In the world of web building most companies would refresh their website every three to five years, like a shop window display that needed updating because everyone got bored of looking at the same thing every day.

Now, with Google rewarding regular site and content updates, this methodology will not give you the results you desire. The years of brochure based sites are over. Websites need to build databases so that the customer receives regular value added content, discounts and insights that take them deeper into each website’s brand. This works in every sector, from education to leisure.

The look and feel of the website will need a design overhaul every so often. Knowing this, a website should be designed well and make the user experience the main driver behind the design and the features. Analytics, both on CMS builds such as Word Press and Google Analytics can be added via coding.

Even more sophisticated ways of tracking users, such as heat map tools, will help inform you strategically. When was the last time you checked your website analytics? Is your website performing? Do you know how your users are interacting with you? Is your website collecting their data and if so are you talking to them regularly via email or social channels?

In the light of our recent website refresh, here are seven tips to help you keep your website “in date”…

Tip 1: Tell a Story.

One of the key things missing on most websites is a story, something that creates empathy and engages the audience. We call this “Audience first marketing”. It’s more purposeful and focuses on adding value by identifying with people’s challenges and giving insights to overcome them.

Once you have that in place, you are starting to build a relationship. Don’t hit them with the close immediately, you wouldn’t ask to marry someone on the first date (yes, it does happen, but it’s the exception, not the rule). The story should be at the heart of the website.

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Tip 2: Frame it correctly

Once you have a strong narrative in place you need to frame it. A great picture can be ruined by placing it in a hideous frame. That’s where great design comes in, using great colour pallets, striking imagery (use stock but don’t use these ones – @darkstockphotos) and great copy with a clear call to action to help you share your story effectively.

Marketing and design agencies, by definition, need attractive, eye catching websites so we recently updated the design of ours to keep it fresh, exciting and even more user friendly.

Tip 4: What makes YOU different

Make sure that your website communicates your proposition well. Is your USP at the forefront of the homepage? If I visited your website would I know straight away how you could help me?

Our website showcases the diverse range of work we produce in a dynamic way. Users can also clearly see the 360° marketing process as a journey on which we take them to help them discover their story.

Tip 5: Always add value

Make your website add value as well as drive sales. Is your website hospitable to visitors? What are you giving away for free? Knowledge, advice or incentives…?

At Cre8ion we post a weekly blog on our home page in order to add value to our site visitors. In it we include advice to help people with marketing. Our blog features prominently on the home page (we have stripped the page back and put the focus on the blog content) and different authors are shown, making the content more shareable. We love it when people share our blog because they felt enriched by it.

Tip 6: Feedback is golden

Make your website personable, a faceless website is less attractive than one which features a personal touch. People like to follow people.

Why not ask people from your target audience what they think of your website and then get professional help to update your website’s look? Remember that your website should be an extension of your brand.

The whole team at Cre8ion has a hand in producing our website; designers, marketing execs, developers, writers and video producers, but we also sought some advice and feedback from people connected to us. You can meet us all on the About page and we’d love to connect with you via Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram.

Tip 7: Audience first approach

Check analytics, (such as Google or Word Press) to make sure that your end user experience is working well. It’s always worth checking the behaviour tab to see where people are going in the site and where they aren’t going. You can then tweak your site to make life easier for your users and get people to engage in the way you want them to.

On the Cre8ion site we have made it easier for users to see the kind of work we have done for other clients, simply clicking on the company logos will reveal a large volume of differing assignments.

We’ve also made it easier for users to contact Cre8ion by clicking the phone icon at the top right hand corner of every page and we’ve provided more than one call to action as people use websites differently and on different devices.

Lastly, let us close with this… if there is anything you think we could improve on the website just drop our head of Digital, Mike a note and we’ll be happy to hear from you and alternatively, if you need some help and want to discover how you can Share Your Story, contact us today

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