It’s a tricky situation when your goals keep being increased, but budgets don’t. But too often marketers are put in the difficult place of needing to approach management with the request for additional budget to update or rebuild your website. The good news is that this conversation doesn’t need to be difficult, and that you have all the data you need for a convincing proposal at your finger-tips.
While there are lots of signs that your website needs an update or new build, not all of them will convince management. But if you can connect website issues to a loss or revenue, customer dissatisfaction or loss of market share… then you’re on the money. That’s why we’ve put together the five top methods to motivate management in supporting a website redesign.
1. Run a competitor comparison
One of the reports that your management will connect with most easily is a competitor comparison. If you can prove that your competitors have invested into their websites and are receiving traffic and leads that would otherwise come to your business, your management should have no problem in offering you a bigger budget.
The easiest way to do this is to put together a list of your top competitors and run a comparison of statistics and analysis against one another and your own website. Where do each of them rank in search? What is the estimated monthly traffic? Do they use marketing automation for lead nurturing? Do they use chat bots to automate customer support? Are their conversion paths simple and effective? Does their website’s design accurately reflect their brand aesthetic? In answering these questions, you should already have a great foundation for your argument of a necessary website update.
2. Review current performance against goals
Off the back of a competitor comparison, you should then also go into more detail about your own website and track as much information as possible. If your website had agreed goals to achieve, look at whether or not it’s been achieving these. Remember, your website is meant to be a tool for your marketing and sales teams. If it’s not receiving traffic, converting or nurturing leads… what is it doing for your business?
You can get into the knitty-gritty detail in this report by looking closely at specific KPIs. A good KPI to consider in detail is bounce rate, as this reveals users first impression of your website and what percentage of users choose to engage further. If your bounce rate is high, use this as an indicator to investigate other issues. It may be because your website took too long to load, or perhaps you’re ranking in search for the incorrect search terms and so your content isn’t relevant to the traffic you’re receiving, or perhaps your design is just confusing. Whatever the reason, each one would point to the need for a serious update to your website. Some other interesting KPIs to consider would be:
- Evolution of visits
- Average time on site
- Leads generated
3. Reveal roadblocks & impact on revenue
If your website is old, it’s likely built on an aged system that’s difficult to update. Content management systems haven’t been around for long, and many businesses still work off custom built websites that require expert professionals simply to add new banner images or update content. The result of this is that your website has slowly grown clunky and confusing, with half-fixed or half-built pages blocking your users’ conversion journey. A content management system, like HubSpot, can solve this for you, as it allows anyone to make an update quickly and effectively without necessarily needing to know how to code… meaning that your website is able to kept up to date with ease.
39% of people will stop engaging with a website if images won’t load or take too long to load, and 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content/layout is unattractive (source). The aesthetics and ease of use of your website are vital elements to get right—users simply don’t engage with confusing content that they have to work to understand. You need to do this initial work for them by simplifying their journey and pointing them in the right path. That’s why investigating your website as a whole and identifying all aesthetic and technical roadblocks are vital, especially as they can so directly impact your revenue stream. It’s important to consider if your website identifies with any of the following broken elements:
- Unresponsive design (not mobile optimized)
- Broken links (if you receive many 404 errors)
- Images that don’t load at all or don’t load fully
- Slow page loading times
4. Review search engine rankings
What are you ranking for? Are you discoverable on the first pages of Google for any terms? And those that you are, do they bear relevance to anything that might bring in quality traffic? Do your competitors rank above you for key phrases? These are all questions to ask when looking at search engine ranking.
If you’re not receiving organic traffic or not receiving quality organic traffic, then the content and structure of your website may need an update in order to kickstart your search presence. Remember to lean into the fact that, after the initial cost of updating your website, organic results are free and continuous.
5. Analyse your lead generation
Can you capture leads? If you can, are you currently converting any leads? Your website is only beneficial if it leads prospects into a nurturing funnel, and so if you can’t currently capture leads or your website simply isn’t generating leads… it’s time for focused optimization.
If you have no current way of capturing leads, you’ll need to implement call-to-actions (clickable links, buttons, landing pages, forms) that lead users into leaving their contact details with your business. If you have lead capture available, but aren’t receiving contacts, then you need to investigate the content of your website—why aren’t you convincing users to leave their details? What can be changed? Have you informed them of the benefits of your product or service? Have you identified with their pain points and pointed to your solution? Remember, you need to connect with prospects on their level and then nurture them towards conversion through support, education and experience.
You won’t necessarily need to include all of these reports and analyses in your motivation to management, but don’t hold back in your analysis of the data that’s at your disposal. Remember that management likely wants to hear solutions, which is why you’re highlighting the problems—to lead into a discussion on what can solve these issues. Investing in your website is investing in your business, and done correctly it can lead to exponential growth.