- On March 29, 2017
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Website maintenance is a lot like the upkeep of a store’s physical location: expensive, time consuming, but completely necessary for a positive customer experience. The architecture and aesthetics of the web change at a rapid pace, making it easy to find your site antiquated and in dire need of updating. Users are now browsing the web from different devices, and the best practices of effectively reaching consumers are evolving at an equal pace.
Search engine algorithms are constantly updating to factor website design and usability into their rankings. So, if the internet is like a giant shopping mall, your website is your storefront. Thus, having a compelling website is a precondition for leads, conversions, clicks, and sales. Identifying whether or not your site is in need of a total overhaul or just updates can be tricky, but there are a few indicators that can point you in the right direction. Here are five signs it’s time to invest in a website redesign.
Your Site Has an Outdated Look:
Aside from the load speed, the aesthetics of your website play a huge roll in a user’s initial impressions. If your website has an outdated look, it’s likely diminishing your authority and causing users to abandon the page. For example, look at the before and after pictures of Ambassadors to the Nations:
Tip: In creating a new look for your site, think critically about the service, good, or information you’re offering, and then determine what aesthetic would most effectively communicate that. Is it a simplistic, clean look, like Google? Or is it something more action-oriented, like a fundraising page? Then, take a look at the websites of your main competitors-especially those that are out performing you-and put yourself in the shoes of a user. What on their site works? Making observations like this will help you strategic your redesign.
The Content is Difficult to Update:
Having the authority to manage your own content is a must for modern web design. If updating or adding content on your website is a difficult process or can’t even be done without contacting your developer, then it’s definitely time for a redesign. Not having a user-friendly website that allows you to access the backend of your site comfortably is a key indicator that you need an architectural overhaul.
Tip: When working with a web design agency/specialist on your website’s architecture, make sure you stress the importance of having administrative access to the backend. It’s crucial to have a functional website platform that gives you tools to keep your website fresh withouthaving to routinely redesign. Plus, not having to deal with IT personnel every time you want to update and article or news feed is website bliss.
Your Site Has a High Bounce Rate:
If you’re paying attention to the analytics of your website (which you should be), then you’ll be able to see stats on things like the click through rate and bounce rate of your site:
Bounce rate indicates the pace at which users are leaving your website, and be very telling of issues that need to be addressed. A number of things can affect the bounce rate of your website, including things like broken links, poor load speed, or a lousy design.
Tip: Get to know Google analytics on a personal level, and go through the factors of things that influence bounce rate like a checklist. Maintaining an enticing website that is inviting, optimized, and easy for users to browse through will keep your bounce rate low.
1) It Doesn’t Work Well on Mobile
According to Smart Insights, over 20% of Google searches are performed on a mobile device, and when it comes to local searches, more than half are performed on mobile devices. In the United States, a whopping 25% of internet users only access the internet on a mobile device. If these stats tell you anything, it’s that the world has gone mobile, and if your website isn’t optimized, it’s officially time for a responsive re-design.
I wrote all about the 5 reasons why you need to make your website responsive in 2014 on the Pyxl blog, but the key is this: user experience on your site can make or break your business, and you don’t want to lose market share to the competition simply because you were slow to adapt to mobile browsing trends.
On the plus side, according to Econsultancy, 62% of companies that designed a website with mobile in mind saw increased sales, so going responsive is a win-win!
2) It’s in Flash
If your site’s still in Flash, I hate to tell you, but it’s been outdated for the past 5+ years. Not only do iPhone and iPad not support Flash, but search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo can’t read it, which means it’s terrible for search engine optimization. In addition, users have to install a plugin (and make sure they have the latest version) to see it, which really detracts from user experience. Flash is difficult to use, difficult to create and difficult to maintain.
Luckily, those who love the look of animations now have HTML5 at their disposal. Developers no longer have to rely on Flash to create interactive, animated features, and the best part is that HTML5 is compatible with all browsers and smartphones.
3) Your Search Engine Rankings Are Low
Search engine algorithms have changed quite a bit over the years, so if your organic search engine rankings are low, it could mean it’s time for an update. At one time, the key to SEO was to plug your content with as many keywords as possible. Thanks to Google’s recent Hummingbird update, today, it’s all about having original, high-quality content on your site, which is why sites with blogs perform so well.
If the content on your site wasn’t written with current SEO trends in mind, or it’s buried within Flash elements or images, it may be time for an update.
4) Your Visitors Aren’t Sticking Around and/or Aren’t Converting
If your web analytics show a high bounce rate, low time on site and low average pages per visit, that’s a pretty strong indicator that your visitors don’t find your current site useful for one reason or another.
Likewise, if you’re trying to see ROI from your site, and you’re not seeing conversions – either because conversion opportunities aren’t set up to begin with or your visitors just simply aren’t converting – it’s likely time to re-evaluate your approach to web and re-design your website with both your target audience and your goals in mind.
5) It Just Looks Outdated
Let’s face it: web design trends are changing rapidly, and if your website is a few years old, it may just look outdated. Maybe it’s an obvious thing like your copyright info still saying 2009, or you have a musical intro when a visitor lands on your site, or maybe it’s the whole site that’s the problem.
Websites have evolved quite a bit over the years. Today, it’s all about clean design and easy navigation. If your site is a cluttered mess that looks outdated, it’s time for a re-design.
6) It’s Slow
According to Metrics, 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, and 40% of people will abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load!
If your old corporate website is slow, you not only risk annoying your customers (and causing them to give up and leave), but you also hurt your search engine ranking. There are lots of ways for a developer to speed up a website, so if yours is slow, it may be time for a re-design.
7) You’ve Outgrown It
Businesses evolve and grow over the years, which means a website that worked well in 2010 may not work so well in 2014. If your navigation is too long, you don’t have room for calls to action, or visitors have trouble finding the pages and content that’s relevant to them, chances are you’ve outgrown your current website.
The nice thing is, a new website could be just what you need to grow your business into the future!
8) You’ve Changed Your Brand Positioning or Messaging
Similar to the point above, if you’ve changed your brand positioning or messaging, it’s likely time for a re-design.
Your website is one of your most important business assets. It’s the hub of your online activity and in many cases the first impression a potential customer will have of your brand. If the look and feel of the site doesn’t line up with your current target audience and your current messaging, it’s time to update it so it does.
9) You Can’t Easily Make Content Updates
Content management systems (CMS) have come a long way over the years, so today, there’s no excuse for not using one to easily manage your website content without the use of code. For a variety of reasons, it’s important to keep your content relevant, which means you need to be able to edit it without having to bug a web developer to edit the code. If you can’t easily make content updates to your site, it’s time for a new one.
The good news is: when you have a site on a CMS, you’re in control. If you need to make a content update to support a campaign, it’s easy! Re-developing your website in a CMS is a great move that really empowers your marketing team.
10) You’re Embarrassed to Give Out Your URL
For any of the reasons mentioned above, or maybe for some reason I didn’t mention, if you’re embarrassed to give your URL out, it’s definitely time for a website update!
Your website is an investment in the future success of your business, and it’s important to view it that way. Having a strong online presence is no longer optional. In addition, your website can be the vehicle that helps you achieve your goals of better awareness, more leads and ultimately more happy customers.