In my last post, I mentioned some of the key elements that are a sign that a website is in need of help; today, I'll go over how to determine if a simple "makeover" will do, or if a full reboot is in order.
1) Is your website based on a CMS (Content Management System)? How to tell; can you log into your website, and edit content such as product information, blog entries, site content? If you can, chances are good that a new "skin" and layout can be laid over your existing site, and a web-savvy content editor can help you do the rest.
Skins: There are some great low-cost, ready-made templates for most major content management systems at sites like TemplateMonster, or you can go the extra mile and commission a new template from an experienced professional. Find someone who can demonstrate previous work, and will prepare a mockup that suits your company's style and target market.
Content: Find a content provider who understands SEO and marketing; if you're already getting a custom "skin" done, see if your design/development company also offers content copywriting and SEO/social media optimization services.
2) If you've determined that you don't have a CMS-based website, the next question is this; how often does your site need updating? Do you have a dedicated staff member to make regular changes to your website? If you only update your website once a year, you're losing out on a great, inexpensive way to keep your customers engaged and informed about your company, your products and your client success stories.
If you have to go through all the steps to change the content via your web development company, you may find it too time-consuming to get the most from your web presence. Consider the cost of upgrading your website to a system that you or an assistant can update regularly, vs. the cost of all of the lost opportunities a website with stale content is costing you.
3) Whether you have a CMS-based website, or a traditional static-based system, you can definitely expand your online presence with social media like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Make sure your site contains links to your presence on these social media sites - this will give you an interim solution until you're ready to take your site to the next step.