Throw it away and start over

Posted by: John Marx on 11/14/2016

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Many of our new clients will already have an existing website that isn't converting and the results that they are receiving are not what they want. When we inquire to what types of results they want they cannot answer right away. The reason is that there is no plan, no definition of what success is, and equally no definition of what failure is. The information is subjective and not defined which breeds the "throw it away and start over" syndrome. This thought process is not the right solution for any business.

Listen to the Pain Points

The first step in the process is to listen to the current pain points a client is having. Unless there was already a marketing plan in place these will be observations from the person talking or information passed onto the person.

Analytics and Heatmaps

The first question after listening to the pain points is to seek and see analytics and heatmaps of the current site if it's available. This information is clearly beneficial to take the information received already and see if the data matches what is shown. Often the current website is used differently than the pain points which is great. With this information, we can make some valuable decisions and improvements for the client.

What is working

The next step is determining what is working on the site. Often this information is more than what is realized as we often look at the negative side more than the positive side. This negative look will often create a tunnel vision making the information that is working to be entirely missed and ignored.

Inaccurate Information

A reason a completely new website is believed is the information is no longer accurate and starting from scratch is the easiest way to make certain that everything presented on a new site is accurate. This can leave a lot of broken links or pages. We have found that if a product was upgraded to slowly remove the page and state that the product has been enhanced/upgraded and the latest information can be found at a new location. This allows for people to read about the old and then see all the latest upgrades. This doesn't work for all products and services but for some it will and this is the time to find the best solution.

Tools will solve your problem

New tools and solutions come out almost monthly. They gain a lot of initial hype and promise of solving a client's problems. The tool could solve one problem and not another. Finding a solution that meets all the current business problems and can grow to meet the perceived future is often overlooked. A tool is also only as good as it is used. All too often a new tool like WordPress, HubSpot, Salesforce and others are installed, start out strong and then business demands make these tools fall off the radar due to changing priorities. Many times, these require contract commitments which continue to cost the company money even if they are not used.

Optimization is Key

A completely fresh start is often not needed in the way of throwing everything away. What we find is that the site needs:

  1. A more logical manner so that information can be found more easily. The user experience (UX) is often a reason for a site to fail.
  2. Analytics need to be constantly looked at and added if they are not already there
  3. Processes need to be put into place to constantly evolve and improve the site
  4. Marketing plans need to be adjusted based on changing business needs
  5. An increase in communication. Like a marriage will fail if communication doesn't happen the communication between the department, person, or company that is maintaining the website needs to have a direct communication to achieve success.
  6. Tie social media and your website together. We often hear we have social media and don't need a website (or the reverse). When the truth is, you need both and for them to work "together" rather than apart of each other.

To work with a company that is focused on helping your business on long-term growth JM2 Webdesigners of Valparaiso Indiana is here to assist you. JM2 can be reached at 855-456-2669, email at sales@jm2.biz, or through our online contact form here.

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