10 Signs You Need A New Website

10 Signs You Need A New Website

In the age of social media pages and profiles, websites can be easily overlooked. I can see the appeal – Facebook is freshly updated every day and quite engaging as you cherish the Likes & Shares; most websites are static all year round and simply there to inform. When designed for modern times, however, websites will always be the best tool for reaching, engaging and creating customers. 

Customers aren’t buying on Facebook nearly as much as they do on websites. Customers are looking for a responsive, well-designed, engaging, easy to navigate website that lets them do what they came to do: shop, browse, buy, explore and learn. With dozens of hot web design trends for 2015, a website can be even more engaging than social media. And, as you’ve tragically learned after the umpteenth, unprompted change to your Facebook Timeline’s look and style, Facebook isn’t a replacement for a custom-made website.

So how do you know when it’s time for a fresh website design? What will it take for you to finally overhaul your flagship web presence? Maybe you need a sign. We’ll give you ten of them to look for:


1) Your website isn’t responsive. 

No, we don’t mean your site isn’t responding at all and gets the dreaded 404 Error: Page Cannot Be Found window, though that’s pretty bad. Responsive means that your site doesn’t adapt to the wide range of devices your customers use…and it’s the new standard in web design. Statistics show that 62% of companies that designed a website with mobile in mind saw increased sales. Your site may look fine on a desktop computer but if it “doesn’t fit” on an iPhone or iPad, you’re losing sales. A “smart and responsive” website adapts to different devices and different screen sizes and lets your customers experience your business exactly as you intended.

 

2) You’re directing people to your Facebook page instead of your website.

Ashamed of your website? That’s pretty sad. You have so many possibilities with a custom-made website so stop feeling ashamed and start changing it! As we mentioned above, social media is not a replacement for your website. Facebook is limiting, the design is ever-changing and organic reach is decreasing. Step back from social media, clarify what you hope to achieve from your website and connect with web designers who can help you discover all the possibilities of having a ridiculously cool website.

 

3) Even Google can’t find you. 

Google your main service or product right now (like “Kosher Meat Restaurants”). Did you come up on the first page? What about the second page? Not even on the second page? Are your competitors above you? Yeah, that’s not good. Ok, now Google yourself. Did you come up? First page, second page, where? How does your profile look? Wait, is it even there? There are a lot of ways to improve your search engine results and many of them start with your website. How your website is designed, how it’s coded, how your content is written, how your images are categorized, and how your site is indexed will all determine your place in a Google, Yahoo or Bing search. And if Google can’t find you easily, you can bet customers won’t find you either.

 

4) Your website is way too chatty. 

Think of your website’s homepage as a storefront. Visitors come by, look through the windows, maybe see something they like and go right in. If customers see an overly chatty, overcompensating salesperson talking their ear off at the front door, they may run back to their car. Overloading your website with a ton of text will turn off customers. The most effective websites combine strong, to-the-point copy with engaging visuals that illustrate your business without the noise. In other words, clean your store windows and get rid of the chatterbox. Have your web designer work closely with your marketing team to effectively design a clean, appealing website that clearly illustrates your mission statement and personality.

 

5) Your website sucks at selling.  

You work hard. 10 hour days. 12 hours maybe, wow. You don’t work as hard as your website, though. Your website is your non-stop 24/7 sales, marketing and PR team. Question is – is your website really working or slacking? Are you getting sales from your website? How about leads? Is your website easy to navigate for impulse buyers? Can someone look at your site and know everything they need to know about you and understand what you can do for them? Can it convert visitors into customers? Evaluate your website. If it can’t do any of the above, maybe it’s time to fire your website.

 

6) You have more pages on your website than in your printer.

I see, you have a page About Us. And a page for The Team. And also a page for Meet The Boss. And then a page for Our Promise To You. And a page for The Boss’ Promise To You. Ok, I promise never to come back to your website. Eliminate the clutter and get rid or combine obsolete pages. All those above pages can be in the About Us section, that’s it. Stick to the core pages that provide the most value to your visitors and are designed to convert them into customers. The rule of thumb is that every page on the site should be only two clicks away. If it is easy for your potential customers to see what you offer and buy easier, your investment will be worth it.

 

7)  Social media and your website aren’t mixing well.

