Do you need a new website design or just a new content strategy?
Is your B2B website causing you issues? Your content strategy could actually be to blame. Find out if you actually need a new website design in our blog.
Published: 10 Dec 2019
7 minutes read
So, your marketing and sales results aren’t what you’d hoped for and now you’re stuck wondering why.
Perhaps it's your website - it makes sense, you’ve been putting a lot of effort into it recently and you’re not seeing any positive return. However, it could also be your content - this makes sense too, as you aren’t sure if your content strategy is right, or if it's generating leads effectively: so which is it?
It could be one of them, it could be both. Luckily, there is no need to panic - we can get to the bottom of this issue. We’ve established 4 key questions you need to ask yourself in order to identify whether it is your content that needs improvement, or whether you need a new website design. During each question, you’ll be required to focus on your content or website (or both) in order to establish how your overall marketing strategy can be improved.
Your content strategy is instrumental when it comes to generating leads, so if it isn’t optimised with this goal in mind, you will begin to encounter issues. Here are two questions you need to ask yourself when determining if your content is to an acceptable standard.
1) Do you have a user-friendly CMS?
First of all, you need to begin with the system that makes both a website and creating content possible - a content management system. A user friendly CMS is instrumental in the creation of both a successful website and content strategy, and its likely you’re under-performing if your CMS isn’t easy to use.
While you may be using a CMS like WordPress, an alternative would be HubSpot’s standalone CMS, a great, more user friendly option to create, stage and publish content. A user friendly CMS will also make it easier for you to determine whether your content or website is causing issues.
Not sure how to choose a CMS that's right for your business?
2) Are you writing valuable content?
If you have a CMS, you then need to focus on the actual content you are producing: does it provide value to your visitors? Is the content delivering the message you want it to?
If the answer to either of these questions is no, it could be your content that is causing problems; you could have the most beautifully designed website, but if your content isn’t good enough, you won’t see any positive results. Furthermore, ensuring the content you’re producing is valuable will make a website redesign easier if you do decide to go down that route.
How do you create valuable content?
There are a number of ways you can ensure that you are writing relevant and helpful content, including:
- Find out who your ideal customers are by creating buyer personas. These are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers based on market research and real data about your existing customers. A detailed buyer persona will allow you to gain an insight into what your ideal customer wants in terms of content.
- Create topic clusters that link content together under one overarching topic, which is great for SEO and for establishing your business as a thought leader in your industry.
- Write content with the three E’s in mind: engage, educate and excite to gain a wider brand recognition, higher conversion rates and increased customer loyalty. Because there is such an abundance of average content available online, if you're able to deliver something valuable to your potential customers they will notice and appreciate it.
For blogs, focus on the ‘big 5' topics: cost, problems, comparisons, lists and reviews - these are the topics that most people search for and they work well when it comes to generating website leads.
- Use a variety of content formats, such as Ebooks, case studies, videos and info-graphics to engage your potential customers in different ways. If your website only contains blogs, try adding a video or two for those visitors who prefer visuals - they will value the variety.
An excellent content strategy will not only help you generate traffic and leads on your current website, it will make the reorganisation of it much easier, should you decide to redesign it.
Because it is the first impression potential customers get of your business, creating and maintaining an effective website is essential. If your website isn’t designed with this in mind, you will begin to see problems. With this in mind, here are two questions you need to ask when determining whether or not you need a new website design.
1) Is your website user friendly?
How effective your website is largely defined by how easy it is to use. User experience is different for all businesses, but the most important thing to remember when evaluating your website (or considering a redesign) is that you are not the user - you cannot assume what your users want or need.
With this in mind, there are some issues to look out for that indicate that your website has poor UX, including:
- Your site speed is too slow: 47% of visitors expect a website to load in a maximum of two seconds. If your website takes longer, this is a huge problem. Slow site speeds can occur for a number of reasons including slow server response time, too many resources, or content that isn’t optimised for the site.
- Your site isn’t mobile friendly: With over 70% of internet traffic coming from mobile phones, if your website isn’t optimised for mobile users are likely to exit straight away. If you aren’t able to amend this on your current website, it could mean a redesign is needed.
- Your design isn’t consistent: While content is extremely important, so is the design. Visitors are engaged by attractive design and are more likely to purchase from a visually appealing website. If you have random colours, images and lettering scattered across your website with no clear consistency, it could be time for a new website design.
- There is no clear user journey: Your website should have been designed with the user and the decisions they make in mind. If this wasn’t the case when you created your website, it's likely that a user journey won’t exist on your site. This is a huge problem because you won’t be able to see what elements of your site aren’t performing as well as they should be if you aren’t sure of why the user is there in the first place.
If your website has bad UX, this is likely one of the major reasons why neither the site or content is performing as well as it should be. You can write excellent, valuable content but if it is published onto a part of the website where the user can’t find it, it doesn’t look attractive or it doesn’t load properly, then you could be missing out on potential customers.
2) Can you update your website easily?
You should be able to upload and edit content on your website with ease and convenience. If you can’t - this is a clear sign that you may need a new site.
If you actively avoid updating and changing content because the process is too time consuming or difficult, you’ll likely leave stale and irrelevant content on your website out of convenience. Not only will this make your user journey even more unclear, it's likely that you will need to spend unnecessary money on a developer to help you make any changes.
Ideally, your website should be built to help you do three things:
- Reorganise website pages when needed
- Create and publish new website pages instantly
- Quickly and easily edit content
You should be able to do all of this without the help of a developer, so if you can’t, it is definitely time for a new website design.
Now you’ve gone through the four questions, it's time for you to answer them honestly. If you’re considering a new website design - that’s great, but be sure that your content is fit for purpose before you pursue this. Many businesses jump straight to a redesign whenever they encounter any of the issues listed, but this isn’t sustainable. In order to achieve your business goals, both your website and content strategy need to be executed to a high standard - putting all your energy into your website isn’t going to solve all of your problems.
Luckily, there is a way to incorporate your content strategy into your website redesign, should you need to do this - by using Growth Driven Design (GDD). This approach brings testing, learning, and iteration to the website redesign process to improve performance, and reduces overall cost. It prioritises pages and features to launch first, rather than trying to perfect an entire site before publishing.
GDD allows businesses to introduce small amounts of valuable content at a time, which means you can properly assess user behaviour and how your website is performing as it is being built. This not only ensures a great website design, but excellent content - as neither is valued more highly than the other, and both contribute to the overall goal. You can find out more about GDD here.
Still not sure whether you need a new website design? Download our checklist below to evaluate your requirements!