Sometimes clients will ask me, “How long will the website last until I have to do another one?”, or “How often should my website change?”. In answering this, the first thing I want to establish is that your website should be understood as a business asset/entity much like a sales representative or the brick and Mortar location. Your website is often the first encounter prospects have with your business. It has to offer your customers the information that they’re looking for, as well as confidence in your ability to deliver as a business. Thus, your website can perform in much the same way you might have a sales person perform.
- Your sales rep can make you look good or bad … so can your website.
- Your sales rep can offer great advice, information, and answers to customer questions … so can your website.
- Your sales rep can look great… your store can look great … so can your website.
- Your sales rep cannot work 24/7, your website can.
- Your sales rep can quit and/or work for a competitor, your website can’t/ won’t.
- Your sales rep may be hard to retrain or correct, but your website is easily programmable and re-programmable.
Given, a good sales rep can have a more personal connection, communicate information better, and think on their feet, but hopefully by this point I have made the website something much more important than merely a digital brochure for people to simply ‘take a look at’.
With this comparison drawn, how often should your sales rep improve? How often should the look and feel of your store improve? The answer is that change and improvement has to be on-going. What if your sales rep didn’t learn anything for two years or didn’t change any habits that would lead to a better relationship with clients? Similarly with brick and mortar locations, periodically they re-merchandise. However, when enough time elapses and enough technology has changed, that’s when a more aggressive overhaul is more appropriate.
I tell the clients we build sites for (responsive design sites) that they should probably anticipate not needing to revamp their website for 2-3 years, but that we should always be posting new content, and striving to improve the user experience on site. That may mean conversion enhancements, split tests, adding new pages, etc..
Keep in mind that sometimes new sites are poorly made by firms that are cheap, don’t know what they’re doing, or both. In that case having something ‘new’ doesn’t mean changes should wait, in fact, changes should happen sooner than later.
At the very least, the costs associated with a great website is fairly manageable compared to the salary and commission of a sales rep or the overhead involved in keeping an office.
I hope this helps you!