As the workspace industry continues its remarkable growth, potential members have an increasing number of spaces to choose from. So it’s essential that your flexible office space or coworking space website catch—and keep—the attention of people browsing for community and prospects, including easy access to meeting rooms, virtual office plans, mail services, event space etc.
If potential members encounter a website that is slow, sluggish, non-intuitive, confusing to navigate or lacking essential functionality, they will leave and move on to another one.
It’s easy to set-it-and-forget-it when it comes to your workspace website, but it’s important to revisit and update it regularly to turn casual web searchers into leads, customers and members. Here are six telltale signs that it’s time to update your workspace website.
1. Pages Load Slowly
You have a few seconds to catch peoples’ attention with your website. Searchers have lots of options and will take any excuse to click away from your site.
If your pages take more than three seconds to load then your website speed is an issue. As CloudVO Marketing Manager Kim Seipel explains, “Users expect fast loading times when it comes to websites. If your pages take too long to load, it creates a poor user experience and a bad first impression for your brand.”
Seipel adds, “Most users will simply give up, move on to the next site, and probably never come back.”
In July of 2018, Google’s algorithm changed so that slow-loading mobile sites would suffer the consequences. It was a call for action for quite some time before last year, however, Google officially decided to use loading speed as a metric for mobile search result rankings last summer.
2. Your Site Isn’t Mobile Friendly
It’s no longer acceptable to have a website that renders well on a desktop or laptop, but falls apart (or becomes a user nightmare) on mobile. Many people use mobile devices to research, shop and purchase workspace offerings, so your website has to serve them.
Make sure your site is mobile responsive, meaning that it will detect the visitor’s screen size and orientation and change the layout accordingly.
“A mobile responsive site will look just as good on a smartphone as it does on a desktop,” says Seipel. “People need to be able to use their fingers to scroll, move from page to page, and easily access buttons, links and calls-to-action from their mobile device. Google also now indexes the mobile version of any website and uses those metrics to rank your site, so it’s a must.”
Google suggests the following steps:
1. Visit Google’s guide to mobile-friendly sites. This page offers several ways to make your site more mobile-friendly, such as using software or a third-party developer.
2. Take Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to see how optimized your website is for mobile viewing. You can test a single page on your site or several landing pages and see exactly how Googlebot views the pages when determining search results.
3. Use Webmaster Tools to generate a Mobile Usability Report, which helps identify any issues with your website when viewed on a mobile device.
3. Your Website Lacks Visual Appeal
Website first impressions should be high priority. Visitors to your website are making snap judgements about your space and brand from what they see on your site.
Photos and images of your space and community should be high-resolution and reflect your workspace brand. Include a variety of images and be sure to include people in them. Visitors to your website want to see the space in use to see if it’s the right place for them.
Use images to break up large amounts of website copy, and make sure your text is easy to read and your site navigation intuitive. Site visitors should easily be able to identify all the services you offer without too many clicks. For instance, if you offer coworking memberships, virtual office plans, meeting rooms, and private office space, have separate areas on your home page for each service, with buttons that allow the user to quickly access the information they’re looking for.
4. Your Website is Not Optimized for SEO
If you’re not thinking about SEO in your website copy, start today. Google (and other search engines) can be powerful traffic drivers and vehicles to amplify your brand messaging.
SEO includes on-page target keyword usage and optimization, metadata, page names, URLs, content headlines, alt tags, internal and external links, H1-H6 tags, your calls to action, and a focused and distinct messages on each landing page.
This is all done in an effort to help search engines understand what your site is about and what services you offer so they can serve up the most relevant results to user queries. Create clear, focused, compelling, helpful content and website copy, and you’ll be well on your way to an optimized site.
SEO tools can be helpful in determining target keyword phrases and developing your SEO strategy. However, having a clear understanding of your target market and their challenges and goals is equally important. As CloudVO Marketing Director Karina Patel explains:
“There are many extensions you can integrate into your website that will audit the on-page SEO items before you publish the pages. For example, Yoast SEO is fantastic. It’s a WordPress plugin that makes it very easy to complete all of the on-page SEO components that Google loves. SEMrush is another great tool. With any tool or plugin, you take the recommendations with a grain of salt.”
5. No Clear Next Step for Site Visitors
Once someone is on your website looking at your offerings and services, it’s essential that you provide a way for them to take the next step. For instance, can site visitors book a tour of your space through your website? This call to action is a powerful, yet low-commitment, way to get people into your space.
“We highly recommend you offer this functionality,” says Seipel. “There are a ton of scheduling software platforms, such as Calendly, which let visitors schedule tours of your space without having to send an email or call. With Calendly, you can pre-set blocks of availability so when a user books a tour, they can easily see open time slots available and schedule straightaway.”
Giving people an easy way to book tours saves time for space operators, improves the customer experience, and allows you to capture user information. As Seipel says, “Your website visitor just became a qualified lead since they booked a tour online.”
6. Your Website Lacks E-commerce Capabilities
If your current coworking space website does not allow users to purchase coworking memberships, meeting room time or virtual office plans, then it’s time to upgrade. Online shopping is growing at a tremendous pace and people want instant gratification. If someone shopping for your services sees something they like or need, they want to be able to purchase it immediately. An effective website gives them an easy way to do so.
“If your website is effective at educating users on the different types of memberships you offer, they should be able to buy what they need and checkout,” says Seipel. E-commerce allows you to sell coworking memberships to a global audience 24x7x365.”
Seipel adds that cross-selling or upselling is automated as you can provide suggestions or recommended add-ons for the buyer to consider once they are in the shopping cart. You can also leverage your e-commerce to gather data on your overall sales effectiveness, which then can be used to personalize future promotions or other service offerings.”
A bonus to automating your e-commerce is that you save your community managers and other coworking staff members time.
“They can spend less time manually processing coworking or virtual office membership purchases,” says Seipel, “and focus on the important things like community building and member programming.”