Your Customers Hate Change–Do More Of It, More Often
People hate huge changes. You need to change your website more frequently.
It’s not just any type of change that people hate, it’s dramatic change. The kind of change that forces relearning and frustrates. Your website is no different. You probably built your website a few years ago and haven’t touched it since. It’s been slowly decaying, growing outdated and breaking to the point where dramatic change becomes necessary.
Don’t Let Your Website Decay
Prevent yourself from making drastic changes all at once and irritating loyal customers. Update your website constantly. Very few people mind small changes: especially, when those changes make their experience better.
Try new features, split test page layouts and know which one leads more phone calls, form submissions and drop-ins. Add new calls to action, reword headings, change font sizes–never stop refining your website.
Most of us spend hours nit picking the design of a new site to the point where it’s ‘perfect.’ I understand you want a quality product, but don’t fool yourself into thinking that the website you build today is going to be just as spectacular even a month from now.
In a month, your customers are going to have seen hundreds of new sites with better features, cleaner layouts and more friendly navigation. And every day, your untouched website starts to look and feel a little more stale.
Make Your Website Projects Fluid
It’s easy to think of web design as a one-off service. You hire a company, they build something (hopefully) incredible and the project ends. You don’t contact them again unless something terrible happens like your contact form starts throwing errors or some shady hacker injects malware in your site.
And it’s not entirely your fault if you’ve been operating like this. Ironically, most web design companies don’t encourage you to keep up with your site. Instead, they’re gone looking for more one-off projects and lump sum payments.
Instead of looking at your site as a series of big changes, like chapters in a book, start approaching web design as the pages between the chapters. Just as a story makes sense when you read every word of the book (one small piece at a time), small changes to your website will start to become natural, eagerly anticipated.
When you switch to a mindset of gradual change, you eliminate the pain and frustration that comes with sudden, big change. You’ll begin to pay more attention to your website, spotting flaws, constantly finding room for improvement and you’ll allow yourself to create a better website–a website that your customers will love and have a natural affinity for.
Small Change is Relative to Your Audience
Your idea of a small change might actually be a huge change in the eyes of your audience. Understandably, your website might be past the point of gradual change and in desperate need of an overhaul before you can adopt the mindset of minor, consistent updates.
But, it’s important to evaluate every change you make and weigh the benefits vs. backlash. Consider whether it’d be better to reach your dream website through a series of moderate steps or one fell-swoop.
Instagram recently updated their iPhone app. The icon received a dramatic redesign. User’s response: ‘hate.’
There were over 55,000 comments on Instagram’s redesign video when this post was written. Almost every one of them proclaiming their hate for change. All of it over an updated app icon…
A Refined Website Makes for Happy Customers
Happy customers are more likely to browse your site longer, read your sales material, get to know you better and want to do business with you.
Fortunately for you, creating a pleasant website experience isn’t a monumental task: especially, when most of your competitors are stuck in the early 2000’s before smartphone browsing overtook desktop visits.
Think about your own experience with websites other than yours. How often have you landed on a site, only to hit the back button before the page completely loaded. Was it because:
- the format looked old,
- images were broken,
- it loaded too slow,
- or the first line you read didn’t resonate with you?
It’s these reasons, plus thousands more that make your outdated website a huge disadvantage to gaining new customers.
Start Making Changes Today
As soon as you finish this article, open your website in a new tab and start taking notes. Make a list of at least 10 things you want changed. I promise there will be more than 10.
Easy to Fix Website Updates
- Logo Size, Placement, & Overall Appearance
- Font Styling
- Heading Colors
- Outdated Contact Info, Business Hours, and Team Members
- General Typos
- Broken Links and 404 Pages (Have you tested every link in your site?)
Easy to Spot (Tougher to Fix) Site Updates
- Clumsy Menu & Navigation Layout
- Non-Mobile Friendly (lots of side-scrolling, zooming, and frustration on smartphones)
- Frustrating Contact Form
- Painfully Slow Loading
Research Web Partners
Start looking for someone to help you make those changes. Research companies and look for independent designers & developers. You want someone that you’ll call your web partner. Someone you can count on to be there when you need them, who isn’t going to disappear, or make you less of a priority than their ‘big’ clients.
Tell them you want someone to complete your list of 10 changes and get quotes. Wait for their responses–you’ll know immediately when someone’s not a good fit. Reps will tell you they’re too busy or quote an obscene amount to get rid of you. Some will even say they don’t do that type of small work. These are the companies and people who don’t care. Avoid them.
You want someone who understands your business and is excited to hear you’re interested in ongoing work (even the little updates). These are the people who will encourage you to keep doing more, deliver quality work because they want you to come back, and always be available when you need them.
Remember, that the company or person you choose as a web partner is someone you’ll be dealing with on a regular basis. It helps if you find someone you like.
Get the Work Done
Once you’ve found the right match for your company, let them take a stab at your list. Test them out and see how they operate. Learn their style and make sure they learn your style.
Once you’ve completed your list of ten small changes, start the next list and keep it growing.
Make monitoring, updating and testing your website a part of your routine. Your website will be a series small, logical changes instead of giant ones that customers hate. Never stop refining your website. You’ll attract more customers, decrease your bounce rate, and set yourself up for less upset.
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