Stale Website? When to Update Your Existing Site vs. Building a New One

Your website looks dated. Sure, it sort of gets the job done. It says what you do and has your phone number, but no one feels better about your business after seeing it. If it’s really bad then it’s turning people off, especially if your competitors have better websites.

What can you do?  Well, you can either refresh your existing site or have a new one built.  There are pros and cons to both.

Refresh your website

This gives your site a striking new appearance and can also be combined with adding new content, making the site mobile-friendly, secure (HTTPS), and increasing the page speeds – these are all great for your search engine rankings, by the way. Refreshing your site is a fraction the cost of building a new site.

Before & after of a comprehensive website refresh by Key Marketing Group.

Build a new website

This is where you keep your same web address but have a new site built from the ground up. It will have the most modern programming techniques, be built in 4k resolution, and also be mobile- and SEO-friendly.

We do plenty of refreshes and new websites at Key Marketing Group. I’d say maybe 80% of the time we’re able to refresh an existing site unless it was built a long time ago or was sort of hacked together in a do-it-yourself website builder. Often when people call me and I tell them I can update their existing site, they say every other marketing agency said they needed to build a new site.

Here are a few scenarios to help you determine if your website can just be redesigned, or if a new website is needed.

  1. Your website was built less than five years ago by a professional programmer, although it doesn’t look all that great and can use some fresh content.
    Refresh existing site.
  2. Your website design is okay but not amazing. Google’s free PageSpeed tool also shows that the pages are loading slow, which is not good for SEO.
    DIAGNOSIS: Refresh the existing site.
  3. Your website is not mobile-friendly and/or is not secure (HTTPS). Note: Not being mobile-friendly is critical and can really hinder your site’s usability and search engine rankings.
    DIAGNOSIS: We can generally take care of this without a rebuild. The exception is if the site was built a long time ago in a now outdated programming language that doesn’t play well with mobile.
  4. Your website has minimal or poor content, and was either poorly built or built a long time ago.
    DIAGNOSIS: Have a new website built. Think of it as if the foundation of an old house is falling apart. At some point it’s best to just rebuild.

The next time you ask, “Do I need to build a new website or can I update my existing site?” The answer is generally going to be that an update will do just fine unless your site is pretty archaic. Whichever route you go, it’s also a good time to freshen up on your marketing messaging as well. Better messaging on an attractive website goes a long way toward getting people to pick up the phone.

Four Keys to Marketing Success

Marketing should inspire people to do business with you. It should get the right message to the right people, and be informative and honest. Here are four tips that will guide you down the path of a successful marketing campaign.

  1. Find what matters

Avoid “selfish marketing,” which rattles off a bunch of product features that people may or may not care about. Instead, you need to find what matters to your prospects and speak to their pain points accordingly.

The best way to find what matters is to ask your customers.  A professional survey from an unbiased third party is the best way to do it. When we conduct surveys for our clients, we’ll generally start with a 15 to 30 minute phone call with about a dozen customers. Then we refine our questions and send an email out to all of their contacts.  The result is a report packed with gripes, compliments, and suggestions from people who have firsthand experience with your product or service. That, my friends, is the best way to know how to sell your products or services.

If doing a proper survey doesn’t make sense at this time, at least call a few of your customers or even browse online forums to see what people are saying. You will always learn something.

Once you know what matters, update your website and sales materials so you prominently address what your customers’ “elevator rants” would be about.

  1. Marketing shouldn’t trick people

If the recipient knows what the marketing team knows, would they still want to buy the product? The answer should always be yes. Even if a statement is technically true, don’t be slippery with the wording. It makes people mad, and your company’s reputation is one of its most important assets.

  1. 80% educational / 20% promotional

Between emails, ads, text messages, and websites there is a ton of noise out there these days.  People have evolved technologically and are much better at filtering it out now. Your content needs to be informative or else people will tune it out.

Try to have your content stick to 80% educational and 20% promotional.  Find ways to help your prospect do their job better, then write about that. Then they will want to read your stuff, and by doing so, will view you as an authority on the subject and will contact you when they’re ready to buy.

Educate your prospects and the sales will come.

  1. Nudging ‘browsers’ into the sales process

This tip is for those of you working with more complex or high dollar sales cycles. Rather than swinging for the fences with your requests (ie. request a demo), find some smaller step that can nudge your prospects into the sales process.

I have one client where we switched a button from “Request a Quote” to “Request a Sample” and saw a big jump in requests that turned into sales. Why? Because requesting a quote means giving all the specs of a job, which people might not want to do up front. Requesting a sample means you’re just sending them something for free.  But guess what? About 70% of those that requested samples ended up making an order for the product.

So, one way to nudge people into the sales process is to offer something for free, such as a sample of your product or trial period of your services. This is very effective due to people’s innate desire to reciprocate.

If a sample or trial doesn’t make sense for your company, even just being more strategic with your call-to-action can go a long way. For example, instead of having a webpage say “request a quote”, it could say, “let’s chat to see if [xyz service] makes sense for your project.”  The former sounds official and might require approvals from up the food chain. The latter makes it much easier to pick up the phone because it sounds like a casual conversation.

Don’t push, but nudge your prospects into the sales process.

Why You Should Work with a Marketing Agency

Company execs looking to boost sales often wonder if they should work with a marketing agency. They know that hiring an employee with extensive marketing experience is costly and lacks flexibility. Plus, by hiring an agency they have access to a team of professionals with unique skillsets as opposed to one person.

Here are some of the benefits of working with a marketing agency:

  • Expertise – A good marketing agency should have lots of experience helping many companies. For example, Key Marketing Group has been helping B2B businesses with their marketing since 2012 and we’ve seen firsthand what strategies increases sales. We’ve also vetted tons of programmers, designers, writers, etc. and found the ones that are the best at what they do and brought them on board. That means you get access to the in the best in the business without having to sift through all of the good and the bad yourself.
  • Flexibility – Unlike having an employee, with consultants you can ramp up services on the drop of a dime. Whether it’s a new product launch, trade show materials, or a website update, we are at your service when you need it. Another benefit of working with an agency is that, unlike hiring a nomadic programmer that is a friend of a friend, we hang on to everything and you can email us years from now asking for a login or design file and we’ll send it right over. I can’t tell you how many people have hired us because their previous programmer is now MIA and now they want the stability of working with a reputable marketing agency.
  • Convenience – All it takes is an email or a phone call to get started. You can have a specific request (“I need a new company brochure”), or our personal favorite, or want to discuss how to achieve a goal (“I want to sell more of this widget in Los Angeles.”). There’s no forms, tickets, or cheesy hold music. Just an experienced marketer who is at your service.
  • Single point of contact – You have one contact with Key Marketing Group who you are welcome to email, call, or text. Whether you want to build an online ordering system or have an SEO question, you get to contact one person who will take care of everything for you. It’s so much easier than working with different vendors and having to explain your goals each time.
  • Save money – No need to pay for healthcare or payroll taxes when you work with a marketing agency! We also don’t have one hour minimums or any other gimmicks. So if you just want to have a twenty minute call on sales and marketing, then you only pay for 20 minutes. Many of our clients have said they pay us much less than if they would’ve hired someone. And if you already have great in-house marketing, we’re happy to work with them too. For example, if they need a video and aren’t sure where to start, we can help them out to make their video idea a reality.

Ready to give your sales a shot in the arm? Feel free to contact us to discuss your goals. We can always start off with a small project and see what you think.