Shabby to Chic: 5 Things You Need to do TODAY to Turn Your Website Around!

Shabby to Chic Website

I think you’ll agree with me when I say that everyone wants to save a little money these days, who can blame them? Am I right?

But there are some things in life you should not skimp on like car repairs, home renovations and yes, especially website designs. As entrepreneurs and business people, won’t don’t always think about how important a website really is today. We worry more about first impressions without realizing where that impression is being made.

Truth is, first impressions today are now based more off your online appearance, and less off your offline appearance.

When people want information, where do they go? Google! If someone is looking for a product or a business, where do they go? Google! If someone wants to review a service, what do they go? You got it! Google!

The internet has become integrated in our lives to a point where we depend on it for many things like communication, information, keeping track of schedules and finances – but most importantly, it’s become a means of finding products, businesses and services without having to leave the comfort of your own home.

Let’s paint a nice picture for you… Shall we?

Let’s time-travel about 30 years in the past. It’s the year 1988 –  You’re looking for some beautiful red oak hardwood flooring to complete the renovations in your home. You get in your car and go looking for a flooring store near you. You find one! You walk in and the place is a mess. It’s shabby and dull, things are strewn across the floor, it’s dusty and there is no one around to help you. What is your first impression? I’m going to guess “Ugh… I’m not buying from this place, let’s get out of here!” – so you leave and find a different store that is clean, bright, organized and offers the help you require. Sound about right?

Now apply this same story to the world as we know it today in 2018

Once again, you’re looking for some beautiful red oak hardwood flooring. You jump online and begin searching for a flooring store near you. You find one! You click their website link and you come to this website that has no photos, very little information, and no pricing. It’s disorganized and it’s hard to find what you’re looking for. What is your first impression? I’m going to guess “Ugh… I’m not buying from this place, let’s get out of here!” – so you leave the website and find a different website that is clean, bright, organized and offers the help you require. Sound about right?

Your website is the BEST way to make a GOOD and lasting first impression on current and potential clients.

If your website is not up to par with today’s standards, you are losing clients and you are losing money! So what can you do to fix that TODAY? I have listed the 5 things you can do today to change your website fro shabby to chic and keep them clients coming back for more!

1) Hire a Designer to Redesign Your Website

I put this first as it’s the best and most obvious option. “But I can’t get a new website built in a day!” You’re absolutely right! You can’t! But you can get the ball rolling today. And for god’s sake, DO NOT do it yourself (unless of course, you are a web designer!) Start doing your research (guess where? GOOGLE!) and connect with designers you feel are within your budget and have the same style you are looking for. Not sure what you’re looking for? A good designer will be able to create several different mock-ups for you to choose from. This is the best option for you if your website is old, outdated and well, just plain shabby – but be warned, it’s not the cheapest! Depending on your needs, a new website can run you up a couple of thousand dollars. But is it worth it? Absolutely! The return on investment for a beautifully designed website with fantastic SEO can be quite high if you’ve hired the right person for the job.

2) Update & Organize Your Content

Updating and organizing your content is another thing you can do to change your website from shabby to chic. In the online world, content is king. Easy to find and easy to understand content is even better! People do not like having to search for stuff, but they generally don’t like clutter either. Having a site that is clearly defined and organized with updated, easy to find content that is not loaded with technical jargon will keep your visitors on your site longer and they will be more likely to purchase from you. Grouping pockets of relevant information together on one page is a good example. If your business caters to both homeowners and realtors, for example, you do not want to display both topics on one page. This can be confusing for your reader, and confusion leads to the would-be client bouncing off your page in search of someone else who is less confusing. Updated content is also important. If your content is out of date, this will also cause people to bounce. People want to know what’s current, whats trendy, whats hot! Not the latest fad from 2016! Keep your content up to date if you want people to consider your business.

3) Update & Organize Your Photos

While content is king, photos are a close second. Swapping out or updating site photos on a regular basis is a great way to keep things fresh. If every time a client returned to your site and they saw not only updated content but also updated photos – it stirs up a bit of genuine curiosity… “What else has changed?” They’ll likely spend more time on your site, and they’ll be more willing to refer your site to others. People are visual creatures, and we’ve also gotten lazy about things lol – people love photos! It means less reading (if they can look at a product to help them decide on your business). If your photos are current and organized, some people will be more inclined to try your services.

4) Have a Call-to-Action on Your Site

Putting a call-to-action on your site is extremely important and can also bring your site from shabby to chic in no time. Don’t think so? We are emotional creatures who purchase off emotion more so than logic. We are also compulsive creatures. Putting a call-to-action on your website where it’s easy to see will engage your clients. A button to “Buy Now” or “Request a Quote” is enough to get that client in the door. Having a call-to-action presses the client to connect with you sooner rather than later. If they are given too much time to think about it, they may decide to not purchase at all.

5) Connect with Your Clients via Newsletters, Email or Social Media

Engaging with your clients is a HUGE way to prospect these days but it’s also a good way to turn your site from shabby to chic. Having a witty newsletter sign up form on your website and having social media links or integrations to all your social media accounts not only leaves your clients feeling engaged and connected with you. It instills a little trust as well. If you’re responsive across all your SM platforms, clients will love you for it. They’ll know if they have a problem with your product or service, they can log on to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc and message you about it and get a quick response. People LOVE this type of interaction between business and customers.

So there you have it… What are you waiting for? Go update your website and start raking in those clients! Are you thinking about getting a complete website redesign? I can help you! I offer affordable web design services for businesses and entrepreneurs alike!

Melissa is a web designer and SEO specialist with over 20 years experience. She is a full-time Super-Mom of 4 children and 3 dogs, while she runs MD Web & SEO full time out of her home in Ontario, Canada and still manages (somehow) to find time to blog about everything web design, SEO, and even her personal life.

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