Having a social presence online is a given. Your customers and visitors may visit your site to buy but they’ll also connect with you on Twitter and Facebook to socialize. If you aren’t sharing your social media pages with your target audience on your website, then how else will they find you? Modern websites have a social integration tools and widgets to maximize the social/website integration process that goes beyond merely adding a Pinterest or Instagram badge. Also, be sure your social media design looks similar to your website so as not to disconnect with customers. Designs that don’t gel together is like a customer buying a delicious peach from you one day and then getting a subpar one the next; inconsistency in look and design is not a good image to show customers.

 

8) You fell in love with your Flash “ENTER SITE” intro.

Watching an intro takes up your users’ time and turns them off from entering your site at all. There’s absolutely no benefit to having an introduction about your site; it’s an outdated trend. In fact, a Flash intro is actually a detriment to your brand because Flash animations don’t show up on iPhones and iPads, devices that customers frequently use to web browse. You only have about four seconds to get visitors to click around on your site. Don’t waste those seconds with a Flash intro.

 

9) Your website is all about YOU.

Yes, this is your website, but if you’re looking to get business, increase donations or be a community resource, you need to start thinking about the end-users. Your website is for your clients and prospects, not simply for telling the world how awesome you are. It is your chance to show customers that you understand their problem, that you can help them find the solution, and that you are the best choice to get them where they want to go. From colors to visuals to content, it should be designed with the customers best interest in mind.

 

10) You can’t stop looking at your competitors website. 

You know you do it. You can’t help it. It’s so attractive. If you find yourself spending a disproportionate amount of time creeping around your competitors’ sites, oohing and aahing at the look and design, you need a website redesign. Their site may be easier to navigate, more organized, or even just nicer to look at, and it’s safe to assume your potential customers are going to spend plenty of time there if you do. Don’t worry, you can design a website similar and better than your competition.

 


LET’S SUM IT UP: Your website is your best tool for reaching, engaging and gaining customers. And if it’s not designed with those conversion tactics in mind – or if you can see any of these 10 signs directly! – you should consider redesigning your website for the modern customer. Let’s get started…

Isaac Hyman, Founder  |  Henry Isaacs Marketing  |  646.833.8604  |  info@henryisaacs.net

 

Jewish Marketing 101 – Ditch the Graphic Designer. Get a Marketer.

Jewish Marketing 101 – Ditch the Graphic Designer. Get a Marketer.

Graphic DesignNothing says bad business and lost investment like an advertisement that doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do, which is bring in business. I’ve met clients who go through painstaking troubles to hire graphic artists to create the most eye-catching ad possible – the problem is many Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator graphic designers lack the one tool that matters: marketing intelligence & experience.

If you’re a smart business, you know you need to ditch the graphic designer and get a marketer. 

A marketer understands the needs of the client go well beyond ad design. A marketer needs to know who your target market is, how to reach them, when to reach them, what will get through to them, what your budget is, what media outlets have a proven track record, and what you need to accomplish before, during, and after the ad campaign hits. Yeah, that’s a lot of stuff. Graphic designers know how to make an apple have fangs and only when someone advises them to do it for the apple with fangs business.

Ditch the graphic designer and get a marketer. The marketer creates a vision, concept, pitch and slogan for your brand. A designer simply takes those instructions and designs it. If you’re paying for a graphic designer that has no marketing experience, then not only are you wasting money on ad design (not to mention ad buys), you’re also risking your reputation as a business/service that is disconnected with the marketplace.

How can you tell if you have a designer or a marketer? Simple:

  • A marketer will provide an advertising gameplan and then design an ad that matches your goals, vision, and market.
  • A designer will show you their rates and portfolio of their capabilities, not a gameplan for where to advertise.
  • A marketer will recommend you measure responses through call tracking, promo codes, and QR codes.
  • A designer will say that adding those tracking options will detract from the look of the ad.
  • A marketer will tell you all about CPM, CTR, Open Rates, SEM, SEO, PPC, and more.
  • A designer will only give you two proofs to review before the final ad.
  • A marketer will list testimonials on their websites from successful customers.
  • A designer will list artwork yet no indication of client’s success.

So what would a good marketer say?


A great looking ad comes at a price. Knowing where to place it makes it an investment.

