Whether your firm manages its own website or not, these 8 questions will help you determine whether your site is up to date, or ready for an update.

1. Can you update your own content or photos without having to call a developer?

Upgrade your website to an open source CMS like WordPress.  Although a CMS system has an upfront cost, it will save you money in the long run when compared to the hourly rates of hired help. If you can operate a word processor, you will have no problem managing a CMS like WordPress.  With thousands of other users, open source CMS sites have plenty of free tutorial videos and online references.  

2. How old is the content on your site?

If your last press release or blog post was uploaded in 2009, it’s time for something new! Having old content on your site doesn’t make your firm looking cutting edge or up to speed with the times—it makes you look lazy. Who wants that?

3. Is your site integrated with Google Analytics?

If you don’t have analytics, get it.  This is a great tracking tool that Google offers for your site.  If you don’t have this free tool, than you are missing out on an opportunity to learn more about your customers and their behaviors on your website. 

Site visits of less than a minute, low page visits beyond your home page, and a high bounce rate, are evidence that your visitors are just not interested. You are not captivating the viewers with images, text, or content that is slightly appealing to them.  Monitor your web traffic weekly so that you know what is working and what isn’t, and fix the pages with high bounce rates so that users remain engaged across your site.

4. Are you displaying any of your recent work?

If you are an AEC firm, for example, are you displaying that awesome hospital wing your firm built last year on your site? You spent all that time and money on your incredible project, so show it off!  Updating photos, project files, and videos on your website is guaranteed to get your website up-to-speed with competitors.

5. Does your site have strong Call-to-Actions?

Call-to-actions are a great way to gather a bit of information about your customers. If you have an up to date website with photos and great content, you should have call-to-actions set up to entice visitors to sign up for your blog, or to download a comprehensive industry guide. This is a great way to build an email list and learn what topics are of interest to your customers

6. Does your site have a blog?

We understand that starting a blog can be a scary thing.  If you add a blog to your site, you have to be committed to keeping it up-to-date.  Remember that you don’t always have to write long blog posts; you can post video blog posts or photos to provide a little variety in your content.  Video blog posts are popular for professional services firms to use.  Blogging is a great opportunity to speak to the issues that are relevant to your customers and establish your authority.

7. Is your website responsive or mobile friendly?

Responsive design is a web design approach aimed at creating sites with an optimal viewing experience across a wide range of devices – from mobile phones and tablets to desktop computer monitors.  If you aren’t sure if you are ready to venture into this part for your website, check the Google Analytics traffic source stats on your site.  If a lot of your site’s traffic is coming from mobile devices, then this upgrade is necessary. 

8. Have you updated your CMS software and plugins?

If you have implemented the previous seven points in your site, you probably have a good functioning and engaging site, but CMS plugins are important in accessing the most up to date tools for editing the content on your site. Make sure to update your CMS software and plugins. WordPress offers free software updates all the time.  Remember to test your website and plugins when you update the software, as updating your WordPress software may break a plugin that hasn’t been updated yet.

Hopefully these tips will help you decide whether your website is ready for a full redesign or not.  If you aren’t sure if your site needs some of these key updates or not, reach out to a marketing firm for a consult.  Reaching out to a professional will help you determine if your site just needs a few updates or if it is time for a website revolution!

For more information on creating an effective website, check out our free Lead Generating Website Guide.

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Megan Yaroch