How do you know when it’s time to update your website?
I’m sure you’ve happened upon, and promptly left, websites that look like they haven’t been updated in years; websites with more broken pages than actual working ones. The internet is littered with websites that appear to have been abandoned. And just like those broken pages, your trust for those companies is then broken too.
Although these are obvious signs a website needs updating, not every indicator is clear cut. There’s no gauge or warning light that comes on to remind you it’s time to be replaced. Likewise, there are no rules around how often you should be updating or redesigning your website.
First impressions do matter however. Your website is often the first place where your customers form impressions about your business and your brand. So a decision to update your website, or not, will likely depend on a number of different factors:
1. Does it still reflect your business?
Have your services or products changed? Has the business grown dramatically? Did your company go through a rebrand? Is it targeting a different market?
As a general guide, it’s a good idea to revamp your website any time your business evolves or goes through a transition. Your website should be a great reflection of your organisation, your brand and what you offer. Updating it to include any new features or changes will help you do this.
2. Are competitors outranking you in search results?
Many businesses fall into the habit of thinking that a website can be forgotten about once it is up and running. But if you’re not taking advantage of a local SEO or a broader SEO service service to improve your local search rankings or boost your organic rankings and increase your presence online, then you’re unquestionably missing out on a lot of business opportunities and exposure to more potential customers.
3. Does your website provide a poor user experience?
User experience is a pivotal factor in the success or failure of a website. Good web design is not just how a website looks; it’s how it performs and functions. Layout, imagery, readability, navigation, page-load speed, and responsiveness (mobile/tablet friendliness) are all elements which can determine whether a visitor stays or abandons a website, whether they make a transaction and whether they’re likely to come back again. So, if your website doesn’t function effectively, and if a visitor is unable to find the information they need and find it quickly – trust, reputation, satisfaction, loyalty and credibility are all likely to be adversely affected. Worse still, you risk driving them into the arms of your competitors.
Sites require regular maintenance and updates to ensure they perform optimally and remain effective. It can be easy to ignore your website until a problem crops up. Outdated software, broken links, slow pages, forms not working, spam comments and old information will all have visitors making a beeline for the “back” button before they even look at what you offer.
4. Does your website focus on you and not your customer?
If your website is all about you, and how great you are, and you use every opportunity to wield the hard sell, it’s going to turn customers off. Yes, you are in business of selling things, but your content should focus on how you can help the customer solve their problems rather than on how they can help you.
5. Do you have traffic but struggle to get it to convert?
If your business seems to be stalling, particularly when it comes to converting online interest into sales, it’s a good indication that you should spend your time testing and making improvements to your website and your marketing tactics.
Marketing metrics will highlight the areas where leads are being generated, where they fall off, and which areas need to be refined and optimised to create value and provide clear next steps for a user to take.
Is your website making the right first impression?
With more people than ever before researching products and services online before buying or stepping foot in a store to make their purchase, your website should be an engaging and up to date representation of who you are and the reasons that consumers should do business with you, while also being easy to use.
If it’s not helping your business to grow, then it’s not effective and you should consider updating it. This doesn’t always mean that you need a whole new website. But whatever changes you do want to make – ensure you have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish.
If you think your website might be in need of a redesign or you want to create a new one, get in touch with us today and we’ll help you get the most out of your website.