Running a website is already difficult enough. There are so many things you have to account for and every website requires regular maintenance and upkeep. Seeing as your website is the front of your business and the first place your customers will land, it’s vital that you keep it up to date and relevant. A poor website will drive away customers faster than you can blink.
Just like all types of technology, websites need to change and evolve over time. You can’t create your business’s website and then just leave it alone. It’s important that you go back and make some changes or even redesign your site if required.
There are always signs when it is time to make a change, but the signs it’s time for redesigning your website may not be as obvious as you would expect. Unless you already know what to monitor and what your website needs, then you may be at an entire loss on how to keep your business’s website up to date.
If you’re new to managing a website or aren’t exactly sure what you should be looking for, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ll go over many warning signs that often appear when it’s time to make some changes. Some may be obvious while others may require you to do a little more looking around.
1. It’s Been A While Since You Last Updated It
When was the last time you changed up your business website? If you can’t remember, then that’s a sure sign it has been too long. Your website will grow old as trends change and if you don’t change to meet those trends, then customers will just skip right past your page in an effort to avoid any outdated or old content.
Typically, you want to redesign your website every three to five years. While this might sound like quite a bit of time, it goes past quicker than you would think. With technology changing every day, your website needs to make some changes to keep up with it and this is best done within that three to five year range.
2. It’s Difficult to Navigate
No one wants to spend several seconds, or worse, several minutes, trying to figure out where they are on your website. In fact, if they don’t know how to navigate around your website or get to where they want to go, they’re more likely to close the whole page than spend a little bit of time figuring it out.
A site that’s difficult to navigate is a website that will turn away customers. Take the time to label each page clearly and make your entire website navigation friendly. Your website users should be able to get where they want to without having to think about it.
3. Your Site is Full of Text
These days, people have an attention span of eight seconds or less. This means that you really have a limited time to gain the trust of future customers and to make an impression with your business. If your website relies heavily on people reading text and has few photos, then people are likely to give up and go elsewhere.
Try to show your business with photos instead of text. Don’t confuse your customers by using only photos as a confusing website is almost worse than one full of text, but try to refrain from writing full paragraphs unless absolutely necessary. If you must make a list of some sort, use short bullet points instead of long sentences.
4. There’s a Branding Disconnect
It’s likely that you are also running a social media page of some sort for your business. Whether it’s a Twitter page, Facebook group, or Instagram site, any social media page should be connected to your main website. That being said, you also need to make sure the pages look similar.
If your social media pages are trendy and up to date but your business website is at least a decade old, your customers will be unimpressed and find somewhere else to go. Keep a constant brand across all your business’s pages so that your customers can know and recognize you easily.
5. It’s Not Mobile Friendly
If your site isn’t responsive or mobile friendly, it will be avoided by most of your potential customers. A study by Google showed that in 2018, up to 70% of searches were conducted from a mobile phone. After that, Google started accounting for a website’s responsiveness in the Google ranking system.
Since most people will come across your website first on their mobile device, you should really prioritize making a mobile friendly website. Your customers should be able to navigate just as easily from their phone as a computer.
6. You Aren’t Ranking Well on Google
Related to being mobile friendly, if your site isn’t ranking well in Google, then it’s time to update. Luckily, you should be able to find out how your website ranks in Google fairly easily.
Consult your marketing team and your website design team to figure out how you can start changing your website to be more Google friendly. Rarely will any users scroll past the first page of Google results, so your goal should be to show up high on the list. An updated website can help with this.
7. When It’s Difficult to Update
You should already be publishing new content on your business website on a fairly regular basis, so this should be a quick and easy sign that something needs to change. If it becomes difficult to update your website content, then you should work on fixing your site quickly. New content helps your website rank better in Google and as such, bring in new customers.
Everything from minor changes to entirely new posts should be easy to do through your website. If they aren’t, considering changing to a site with a CMS, Content Management System, to make these updates even easier. They’re easy to use and count as a website update.
8. You Have a High Bounce Rate
What’s a bounce rate? Your website bounce rate is calculated by how many customers visit one page of your website, but never go to another before leaving. Your bounce rate can be found in Google analytics fairly easily, so you should be able to quickly check how high or low it is.
Ideally, you want that bounce rate to be as low as possible. A high bounce rate can show that customers aren’t attracted by your site and are searching somewhere else for the service or product they need. A website redesign can attract customers to venture further in and lower your bounce rate.
9. It Takes Forever to Load
This isn’t the late 1900s, the internet has been around for some time now. If your website is taking a long time to load or change pages, something is wrong. Remember that eight second attention span? Your customers have an even lower attention span when they have to sit and wait for a page to load.
Your page should fully load all photos, text, videos, and other content in a quick manner. Letting your website take its time will lose your customers and is a sure sign that you need a website redesign. Google also hates slow loading pages. When they see that your website takes a while to load or has a low speed score, you’ll rank lower on the system.
10. You Still Use Flash
We know that Flash websites were cool not too long ago, but now they’re not. Once mobile devices came into play, Flash websites were deemed difficult to use and worked against you in search results. What’s more, most computers no longer support Flash.
A site that relies on Flash is in dire need of change. You may not know it, but your Flash website actually works against you in search results now and most content is no longer recognised.
11. Lack of Search Engine Optimization
Since SEO isn’t an incredibly new phenomenon, if your site isn’t optimized for the search engines, then it’s too old. Search engine optimization helps you rank better in Google and makes your business’s site more appealing. Not using SEO makes it difficult for users to find your website in the first place and if people aren’t finding your website, then your business certainly isn’t gaining new customers.
When implementing SEO techniques, be sure not to accidentally penalize yourself. Talking with your marketing team can help you better understand the dos and don’ts of SEO and help your site rise through the Google ranks.
You’ll want to pick keywords to link back to your website, but too many of these keywords and you’ll find yourself being punished by Google. Any good marketing team will be able to help you find the balance and some research of your own can also ensure good results. Getting your website equipped with SEO techniques will definitely move your forward towards a more modern website design.
12. Your Conversion Rate is Low
One of the biggest goals of your site is to bring in new customers who will remain loyal to you and your products. Your website conversion rate, how many visitors return, is calculated and kept safe by Google so you can easily see how your website is doing.
Unlike a bounce rate, you want your conversion rate to be high. In a perfect world, you would have a 100% conversion rate but seeing as that is next to impossible, you’ll want to just aim for as high as possible.
If your conversion rate is low, then there’s something wrong with your business site and it’s time for a website redesign. Work on getting that conversion rate up by tinkering around on your website and making it more modern.
13. Competitor Websites Have Been Redesigned
In the world of business, you always need to keep an eye on your competitors. Keep an eye on their websites as well as your own and if you see them implement a website redesign or update their site, then it’s time to update yours.
On the other hand, if your websites are very similar, then you should update yours first to look more unique and draw in more customers.
When watching competitor websites, be careful not to accidentally copy theirs. The goal is to stand out and be more attractive than them, not just be as recently updated.
While there may be other things you come across that tell you it’s time to redesign your website, the tips above should be the biggest indicators. Whenever you encounter a problem with your conversion rate, notice that it’s difficult to publish new content, or even realize some of your photos look a little strange, do a bit of redesigning on your website to keep it new, clean, and relevant.
If you’re unsure of how to go about redesigning your website, consult orlando web design company, Get The Clicks, for advice.