When you just get a graphic designer, all you have now is a great looking piece of artwork. You could hang it on the wall if you choose. Or you could invest it smartly into the best print, digital, and social places to bring in sales and get more business. Always ask before you hire a designer if they can handle media buying, media placements, strategy and market research. Until you know what, who, when, and where to target your customers, you just have a piece of PDF art. A smart marketer will know how to design your advertising for your intended market and then provide a media strategy for placing it. That’s an investment.

Develop a slogan.

Take a lesson from Walmart – develop a slogan, compel customers, to find out more and live by it. For years, Walmart’s tagline has been “Save Money. Live Better.” That tagline speaks to everyone in four words and compels people to visit a store or Walmart.com to see how they can save money on everything and actually live better with the savings they gain. Furthermore, it tells customers what to expect you’re your business. Home Depot wants to help you “Keep Improving” while Harley Davidson says what they stand for: “American by Birth. Rebel by Choice”. IBM delivers “Solutions for a Smarter Planet” and Nike urges people to “Just Do It”. You can see more here. What message are you telling your customers that you stand for? Even better, what are you telling your customers that your competitors aren’t? A good marketer knows how to develop an all-encompassing slogan that sums you up in half a sentence.

Reinforce, Reinforce, Reinforce.

Coca Cola grabbed headlines during Super Bowl season (go Giants!). InformationWeek reported on how Coca-Cola is going to be a marketing trailblazer that leverages their TV advertising through a massive social media effort. The days of simply watching a Super Bowl ad and then possibly buying a Coke are over; now, people can see the TV ad, “Like” Coke on Facebook, interact with the Coke Polar Bears online, and share the ads with people on their mobile devices and tablets. The message is simple – you have to reinforce your ad campaign in as many ways as possible. Does your store signage match your advertising? Is it consistent with your website, brochures & social media? Reinforcing can even be experimental – like CokePolarBowl.com – or very basic, like ensuring your print advertising is consistent with your business cards and branding collateral. More importantly, is your business image consistent with YOU? Even MORE important is how are you measuring it all?? Don’t drop the ball on the two-yard line. If you’re not reinforcing your image, you’re actually reducing the marketing effectiveness of your entire image.

Sometimes, You Need to Put your Opinion Aside.

When we were designing the print artwork for High Style Events, we were so convinced that our print design would be a great consistent theme, in line with our website, that would really grab the attention female clients. It took one comment from our female colleague – “it’s a bit dark” – to make us totally rethink our design. Although we were so passionate about the idea, we decided that we had to put my vision and idea’s to the side in favor of a member of our target market – females! If she says it’s too dark, then our target female market will consider it too dark and think we are in the dark-event business. Needless to say, we changed the print design to a more lavish, bright look with plenty of images and florals all around. Sometimes, you need to take your passions and vision out of the equation and let others – like your wife, your staff, or even clients – chime in with their opinions.

Be risky in your creative. But be truthful.

No one ever said you have to copy what your competitors are doing. Ever since Pomegranate started using a unique design for their advertising when they first opened, every Jewish supermarket tried to imitate the look and image. Well, Mendy’s Heimishe Bakery isn’t Pomegranate – it’s a bakery. A pretty small one. Don’t follow the crowd… create a new design so others follow you. And it’s ok to be risky and funny and bold and loud because it’s your business and your business has a unique personality. Be loud and creative in your logo but always stay truthful to what you are and what you represent. If you’re a small community bakery, highlight your “friendly service” & “fresh-baked” quality, not your valet parking. Own what your business is about and always highlight it.

Have a lot to say? Save it for the website or social media. 

Dozens of clients made the same mistake in their ads. They think the more information/value/deals they put in an ad, the more responses they’ll get from customers dying to take advantage of everything! Too many details in the ad will clog up the message. If you met someone in an elevator and went through your entire pitch about your business – who, where, what you sell, price, discounts, phone number, email, website, Facebook, Twitter, I guarantee that you will lose their interest. You know how people take eight seconds for a first impression? With an ad, you have less than 2 seconds to leave an impression. So get down to business and entice them to like what you’re about, pick up the phone, visit your website, or clip your coupon.

If you want to ensure a successful advertising campaign, the first step is to ditch the graphic designers. Marketing strategists and experienced advertisers are a better investment for future success.


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