How do you know when it’s time to redesign your company’s website?
Of course, there are some obvious indicators, such as…
You haven’t updated it since MySpace was cool.
You originally designed it on your Gateway 2000 computer.
You still think Flash is awesome.
However, there are also some not so obvious signs that it’s time for a website redesign. Here are 9 signs that you desperately need a new website.
#1 – Your Website Isn’t Mobile-Friendly
Admittedly, this is a bit of a pot and kettle argument, given that, until recently, our own site wasn’t optimized for mobile. This wasn’t ideal, considering over 1 billion people around the world now use smartphones and 80% of internet users use a smartphone to browse the web. Additionally, as of May 2014, over half of web traffic was mobile. And if that’s not bad enough, Google has begun penalizing non-responsive sites in search results.
What can we say? Sometimes we get so busy creating great things for our clients that we tend to neglect the homefront.
You can be sure that people are using their smartphones to access your website. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile, it will appear on smartphones as tiny, difficult to navigate, and somewhat unprofessional. Visitors will leave a non-optimized site quickly, costing you web traffic and potential leads.
#2 – Your Website Ranks Poorly On Search Engines
One reason your website might be ranking so low on search engines is that it’s old, stale, and outdated. Google favors sites that are frequently updated. If it constantly returned old, outdated results, users would quickly stop using it. Because Google is in the business of satisfying users and making billions of dollars in the process, it will always rank more relevant websites higher.
Additionally, regular updates mean more frequent search engine indexing. Every time you update the content on your site, Google re-indexes it and appropriately adjusts your rankings within searches. By updating your website, you increase your chances of moving up in search rankings.
Finally, upgrading your website allows you to appropriately update and improve keywords, which is yet another factor search engines use when returning search results.
#3 – Your Website Is Slow
Speed is everything these days, and if your website is slow, you’ll almost certainly turn away visitors. There are several reasons for this. First, people are incredibly impatient. Think about your own experience. How long will you let a YouTube video buffer before you close it out? Probably not long. In the age of speedy broadband internet, if your website doesn’t load quickly, visitors will grow impatient and leave. In fact, research has found that visitors expect a website to load in 2 seconds or less, and will usually abandon a site that doesn’t load in 3 seconds. Site speed matters.
Second, your site load time can affect your rankings in Google searches. Google hasn’t been particularly clear on how speed affects rankings, but they have said it is one factor among many they use for search results.
Redesigning your website allows you to optimize it for speed, including optimizing images, using cache plugins, and a variety of other methods. Site speed can literally be the difference between making or losing a conversion.
#4 – Your Website Is Not Optimized For Conversions
Your website should be designed to drive traffic, and in turn, convert that traffic to leads. This should include pages that are easy to navigate, contact forms that are easy to find, appropriate social share buttons on content, tracking pixels for audience targeting, various opt-in forms for building your email list, and analytics for tracking which pages are being seen by visitors.
The more outdated your website, the more difficult it is to add these elements in without making massive changes to your overall layout. But if you don’t optimize your site for conversions, you’re missing out on leads and, ultimately, more revenue. Sometimes the best way to optimize for conversions is to design a new site altogether.
#5 – You Can’t Easily Change Your Website
The internet moves at warp speed and, as noted above, search engines reward sites that are regularly updated with fresh, compelling content. All well and good unless your Content Management System (CMS) doesn’t allow you to make easy changes to your website. No updates means falling search engine rankings, less traffic, fewer leads, etc.
Modern CMS’s, such as WordPress and Drupal allow for easy updates and blog content development, which can generate significant traffic from social media sites. If you can’t make quick and easy changes, it’s time for a new website.
#6 – Your Team is Embarrassed By Your Website
If your website contains any of the following elements:
Music that autoplays when the site loads…
Flashing, seizure-inducing banners…
A color palette that, in the 1980’s, would have been described as “radical”…
Comic Sans font…
Then there’s a good chance that you and/or your team are embarrassed to point new contacts to the site, and instead, you point them to LinkedIn profiles. This, of course, hurts your brand and takes you out of the conversation.
You want a website that you and your team are proud of and that you have no hesitation in sending visitors to.
# 7 – You’ve Changed Your Brand
If you’ve changed your brand, messaging, or logo, you absolutely must update your website. The last thing you want is potential clients coming to your site and finding branding that doesn’t align with your central mission.
Not much needs to be said here other than your site should always, always, always reflect your brand and message.
#8 – It Looks Better in Internet Explorer 7 Than Chrome
Your IT department may force you to use an old, outdated browser such as IE 7, but that doesn’t mean you should design your website for it. About 35% of internet users browse with Google Chrome, 28% with Internet Explorer, 20% with Safari, and 11% with Firefox.
This means that your website should look great across all major browsers. After all, if your site is only optimized for one particular browser, you’re giving over 50% of all visitors a bad experience.
#9 – You Don’t Know What Actually Works
Do you know what actually works on your website? Do you know what links are getting clicks, which pages are most visited, which blog posts are getting the most shares, and what opt-in forms are generating the most leads? If you don’t, you’re missing out on a treasure trove of incredibly useful data.
If your website doesn’t allow you to analyze the data, it’s costing you traffic, leads, and revenue. You should be able to easily generate analytics reports, A/B testing results, and heat maps showing where visitors click most. Once you have that data, you can then upgrade your site for optimal performance.
Many businesses wait too long to upgrade their websites, resulting in them falling behind the competition. Or they don’t see a need to upgrade, inadvertently sacrificing new customers and more revenue.
Your website is crucial to the success of your business. Don’t wait to upgrade until it’s too late.
To see how Sachs Media Group can help with your website redesign project, click here.