Paula Williams: Paula Williams.
John Williams: With John Williams.
Paula: We are ABCI. ABCI’s mission is.
John: I hope all you, ladies and gentlemen out there in the aviation world sell more of your products and services.
John: Or both.
Paula: Or both, right? Some people have products and services.
Paula: So either way, whatever you’re selling, probably have a website.
John: One would hope these days.
Paula: Right. Actually, a lot of people are trying to get by with the social media. A lot of people have a website that’s been kind of sitting there for 10 years or more, other things like that.
John: We should talk about that.
Paula: We should talk about that. We should talk about and this is actually one of the questions we get the most. People often seek us out when it becomes painfully obvious that they need a website redesign, right?
John: Sometimes they wait past that until they get a phone call, are you guys still in business? Well, your website hasn’t changed.
Paula: Right. Exactly.
John: That actually happened to one of our clients.
Paula: That has, right. So, today we’re going to talk about what to consider in a website redesign and things that have changed in the last few months or years that you might want to consider if you are considering getting a website redesign, right. Okay.
John: Or refresh either way.
Paula: Exactly or refresh. We’ve called it the website refresh. We’ve called it a website redesign. Sometimes it needs a redesign, sometimes we just need to update the technology behind it.
Paula: So, whatever words we want to use for this. Interestingly, there have become a lot more words used to describe a website. You know, a website, a landing page, a web brochure, an online presents[?]. There’s lots of things that people call this. And just like anything else that the marketing industry touches, they make up a lot of names for it. Anyway, great websites by any other name, do three things. One is get attention, inspire confidence, and inspire action and make it super easy to take that action, whatever that is, right?
John: Of course.
Paula: Okay. The things that have changed that we’re going to talk about, intellectual property or IP has become a big deal in recent days, weeks, months, right.
Paula: Privacy has become a big deal in recent days, weeks, months.
Paula: Update frequency has become a big deal as technology has changed to accommodate not having programmers and still being able to keep your website up to date. The last thing that we’ll talk about is retina displays. And how everybody has a retina display even on their phone these days which makes some websites look much worse than they did before they got the retina display.
Paula: Okay. So first of all, is your website getting any attention at all? Is it getting enough attention to justify.
John: Is it getting the correct attention?
Paula: Yeah. Is it getting enough attention to justify its existence? And is it getting attention from people who are actually potential customers. There’s a bunch of different ways that we can use to make this happen. You’re probably familiar with keywords and SEO and other technologies that help websites get found and get attention. And that really depends on what your customers are looking for. We’ve had people come to us and say, our website has great SEO because we’re at the top of Google searches for our company name.
John: The company name?
Paula: So we’re number 1 for Acme Aviation, which is a fake company that we use for a lot of different examples. We’re at number 1 for Acme Aviation. If somebody was looking for Acme Aviation, we are the number 1 Google search result.
John: The only problem with that is, they don’t know the name of your company, they’re searching for somebody that will do what they need.
Paula: Right. So your customers probably aren’t looking for Acme Aviation, which is what we call a branded keyword.
John: Potential customers.
Paula: Right. They are looking for turbine engine service, aircraft renter’s insurance, aircraft tires, aircraft records management, charter flights from Salt Lake City, flight training, aircraft records management, a bonanza for sale, or any number of different things. The first thing that we do when we consider how well a website is performing is, is it being found for your most profitable products and services?
Paula: And if the answer is.
Paula: Which it often yes then that’s one of the first places we need to start is is it being indexed by the search engines? Does it have quality content about those topics and those kinds of things. So that’s the first thing we want to consider is, is it getting attention, right?
Paula: Second thing.
John: The right kind of attention, not just bots.
Paula: Right. Actually, there’s a lot of places in the world where, if you’re getting a lot of traffic and that’s not where your business is located or where your customers are located, that’s sometimes a red flag. That may be something that you’ve done in the past to improve your search engine optimization was not entirely on the up-and-up, and that’s something that we may need to clean up before we can actually get in and begin improving your situation.
John: That presupposes you haven’t been blackballed by Google.
Paula: Right, which can also happen. Sometimes there are ways to recover from that, sometimes it’s best to rebrand. This is a great time to do a rebrand and change our name just a little bit and start a new website. That’s happened as well. We’ve had clients that just had an unrecoverable and Google is notorious for this but the other search engines do it as well. If they make a decision that is not in your favor, there is typically no recourse. It is such a large percentage of the traffic on the internet that it really isn’t worth fighting. Sometimes the better course of valor is to, chicken is the better course of valor, right?
