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Thinking of getting a new website in 2016? Now is the time to start planning

16 Sep 2015
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Thinking it’s time to upgrade the dinosaur to new sleek site? Need to go mobile-friendly? Or does your current site simply need a face-lift? Whatever your website requirements, now is the time to start thinking about it for 2016.

Now you say? Yes now! Depending upon your requirements and investment, the actual scoping, design and development phase can take longer than you might think. If you’re looking at a customised design for your site, it can take up to 12 weeks from sign-up to launch. And if you need to provide content that’s an additional amount of time that could impact on the delivery and launch date. Considering that we’re now at the beginning of September, that means we’d be looking at a New Year launch (not considering the usual Christmas slow/shut down period).

The good news is that you’ll be one step ahead of your competition leading into the New Year. It is extremely common for kiwi businesses to begin the slowdown from December and not gather much momentum until February – this is the perfect opportunity to have a new site launched and capture the eyes of those returning to work after the holiday break.

 

Not sure how to get started?
We understand how hard it can be for people, without the expertise, to visualize what a new website could look like and to figure out how to get started. That’s why, when you engage Limelight Online to help with your site, you don’t just get access to a project manager and developer – you’ll also get years of design experience, specialists in user experience and professionals that will look at your business model and structure a site that supports the overall objectives of your business. We’ll help align your website to your business and make a site that works for you.

 

Think you know what you want?
It’s likely that you’ve got a reasonable grasp on what you want your website to achieve and some feeling on how the site is currently performing. If you’re serious about your website and what it could be, then we recommend taking your analysis a little further than a ‘gut-feeling’ and get some sound data to support it.

There are a number of different tools out there that can help ‘see’ how a website performs, how users navigate around a site and the areas that they focus on. These are the sorts of things we’d be looking at in the analysis of how well your current site is doing:

 

Google Analytics
If your development company knows what they are doing, they would have installed Google Analytics in your site by default. While the untrained person might suffer from sensory overload just by looking at the Analytics dashboard; the detailed information can provide a great insight into your website’s performance, how people are accessing your website, and how engaged they are with your page content, for example. Delving a little deeper into your website’s statistics can help to determine those pages that are a necessity for your new site, those that potentially need to be redeveloped and those that could potentially be left out.

 

 

Heatmapping software
Heatmapping software gives great insight into how a user navigates your site. It tracks their mouse clicks, taps and scrolling behaviour and much like Google Analytics has the ability to highlight areas of your website that are well used and those that aren’t. By installing this software and letting it run over a period of time, it gives a good basis on how the wider population is using your website and the areas that they are focusing on, and the ones that maybe need to be removed or altered.

Image sourced from How Visitors Scan Your Website and How You Can Use Those Patterns to Your Advantage, (Webs.com)

You can take things a little further and consider:

User surveys and questions
It seems a little archaic but some of the best information you can receive on your website and its performance (particularly from a user’s point of view) is to actually ask those that use it – your customers and staff. Through surveying or just asking some basic questions, you can receive some feedback that can be thrown into the mix when it comes to designing and developing your new site.

Some simple questions may include:

  • What do you like or dislike about the current website?
  • What are some example of websites you like? Why do you like these websites?
  • Is there something you’d like to see or some type of functionality you’d like to use on the website that would make your experience more enjoyable?
  • If money was no objective, and you had the opportunity to redesign/redevelop our website, what would the website look like and include?

 

Ready to talk Website?
There’s no need to feel alone when it comes to analysing your current website and figuring out the best approach for your new website. We’ll make recommendations as to how you can put your best foot forward by developing a strong information architecture (IA) plan - a fancy term for making sure that the website includes everything it needs to - in a structure that leads the user to a desired result or outcome, and makes finding information easy.

All you need do is get in touch with us and we’ll get the ball rolling. This will cost you nothing but your time. And you’ll be empowered and have an understanding of how your site will become one of your most important marketing, lead generation and communication channels with both your customers and potential customers.

2016 is not that far away now, so if it’s a new look for the New Year and you want to kick-start 2016 with increased sales and a stronger online presence; it’s time to pick up the phone and call us on 03 374 6518 or drop us an email.

We look forward to hearing from you.

 

 

Main Image

Project 365 #288: 151009 Making Plans, by Pete, CC by 2.0

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