Tell-tale signs that you need a new website
There is nothing more important for your business marketing plan than your website. If your site is old, dated-looking or difficult to navigate, you definitely need an update.
If your website is more than just 2-3 years old, it’s very likely already out of date – and a detriment to your business.
Most websites built without a content management system require professional software such as Adobe’s Dreamweaver to maintain and update. This means you either need to invest in the software and train someone to use it… or pay a professional to update the site on a regular basis (which is both costly and cumbersome!)
That fact alone is all the justification you need to update your website!
Below are 10 signs your website is definitely ready for an update by a professional:
Your website isn’t mobile-friendly
If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, then you needn’t read any other reasons to upgrade your website – you NEED to update in order to remain competitive!
Recent data shows that over half of all web searches are now conducted on mobile devices – and that number is growing. Search engines such as Google are now evaluating your website’s responsiveness on various devices, and significantly lowering your ranking when a potential customer searches for your products or services on those devices. New changes recently announced for Google indicate that general search engine results will be determined by the mobile rankings. The bottom line… if your site isn’t mobile friendly – you will not rank on Google!
Your website is out-dated
If you have outdated content, products or services listed that you no longer support, outdated contact information, dated photography or any other tell-tale signs that your site is old – you’re sending the message that “you just don’t care!” The first impression is often the only impression you’ll make – be sure you’re putting your best foot forward when customers visit to learn more about your business.
Your Brand has evolved
Your brand goes far beyond the logo. Be sure you know your customer’s persona – and that your website and its brand is relating to them. The colors, fonts, imagery, layout and overall “look and feel” should be an accurate portrayal of your business to your target audience. Many businesses evolve over time, and your brand should also reflect those changes and target your changing demographic.
The design is too busy or out-dated
Design trends change constantly – and you need to evolve with it. The overall design should work in conjunction with your overall brand, but also include specific design elements that evolve over time as well. The style of iconography, font usage, color schemes, photography – even the layout and size of elements can look dated when compared with the newer modern design trends. Be sure to look at other sites and incorporate some of the elements that make an impression on you.
Your website is difficult to navigate
The User Experience will make or break your visitor conversions and repeat visits to your website. If your site is confusing, has multiple links for the same page, has links buried within sub-pages, or is difficult to find basic information and ways to contact you – your visitors will leave and likely never come back. A well-designed site will have every main page accessible from the main navigation. On a website with 20-30 pages, every page should be accessible from the main navigation. On a larger website with a lot of information across many pages, a visitor should be able to find any page intuitively within one or two clicks – and should NEVER need to use the “back button”.
Updating your website is costly or a painful experience
If you need to hire a web developer to make even basic updates to your website, it’s definitely more cost effective to rebuild your site with a modern Content Management System (CMS). There are many content management systems available to choose from – and almost all are mobile-friendly and have several modern, customizable templates to choose from.
WordPress, Drupal and Joomla are the three most popular, but there are several others to choose from depending upon your hosting setup. There are some considerations (such as regular updates, security measures, etc.), but the advantage for all of them is that you don’t need any expensive software or college degree in order to update your website. Most people can make their own updates with a little training – or pay someone far less to make the updates for them because of the ease and convenience of a good CMS.
You don’t rank well on search engines
If your website is mobile-friendly, and you’re still not ranking, you need to re-evaluate the reasons why. Your rankings on search engines like Google are affected by more than just the keywords you’re using within the website. Page load time, readability, over-usage of keywords, photography and alt tags used on them, handicap accessibility and relevance are just a few of the queues and considerations that Google will assess and evaluate when ranking your website against a search. You need a professional that is well-versed in the science of SEO to develop a solid strategy for getting your site to rank for the search terms that best describe your business.
Your website traffic is declining
A decline in traffic is an indication that folks are losing interest – or not being able to find you in the first place. Your website should be the cornerstone of all of your marketing efforts. Any ads, email campaigns or social media posts should funnel traffic to your website. If you’ve noticed a decline in your overall website traffic, a website update could be just the ticket to turn this around. A fresh website is a great announcement to make in your other marketing efforts. A well-designed site (that’s consistently updated) will keep them coming back and are far more likely to share your site with others.
Your “Bounce Rate” is above 50%
The bounce rate is the percentage of people who visited your website, and left very quickly without clicking on any other pages. A high percentage of “bounces” is often a good indication that either they came to your website expecting something else (bad content for the search engines), or they were disenchanted by your website and lost interest when they saw your homepage. Although there are often other factors that come into play, if your website has a bounce rate above 50%, it’s likely that several of your potential customers are leaving because of what they found (or didn’t find) on your site.
Your competition is “one-upping” you
“Keeping up with the Joneses” may be cliché when referring to your neighbor’s yard – but it’s a vital strategy when you’re talking about your business. Hopefully, by now you’ve been looking at your competition’s websites and are learning and comparing what is working for them, and the things they are doing better than you. You definitely don’t want to copy them – but learn from their techniques and strategies that are working for them – and do it better.
If your competition is doing the things listed above on their website, you’re way behind, and it’s time to catch up. If you’re equal to your competition… get in the game – and get a jump on them with a brand new web presence!
Some final thoughts
A well-crafted website is by far the best investment you’ll make for your business.
Be sure to hire a reputable website developer who has the resources to design, develop, integrate SEO and marketing strategies. By planning ahead and having the site built on a content management solution you can work with, you will potentially save thousands of dollars on future updates.
Please take a moment to view some of the many websites I’ve developed for a wide range of clients, and feel free to contact me for a free consultation on your website.