or connections, so our only way to show people what we were capable of was through our website. Having a tangible example of our creative and technical prowess was what allowed us to win our early accounts.
Today, we continue to push our site with that mentality. Every year our team grows, learns new things, and gets better, and we make sure our website is a constant reflection of that. That, in and of itself, opens more doors for us.
If you don’t sell creative services (and I’m assuming the majority of you don’t), there are other ways you can improve your opportunities for sales through your site.
From a general content perspective, you’ll get a clearer message of what it is you do and what makes you unique. You’ll constantly be providing your most up-to-date product or service offerings information and finding opportunities to highlight key initiatives your company has been a part of.
Getting more specific with data is where you can really uncover new opportunities. Look into tools like Google Analytics, Lead Forensics and Hotjar to really understand who your audience is and how they behave. You’ll be able to discover more about the information they need at key points.
Redoing our website is the catalyst of change in our organization. It helps us innovate and improve our company in various ways, from sales, to operations, to company culture. Much of this has to do with our focus on the bigger picture in terms of what a website represents, rather than looking at it as a lump of code. Leverage your redesign process as an opportunity to invigorate your business.