Paula: We just have to find a way to get around that and live to fight another day, right? Okay. All right. The second thing to consider in a website redesign is, does this inspire confidence on the part of your customers? So John, since you are typically the demographic of a lot of our client’s customers, when you visit a website, what is it about that website that inspires confidence or doesn’t inspire confidence? I guess it might be easier to say that way.
John: There’s a lot of things that don’t inspire confidence.
Paula: Okay, let’s start with that. That’s probably easier.
John: Too many words, that’s never good. They have old graphics that look raggedy[?] or blurry. And have too many choices, those are the best or rather worst for me.
How about having like a date of 2018 or something.
John: Well, that shows, based on what I just said.
Paula: That’s true. Okay.
John: I mean, if those first three things don’t work, I’m not even going to look for a date because I know it’s too old.
Paula: So you’re looking for an attractive updated design?
John: Something I can easily drill down into.
Paula: Something that’s really simple to find answers to your questions.
John: Yeah, hopefully.
Paula: Okay, cool. Inspiring confidence in somebody like John is not always easy. That’s typically what we’re doing when we’re doing a website redesign. We’re taking your ideal customer and looking at the website from their point of view. What am I looking for? What are the most common tasks that I want to perform when I’m going to this website? Do I want to find a price? Do I want a consultation? Do I have some typical questions that I want to have answered?
John: It’s surprising how many, I’ll say companies, but basically individuals will build a website all about their company and nobody cares. I mean, you have to build it for what your customers want, what they hope to see. What if they’re looking for product A or B or C, what’s going to send him in right direction.
Paula: Right. We like to say your website should not be about your company or even about your product, it should be about your customer and the problem they’re having and how you’re going to solve it for them, right?
Paula: Yeah. There’s so many websites that start with, we are a customer service-oriented.
John: Which means they’re not, from my perspective.
Paula: Right. We’ve been in business since 1984 and we are the leading provider of services, and it’s like half a page before you can figure out what they actually do.
John: Yeah, and even then, if you can’t figure it out, I won’t waste my time.
Paula: Right. Exactly. So inspiring confidence, that’s thing number 2. Thing number 3 is, getting people to take action. Now, this is going to have to be a compromise between what you want them to do and what they are likely to do, right? So, some companies, they don’t want to be bothered with phone calls, they don’t want to have to respond to every little thing but customers expect that level of service, especially for certain products and services.
John: Yeah. I mean, if I don’t see a phone number on there and I have a couple of questions I can’t resolve, I go to the next one.
Paula: Right. So having a prominent, clickable phone number, may not be what you want because you don’t necessarily want your phone ringing off the wall.
John: But if you do have it, make damn sure that somebody answers it.
Paula: Right. And that you’re handling those calls appropriately. So, whatever action your customer takes, you want that to be very rewarding for them, very quickly, because otherwise, they’re going to go elsewhere pretty quickly.
John: If it’s rewarding for them, guess what? It’d going to be rewarding for you.
Paula: Absolutely. So, do you want them to call you? Do you want them to fill out a form to get a quote? Whatever it is, whatever action it is that you want them to take, you want to make sure that it’s super easy for them to do and super rewarding in a very short amount of time because otherwise, you’re one click away from the next guy who can serve them faster.
John: If they’re not rewarded, neither will you be.
Paula: Right. Exactly. Okay. Those are the three things that we think a website should do. Get attention, inspire confidence, and get people to take action, whatever it is, make it super easy and obvious what action they should take in order to solve the problem.
Paula: So, now let’s talk about some of the things that have changed or that have been become a whole lot more prominent in the last few months because of news events and other things. One of them is what we call intellectual property.
John: Yeah. Which is all we sell.
Paula: Right. Which is all we sell as a marketing company, our entire product line is intellectual property that we either create for other people or that we have created for ourselves. So it’s very, very important for us to not be at the mercy of third parties like Facebook, Google, Instagram, TikTok, anybody else. They all have these terms of service where anything that you put on their service, if they disappear it, if they put ads on it, if they warp it, if they do something weird to it, you may not have total control of that. But if you publish things on your own website first, then you have a time-stamped copy.
John: Yeah, well neither are you in control which means you have no recourse to whatever they do.
Paula: Exactly. But if you publish something on your own website, you own that real estate. So you have a time stamped copy of this episode or this article or this video or this, whatever it is, that you have total control over. Sometimes that’s not practical. Like with videos, you may want to look into some of the video hosting services that have better and worse terms of services. We publish ours on Vimeo and on YouTube simply because we want to have 2 copies out there in the world. But we don’t want them on our own website because our web server isn’t built for that and we don’t want them hanging up and giving people a bad experience and having us [inaudible] right?
John: No. But there are links.
Paula: Do the robot? There are links there. Exactly. But so it’s very important to consider what you do with your intellectual property and your website is the safest possible place to publish anything first, right?
