How Often Should You Redesign Your Staffing Website?

Twenty-five years ago, websites weren’t even on the radar for most businesses. And for those companies that did have one, it 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 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 Furthermore, if your website is outdated, you’re immediately tarnishing your online reputation.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 2.5 years?

Two-and-a-half years. That 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 toward becoming obsolete. That said, what factors should you consider when deciding if it’s time to redesign your staffing website?

Design Trends

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 toward 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 to appeal to your specific audience rather than simply distract them from your main message.

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Mobile Responsiveness. Seventy-eight percent of Millennials, 73% of Gen Xers, and 57% of Baby Boomers are using their smartphones 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 five 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.

Strategic Messaging. 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 (e.g., content marketing). 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 affected 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.

Competitive Analysis. Finally, what are your competitors 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?

So, is it time to redesign your 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.

MORE: Staffing Industry Review — Marketing by Design

Kevin O'Brien

Kevin O'Brien
Kevin O'Brien is co-founder of echogravity, a marketing agency that focuses on inbound marketing services for staffing agencies. He can be reached at kevin (at) echogravity (dot) com.

Kevin O'Brien

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