30 Jan How Often Should You Redesign Your Staffing Website?
The staffing industry is one of the oldest professional fields out there that is still thriving today. On the one hand, that means a wealth of knowledge has been passed down over the years from industry pioneers. On the other hand, it also means it’s far too easy for staffing firms to get stuck in a rut, reluctant to change with the times.
The digital realm is a great example. 25 years ago, websites weren’t even on the radar for most businesses. It was essentially an online brochure, static in nature with little interaction and a lot of text. It wasn’t super necessary for the typical staffing firm. If you did have one, it probably didn’t change much for several years.
Today, if you don’t have a staffing website, you might as well not exist. Furthermore, if your website is outdated, you’re immediately tarnishing your online reputation. Did you know that, according to Orbit Media, the average lifespan for a website is only two and a half years?
2.5 years is the blink of an eye when you’re managing day-to-day responsibilities. But it’s more than enough time for your website to edge its way towards becoming obsolete. That said, what factors should you consider when deciding if it’s time to redesign your staffing website?
Okay, so you’re not Apple or Google or Amazon. Thus, you don’t need to stay on top of the most cutting-edge trends in web design (or trailblaze any new ones). But you do need to keep up with some of the most wide-spread trends if you want to stay ahead of the game. Here are a few design factors to keep in mind today.
- Imagery is a big deal. Today’s best websites use full page, high resolution images that subtly and authentically support their brand and messaging. Gone are the days of overused stock photos and clipart-inspired graphics littered throughout a site with no strategy.
- Less is more. The early days of the Internet were splashed with countless menus to navigate, buttons to click, and text to read. Those elements are still important, but minimalism has taken over. White space is essential, as well as clear and concise navigation. If you still don’t know what a hamburger menu is, Google it now.
- Scrolling design in key. Driven by mobile-friendly web design, the trend towards a scrolling design has become highly popular. The goal is to make less work (i.e. fewer clicks) for your web visitors. You don’t need to fit every piece of information “above the fold.” Determine the most important messages for your audience and arrange them strategically as you scroll down the page.
- Video and interactive design. Today’s web visitors have limited attention spans. Catching their attention with video and interactive design is a growing trend, but you have to be careful. These design elements need to be built on intentional strategy that will appeal to your specific audience rather than simply distract them from your main message.
Most likely, you’re one of the 77% of US adults who own a smartphone and use it for a wide range of purposes. Today’s average high-schooler would be hard-pressed to remember a time in their lives when a phone was just a phone – a device to talk through and nothing more. It’s the pinnacle of convenience, and jobseekers agree.
That’s why 78% of Millennials, 73% of Gen Xers, and 57% of Baby Boomers are using their phones to search for jobs. While these numbers vary across industries, if your staffing website isn’t mobile responsive, you’re likely losing out on a large portion of your candidate audience. The same goes for prospective clients. Many of them are checking their business email on their phone, and when your message goes through, complete with links to your site, you can guarantee the responsiveness of your site will impact their impression of you as a potential staffing partner.
But what if your website redesign 5 years ago already addressed the issue of mobile responsiveness? Don’t be too confident that it’s just as user-friendly today. We all know that technology evolves at lightning speed, which means the mobile interface has changed considerably over the last several years. Is your site still compatible with the latest mobile technologies? If not, it’s time for a redesign.
Written content is a huge part of your website. It’s also one of the hardest parts to get right. Even if you have the slickest design, the words you use will make or break the user experience. Today’s web users are sick of “marketing speak” and want to know what differentiates your staffing firm from the crowded marketplace. This requires a lot of background work regarding your brand purpose and promise, your buyer personas, your brand voice and tone, and more.
Updating your strategic messaging may not necessitate an entire website redesign, but it’s important to be aware of how design and content interact. The amount of space and layout of the existing design may or may not impact how well your website is able to leverage the content, whether it’s in your banners, sidebars, call-out boxes, page body or elsewhere. It’s a delicate balance, and if design and content don’t seem to be compatible, it’s definitely time for a redesign.
Marketing Initiatives (content marketing, etc.)
How have your marketing efforts evolved over the last several years? If you’re all about content marketing, publishing high quality blogs and articles on a consistent basis, we applaud you. It’s a great way to deliver value to your audience, not to mention the opportunities for lead generation you’re creating if you’re also pushing out eBooks and whitepapers. But does your staffing website design leverage that content or hide it?
Your content – if well optimized – should be gaining you significant web traffic. Check out your Google Analytics for help deciphering how well your content is performing. Performance will be impacted by how easy it is to navigate to your content and how well it’s formatted on your site. If it’s suffering because of either of these factors, consider how a redesign might help.
Web Traffic and SEO Trends
Google Analytics and Webmaster can also help you see how your website activity has evolved over the years. If your web traffic or rankings have declined significantly over time, it may be a direct reflection of an outdated web design. Load times, ease of use, relevant content and other factors are often at the mercy of how a website is designed and are simultaneously the exact reasons why a site might be attracting fewer visitors. Take a look at the data to help you decide when it’s time to redesign your staffing website.
Finally, one significant indicator of when you should consider a staffing website redesign is what your competitors are doing. When is the last time you ran a competitive analysis, studying the design, messaging, SEO, and web traffic of the companies you run into most in the marketplace? We get it: chances are, you have other priorities in your business that take precedence over completing this exercise. But even a quick glance at your competitors should give you a hint about where you stand with your own website. Are you ahead of the curve?
Is It Time to Redesign Your Staffing Website?
In today’s marketplace, your digital presence is essential to maximizing the success of your sales and recruiting efforts. Today’s consumer – whether they are looking for a B2B service, such as staffing, or they are looking for a new job – will almost always take the opportunity to check out a company’s website before they fully commit to working with them.
What does your current staffing website say about you? If you’re not sure how often you need to do a redesign, take the time to do some research to find out how well your current site is performing. Alternatively, we’d love to provide a second set of eyes or share more of our insight about staffing web design. Send us a quick message today to get started.
Kevin O’Brien is a Co-Founder and Partner at echogravity. Kevin’s credentials include being a top recruiter for a international Big 8 consulting firm, top business development rep for a global consulting and staffing firm, and consulting with over 100 companies across North America.