John: Assuming, of course, that you’re with a service that provides backups.
Paula: Right. Exactly. And of course, we do. For the websites that we host, we provide backups in at least two different ways so that if something happens to your website, we have a cached copy, we also have a backup we can restore. So there’s a couple of different things that we can do to make sure that your data is safe. Safety of data versus what people might do to your data if they get hold of it is a whole other story.
John: Of course.
Paula: So yeah intellectual property is a thing. There’s a lot of information out there about things that have happened with people’s intellectual property on different social media sites. So you do want to make sure that anything that you have, you have copies of somewhere safe and you publish it to your own website first. It’s really the advice that we have.
John: Of course.
Paula: Okay. Frequency of updates. Since Covid, and I actually, was listening to an article on NPR today about restaurants and their menus. And you’re going, what the heck does this have to do with any of this? So a year ago before Covid.
John: Probably 2 years ago.
Paula: 2 years ago. Okay, fine. You walk into a restaurant and you’re handed a menu that has prices on it, right? And these prices are probably not changed in 5 years because they haven’t had these menus reprinted in like 5 years. Nowadays, people are so used to having these QR codes on the tables. So, restaurants can now change their pricing dynamically. For example, the price of drinks goes up after 4 p.m. or after happy hour or whatever the situation is. So updating information has become the norm, right? I’m not suggesting that you change your prices more than once a day. In fact, I’m not suggesting that you change your prices at all. What I’m suggesting is that it is a whole lot easier to keep things up to date and people do expect that everything electronic be up-to-date. So, an out-of-date website was fine two years ago, it is not fine now. If you’ve got old people in your About Us page that has not been with your company for five years.
John: That’s a problem.
Paula: That’s a problem. If you have services in your catalog that you don’t do anymore, that’s a problem. If you don’t have products and services that you actually offer on your website, that’s a problem.
Paula: Yeah. So you should be able to update your website either because you’re partnering with a marketing company that will do it for you in a convenient and not terribly expensive way.
Paula: Right. Or you should be able to do those updates yourself and we’ve got clients that do both. We’ve got clients that want the keys to their website and they’ve got people who are fairly tech-savvy. We’ve got clients that want a form so that they can update certain portions of their website and there are apps and forms and things that allow you to do that.
John: What’s interesting is those that update their own, they always give us the keys because they frequently run across things that just don’t make sense of what’s going on, and they asked us to get involved.
Paula: Right. Exactly. I am totally into collaboration, you know, working with people so that they do as much as they’re comfortable with, and then we take over from there because you don’t need to be paying us for stuff that you could perfectly well do.
John: Of course.
Paula: You don’t need to be waking us up at four o’clock in the morning because you had an idea. But either way, there are ways that we can collaborate in ways that are comfortable for all of us, right?
John: Of course. We do have 24 hour coverage with people that do that.
Paula: Exactly. Right. But we’re not going to get creative with you at four o’clock in the morning.
Paula: Okay. So when we’re talking about privacy on your website, it is just about impossible to keep up with all the changes and the laws and rules that have to do with customer privacy.
John: The various countries that’s going to be looking at you.
Paula: Right. And lots of different countries have their own rules. Lots of different states in the United States have their own rules. And it happens so frequently that even though we are in the business of marketing, and marketing is what we do 24/7, it’s too much for even us to keep up with. So we use a service called Termageddon on the websites that we build. We highly recommend it to anybody.
John: Yeah, if you build it you should do [inaudible] these guys as well.
John: The latest, whatever it is.
Paula: Exactly. Some of these things you actually need to interact with, it’s not entirely automated, because you do need to know if you need to run your business differently or if you need to change the way that you do things or you need to change the way your forms work. Sometimes that happens, we can take care of that for you if we’re your marketing company, if not, Termageddon will tell you, you can’t use this type of form anymore. You need to go find an alternative or whatever it is. They keep you on the straight and narrow and prevent any legal issues with privacy on your website.
Paula: Okay. The last thing I wanted to talk about today as far as things that have changed recently that may impact your decision about whether or not to do a redesign, is the advent of retina displays. And retina displays come in all sizes.
John: Come in all sizes.
Paula: They can be this big and still have an amazing picture, right?
John: Assuming that you've programmed it for retina display.
Paula: Exactly. I get really really good photos and videos on this little thing that I carry around with me all the time. I also have a tablet, you have a tablet, almost everybody has retina displays in some form, whether that’s the monster monitor on your desk or whether that is a little screen that you’re carrying around. You still expect a much higher quality of photograph, a much higher quality of video than anybody did, 2 years ago.
John: High quality, read that to me in high resolution.
