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How to know if it’s time to update your website in 2019 – Part 1

Curb Appeal

Website stuff (that’s a super technical term) can be daunting for a business owner. Let’s face it, there is A LOT to know and understand. There’s the technical, analytical side of things coupled with the ‘make it look pretty’ catch their eye design element as well. It takes a team of talented people to build, maintain and maximize efficiency for a website.

Think of your website as your business home. It’s where people stop-by, say hello, look around and most importantly, it’s where they get to know YOU.  The consumer is driving down Internet Avenue, looking at each house (website) and making their buying decisions based on website curb appeal. So, how’s your house looking? Is 2019 the year for some “home” improvement projects or do you just need to keep the landscaper coming to keep everything neat and tidy?

Look Next Door

Your life is busy. As a business owner, you have a lot to juggle. It’s easy to get tunnel vision and not venture out of your own bubble. But to really decide if your website could use some work, you need to look around. Get to know your neighbors, or in this case, your competition. Check out their curb appeal. Visit their websites often. How is your website in comparison? Remember, the consumer is constantly driving by, you should be also. Are they adding new plants, putting in a patio, is your yard manicured like theirs? Obviously, these are analogies for the visual aspect of your site but if your website isn’t “keeping up with the Joneses” it’s time for an improvement project in 2019.

Be Trendy

Just like in decorating, there are website design trends. Adding the latest style and staying “trendy” is a good thing when it comes to your website. Things are changing faster than ever, we recommend redecorating with current design elements no less than every three years. It’s essential to your website success. Here are a few elements you can expect to see more of in the year to come:

Website Best of WinnerHero Images:  This does not mean Batman, but they should be super! A hero image is an oversized picture that should evoke emotion. It should create the general “feel” for your site and give people a sense of what they can expect when they walk inside. It should move and almost breathe. Does your website have a hero? If not, it’s time to get one!

Unique Font and Oversized Headings: In 2019 it’s about using a unique font that STANDS OUT! People are scrolling faster and faster. Having dynamic, engaging and unique font catches the eye. The font you choose for your overall brand solidifies your look and feel. And strategically placing OVERSIZED HEADINGS, helps direct traffic as they are flying by.  You only have 2 to 4 seconds to grab their attention and convert them from guest to customer. Make sure your signage does just that!

Less is more: Like staging a home for sale, it’s important to keep things clean, concise and clutter free. Consumers are looking for easy to navigate websites. Avoid complicated menus. The desired user experience is a simple interface and that feels comfortable to navigate. Make sure your website design leaves enough space between graphics to allow the eye to rest and take in the scenery.

Great Graphics: The consumer wants to feel something BEFORE reading what you have to say. They are looking for bright colors with smooth transitions, animation, video, and geometric shapes that don’t make them feel like you’re putting them in boxes.

Be a Porch Sitter

Remember when people used to sit out on their porch and say hello as folks walked by? Well, it’s time to sit on the porch of your website. The lightning-fast movement of technology has left people hungry for the human element. They want to engage, ask questions, feel noticed and connect. Live chat is your front porch swing.

Welcome your guests. Thank them for stopping by, ask how you can help them. Remember, there are people on the other end of those clicks you’re analyzing. People who want their questions answered quickly and people who want to feel valued. You can always opt for automated “chatbots” if you do not have someone to engage in real time. Either way, it adds the human element to what is normally a static experience.  And as artificial intelligence “learns” more, the chatbots will be smarter and better able to handle frequently asked questions.  Some marketing experts are predicting that live chat could be the most welcomed website element in 2019.

 

Whether you are the type of person who makes resolutions or not, we encourage you to step outside your “home” in 2019. Look around, see what other people are doing and decide if there are even small changes you can make that will get you noticed and guarantee your curb appeal is memorable. Not sure?

We are happy to help. Schedule your complimentary market analysis today. We have that whole team of talented people to build, maintain and maximize efficiency for YOUR website.

Be sure to catch the next episode when we talk about whether you need to renovate the inside (all that technical website stuff).