Your 2022 Business Success Starts Today

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” – Alexander Graham Bell

Preparation. It’s essential, and if your business is going to have a successful 2022, it begins right now. As we’re quickly approaching the end of 2021, it’s time to start thinking about how your brand is going to show up in the new year. It’s a process we’re in the middle of right now, investing time and energy into how we finish this year and get prepared for the next, and we want to encourage each of you to be doing the same.

With that in mind, we’re going to spend some time over the next few weeks sharing some insights that will help you reflect on your brand’s marketing. Where are you winning, what’s working, and which areas could use some attention as you approach the new year? When we turn off the noise and create some space to reflect, we take an important step toward improving our results.

We’re going to kick this off with some questions you should be asking about your website. Here are seven areas we should consider to help us define how effective our site is at engaging the audiences we care about…

1. Is your site starting to look outdated? We all love an ugly Christmas sweater, and many of us are pulling ours out of the closet right now in preparation for the holiday parties. Here’s the skinny on those sweaters. Their coolness factor increases the more out of style they get. Your website, however, is not a sweater. It is a digital business card and needs to be engaging, up-to-date, and modern.

2. Is your Bounce Rate high and Session Duration low? A simple explanation of these two concepts. Bounce Rate measures if someone lands on a page in your site and immediately leaves or if they explore additional pages. Session Duration tracks how much time users spend exploring your website’s content. The question to answer is this… When someone lands on a page within your site, through an organic search or coming in from a paid ad, do they leave quickly or invest some extra time exploring other pages? Google Analytics will provide you with some quick insights to answer these questions.

3. Does your website capture your personality and what makes your brand different? Your website is not a room in a hospital. It should not feel sterile and cold. Look at your website’s personality and compare it to the personality of your people, your brand’s culture, and your products or services. Ask yourself these two questions… First, is our brand’s true personality coming through digitally on our website? And second, are we communicating what separates us, making our brand different and unique? If your website is stifling your brand’s personality, it’s time to change that.

4. Is your navigation clear or confusing? Think back to the last time someone told you how to get somewhere, and their directions were complicated or unclear. You either got lost completely, or it took you twice as long to arrive at your destination. The navigation on your website works the same way. It’s a tool for guiding your audience. Your website’s navigation needs to provide users with clear, simple pathways to the information they want – information that will motivate their decisions, keep them from bouncing, and increase their time on your website.

5. Is your messaging targeted toward your audience? The same as your website’s navigation needs to be clear and simple, the words used on your site to tell your brand’s story and connect with customers need to be straightforward and engaging. They need to target your customer’s driving forces – their pains, struggles, goals, and aspirations. It needs to create moments where your customers say, “This brand gets me!” If your messaging isn’t creating that response, you’ll see the result in low conversions and engagement.

6. Is your website’s flow overwhelming? Every element of your website, from the words to the images that tell your story, needs to be strategic and intentional. Users expect clean, uncluttered experiences from the sites they visit. Often, less is more. Challenge yourself and your brand. How can we use fewer words to tell our story more effectively? Does each image represent us favorably? Can we clear out clutter to create a simpler digital path on the site for our customers to explore?

7. Has your business or organization evolved, especially over the past two years? Over the past 18 months, this question has become one of the most important to ask. Too often, our approach to building a website is that we do it once and then never touch it again. If that’s the case and your business has evolved or pivoted over the past few years, then there’s a good chance that the messages you’re sharing on your site no longer represent your brand accurately. Back to point number 5, your messaging is off-target and missing the mark, which trickles down the list to points 1 and 2.

Now is the perfect time to spend some time thinking about your website. As you approach 2022, you want to make sure you’re positioned well to start the year. So ask yourself the questions above and make some notes. Look for those areas where you’re winning today and for those opportunities to improve – then take some steps to make your website a powerful tool for your brand in the coming year.

If we can help you get prepared for a successful 2022, we’d love to chat. Your success is our success… Let’s make this coming year successful together!

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