Paula: High resolution. Videos should be in 4K or 5K.
John: Minimum these days.
Paula: Right. You want to go as high as you possibly can so that it’ll have a longer shelf life.
John: Yeah, because the servers like a YouTube and others they serve up whatever your device handles.
Paula: Yeah. They’ll serve up a lower resolution for people to have a lower resolution browser or screen.
John: We are now to the point where I think we do 8K mostly, right?
Paula: We have done 8K. Yeah. Like John and I, we like old movies, but sometimes we can’t stand to watch them because we have this big beautiful TV and you watch some of these old movies on a big beautiful TV and it just makes your eyes run, it just doesn’t look right because the screen can handle so much more, so much higher resolution.
John: If they remaster them properly, then they’re good. Otherwise, they need an analog screen.
Paula: Right. We almost need to buy an old TV from somewhere so we can watch old movies without bawling our eyes out because of the clarity that you expect that we’ve become accustomed to.
Paula: Just isn’t there. So when people look at your website, if they see something that is a low-resolution, 2 years ago kind of an image and that could be the photographs on your site, that could be the design of the site itself, that could be the text, everything on your site should be served at a level that people are expecting from a high-definition retina device.
John: It could be you signed up and build one of those 1495 websites, and their resolution just doesn’t go that high.
Paula: Right. Or if you use top-of-the-line tools or a very expensive agency, 2 or 3 years ago, it’s still not going to be at the resolution that it would be if you remastered your website in this day and age. Maybe that’s a term we should start using, remaster your website.
John: Well, and in the case of what we do, we use the same hardware and software that Hollywood does to create movies.
John: Then it’s a whole new ballgame to learn but once you’ve got it, what you can produce is quite amazing.
Paula: Right. And it takes a whole lot of bandwidth to process those kinds of movies, believe me. We’re going to do that with this movie. But yeah, it does make a big difference in how people perceive your company. If their first impression of you is retina ready or not.
John: Of course.
Paula: All right. Last thing I’m going to talk about, we actually are running a special this summer. We have a new team of copywriters that I’m really proud of. They are really getting their stuff together. So, if you do decide to do a website redesign with us in the next, let’s say till the end of August, we will provide 3 hours of copywriting with that website.
John: Read that for all you holsters who don’t realize what copywriting is. It’s content writing. Content for the website.
Paula: Right exactly. Yeah. You do have to have really compelling writing on your website as John mentioned, if you’ve got too many words, that is not going to serve the purpose. So you have to have a really good design and you have to have concise powerful writing. Compelling, explanatory.
John: Before you go thinking that you can replace copywriters with AI. The AI providers tell you, you need a good copywriter to provide a good input so we can have a good output.
Paula: Right. And to answer the question that I’m sure everybody’s thinking, our copywriters do use those AI tools to get the results that they do, but they also refine it as human being. So, the AI tools are great but they’re just not there yet.
John: Then it has to get past us. After is all said and done, I do the final edit.
Paula: So, you can use that copywriting for rewriting your home page in a way that is optimized for the keywords that you’re after. Rewriting your About Us page is a really common project that does wonders for your website and does wonders for your company image as well. Product descriptions, happy customer testimonials, interviews, things like that. Those are things that you can use our copywriters for, to bring your website to the next level, right?
Paula: Okay. As we mentioned, everybody has a different level of comfort and a different level of interaction with their website. Some people want it all done for them, they never want to touch it, they never want to.
John: The guys say I’m not technical.
Paula: Exactly. They want it all done for them, we got you covered. We’ll take care of everything for you. If you’re somewhere in the hybrid range and you want to be participating, updating your website, certain things on it, You want to be highly involved in the writing and design of your website, we got you covered there. If you want it to be fairly self-service and do this with templates and have us coach you through the process of building your website, we can do that too. So wherever you fall on the pyramid, that affects the amount of time and the amount of money that you’re going to have to put into the project. But of course, we’d love to sit down with you and do a consultation and say, you’ve got a pretty good website here are the things we should keep. Here are the things we need to burn to the ground right now, and here’s how we proceed going forward. We have a 31 point checklist that we use for that process to go through what you got keep what’s great.
Paula: Yeah, exactly. Do what we need to do to get the rest to the next level. All right. So we talked about the three things that your website should do. It should get attention, inspire confidence, and inspire action. If there’s any one of those things that it’s not doing well.
John: Then it needs to be helped.
Paula: Then it probably needs some help. There are 4 other things that we talked about that have changed in the last couple of years. One is intellectual property, privacy, update frequency, and retina displays, right?
Paula: Thank you for joining us. We’ll see you next week.
John: Stay safe and happy. See you later!