The plumber’s leaky tap syndrome, the holes in the cobbler’s shoes, call it what you will, but marketing agencies are notoriously poor at creating marketing materials to promote themselves.
Determined not to fall into this trap, we decided it was time to update the PressPoint website. The opportunity to practice what we preach. Oh, so may pitfalls, so little time.
For a company that designs and builds websites, the temptation is to throw the kitchen sink at a new site. It is, after all, a showcase for our talents – there is so much you want to say, want to show. The need to be ‘clever’ can become all consuming.
However, what we really needed was objectivity, a clear understanding of what was required – uncluttered by preconceptions of what we thought we knew.
So just like we tell all of our clients to do, the place to start was with the brief. We have design and technical skills within the business, that most companies would give their right arms for, but if we’re not pointing that talent in the right direction, then frankly it’s time and energy which is being tragically wasted.
Some things came easily: we have a clear idea of our target market and of our USP, we possess a brand identity that we’re proud of, plus easy access to digital assets and high quality content.
But there were a number of key questions we still needed to ask ourselves:
– How do we want the new website to look and feel?
– What works well on the current site?
– What do the analytics tell us about our current site?
– What level of traffic to our website from smart phones and tablets?
One thing that is clear is that when you’re in the business of designing websites, your own site probably has a maximum shelf life of two to three years – this is a major factor when you are considering how much content to put onto your site and the depth that content needs to go to.
What was most interesting about the entire process, was how much we learned as a business, to a certain extent we reconnected with our digital selves. Things that we thought we knew – we didn’t, or at least we hadn’t been listening to what the analytics were saying to us.
What did we learn? Sorry that’s mostly confidential, but the website is now much cleaner and leaner, we’ve stripped away all content that wasn’t absolutely necessary and made sure that the most popular pages are parade-ground polished.
But, what started as a project to redesign the website, ended up giving us clear visibility on how people were using our website, and giving us real insight into how we might roll that learning out into both our on and off line media activities.
The things we learned were all things we probably should have known, but the requirements of the web design project rebooted our thinking about so much more than just the website, and there’s a lesson there for all of us. We all have the information to help us work smarter and connect with our audiences in a more relevant and compelling manner, but don’t leave it too long before you go looking for that information and use it for your competitive advantage.
Back to the website redesign, did we succeed? We’ll let you be the judge of that!