How many times can we make that joke about the cobbler’s kids never getting new loafers? Lots more times because the metaphor is still true. Well, this marketing gal and web spinner finally got around to giving the Grotto Communications website an much needed makeover.
How to Decide What to Keep and What to Toss in a Website Redesign
Reworking a website often goes one of two ways: You either shoehorn the current web content into a new look and hope for the best. Or, you grab a clean piece of paper and stare at the ceiling for a while trying to reinvent the wheel. Sometimes it’s effective to strike somewhere between the two and see if you can work with both approaches a bit until it’s in tune.
First, you need to really understand how the website fits into your business. Anyone selling products online can draw this line quickly enough. Though buyers may not be the only ones they want to influence. Those of us with service-oriented businesses and organizations need to be more discerning. Are you trying to build a practice or expand your customer base? In that case, you need to offer information that is helpful to potential referring partners, as well as future clients.
You also need to consider how the arena in which you operate is changing. Your site should reflect what’s needed in the greater business environment – such as mobile-responsive design, easy-to-navigate menus, stellar grammar. But you also need to pay attention to the real people you want to win over and the way you want to present your brand to them.
Branding Means More Than a Logo
Setting the right tone in look and language will make or break someone’s first impression of your business. If you train dogs (rather, train people who have dogs) for a living, your use of language and imagery is naturally going to be more playful and relaxed than someone who practices law. But depending on your target clientele, you may want to dial your style either more or less staid.
The dog trainer may work with a lot of families who are corporate lawyers, in which case being too silly might not win them over. On the other hand, an attorney who specializes in entertainment may be able to use some levity in the pitch. For my website, I try to present Grotto’s marketing services as clearly as I can, while adding the occasional quip or turn of phrase. After all, us marketing types tend to get away with stuff like that more often.
Bring On the New Technology
My website has been built on the WordPress platform for several years. This round I’m using a “builder” called Cornerstone with the X Theme framework. Yes, there can be a bit of a learning curve. Luckily, embracing a new option can result in a fresh perspective – for me and for my website visitors.
Many of the drag-and-tweak components should make updating the site nice and easy over time. Though the next tech step with the pending WordPress Gutenberg update is tomorrow’s line of inquiry. Will they work politely and simply together? Reviews are looking good so I’m cautiously optimistic.
Off We Go
The new website has been released into the wild. (If you’re reading this… you are here!) New sitemaps have been submitted to Google and the eblast went out to spread the word. Now I watch how it works – both in enticing new business and in web traffic stats.
Thinking about upgrading your website so it can better sing your praises? Get in touch with your questions or get some help from a seasoned pro.