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How do you know your website is a marketing lemon?

Nov 17
How do you know your website is a marketing lemon?
Are you pondering a new web design or do you think the old one will get you through? No matter your organisation, your website is the corner of your marketing strategy. Or it can get a giant lemon shaped hole of despair where good strategy should be.

Sound melodramatic? It shouldn’t.

Your website is a single vehicle for self-invention, customer connection and satiating the Google Gods. It’s also there to provide information to potential leads, dissatisfied customers and to alleviate pressure off other forms of customer service such as instant chat and call centres.

While we like to think that near enough is good enough with a website, it isn’t.

You have less than 7 seconds to make a pleasing impression on someone. That impression influences whether you or your competitor gets a sale. It can add to an already frustrating experience that ends up being an explosive customer service call. Maybe it’s the cool, soothing waters to pour on a PR disaster. It could be the difference between you being discovered at all.

It’s important to know if your website is a giant marketing lemon or not.

Here are some of the ways you could be a lemon- and how to see if you need to hit the development bricks and get yourself a new web design

Mobile and tablets can’t see your website properly

From 2013 through to mid-2015, mobile phone and tablet based search increased in leaps and bounds. 15.3million Australians above the age of 14 own a mobile and 11.2 million own a tablet. That’s up from 11.1 million and 6.3 million in 2013. 63% of the time spent on the internet is via these devices. While handheld device usage continues to increase, internet usage from desktops is holding steady and even in decline in some categories. 45% of our time spent on the internet is via our mobile phones, outstripping the 35% on our desktop.

When you think about it, it makes perfect sense.

Our smartphone fills the gap as we wait for everything from coffee to the bus. It grabs our attention in the taxi and when we’re bored at the pub. It gives us the opportunity to remember to buy Grandma’s birthday present while we’re picking up the dry cleaning. It helps us settle that trivia argument over dinner with friends. When a cancer diagnosis is handed down, we jump onto Google for information between the news and next appointment. If we must double check the price on an item we see in-store is the most competitive, the smartphone comes out before the question to the sales person does. Before we buy the pre-packaged DIY kit from the hardware shop, we head to Google to check the council specifications, the price and any reviews online.

The desktop is there for work and research. It’s for the sneaky lunch time purchase or the switching off from the day’s tasks with a little social media browsing. It’s increasingly less likely we’re going to sit down to it to do the shopping when we have a TV friendly tablet available. Besides, when you’re at work, you’re at work. So, the policies might stop the usage, the look may not be good, and you may be sick of the sight of your laptop by the time you get home.

Our consumption of the internet and media means that if you are not on a mobile responsive site, you are missing a huge chunk of traffic. Whether you serve up the latest tasty fashions or you’re a trusted source of rich information, no mobile responsive qualities mean you’re seriously left behind. If your SEO doesn’t allow for Google searches on tablets and mobiles or people cannot even access your website properly when they are using these devices, it’s time to rethink your website and consider a new web design. 

Your sales and marketing team avoid using it

The case for a new web design isn't only about cosmetics. What’s the point of having a website no one in your company feels comfortable using? Yes, we’re biased about CMS functionality. We do work with a world leading content management system in Kentico CMS. But with very good reason.

Kentico CMS makes it super easy for your sales and marketing team to run promotions, update information, respond to PR disasters, offset customer service issues and more. Being able to hand pretty much anyone in your organisation the ability to upload content when you need it the most is powerful.

The natural barrier people have when it comes to web updates is completely removed with a great CMS. The technology gives people the opportunity to preview exactly what is uploaded and written into the back would look like on the page. This reduces the margin of error, gives confidence to your staff and it takes away the bottleneck of only one or two people gatekeeping information.

Even if your organisation must have some kind of accountability policy in play that allows you to see who posts what, you can do this too. Kentico gives you the ability to assign roles and various degrees of capability in the back end. That way, you can’t have someone making technical choices that should be updating content. It also means you can track and follow any snafus on the road to content delivery and find the person responsible via their login. Plus, it also makes it much easier to disable access to your various online properties with login specific data. You can literally configure access to expire, to restrict and to work however you need it to.

If your staff are unable to hold a one-day flash sale, respond to breaking news or use your website to inform during any form of meltdown, it’s time to let that lemon go!

Old content and downloads as far as the eye can see

It used to that if you had a big website, you’d expect information to get a little lost and a little drowned. Those were the days when consumers were a lot more forgiving. Now if people can't find things, you're definitely in the market for a new wb design because they don't have the trust or the patience for it. 

People don’t trust websites that look out of date. They don’t like the neglected blog, the old brochure in the wrong branding, the wonky looking photos and the announcements from 2012. They don’t care if you were top of the pops in 2011 anymore than they care about a press release in the news section stating something is coming soon in 2014.

Your customers think that if your website is out of date and littered with old content, your policies must reflect that as well. It’s a basic thing of thinking you are either too busy to care about your website (and them in the process). Or that you’re OK with being a dinosaur in a rapid moving age. Neither situation really fosters much confidence.

Downloading great big files and swatches of information doesn’t help either. Your customers loathe barriers. They want information in one click, not several. They don’t want your files on their phone, cluttering up the memory. They’d rather abort the download and try elsewhere. They also want to pinch the content open, so they can read what’s in it. Not wrestle with an out of date formatted document with tiny print.

Once your website becomes a patchwork of files, you must reboot. Do a content audit and work out what assets are and aren’t servicing you. Consider what formats work across all devices and formats. Think about ways to present the information so auto download abandonment becomes a thing of the past. Minimise the clicks.

Don’t allow your website to be the dusty library of content that cannot be found, accessed or read. It’s a waste of everyone’s time, including yours.

How to turn a lemon website around

To turn a lemon into lemonade, a new website design and development project is often your best way forward. A new website design seems like a daunting prospect, but it doesn't have to be.

Most of the large scale organisational websites we see suffer from lemon problems. They do too many tasks, feature too much information and become out of date quickly. Marketing departments and IT teams alike become frustrated as the ability to use the websites properly diminishes with each passing week.

What needs to happen is a proper audit of content and the services. To use a platform that can grow with the needs of the internal and external customer. And one that can keep pace with technology. It also means facing some hard questions about branding, user experience, design and who needs what on a regular basis.

But think of your website like an old house. There’s only so much you can do with renovations before it becomes time to consider your building options. With a website, that might mean moving some of your internet customer information to an intranet. Or it might mean building a better content library and integrating it into an existing website. Or it may mean a rebuild.

The thing is, until you admit you have a lemon on your hands and start looking at the options available to you, you won’t know.

Want to move your website presence from a lemon to a potential lemonade stand with a new web design? Give Webcoda a call now!


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