When you work with your website daily, you may not notice if it’s becoming outdated or not functioning the way it should. But with more and more consumers going through search engines to locate the businesses they need, a strong web presence is vital to the success of your business.
Potential customers are sure to notice if your website isn’t following the latest design trends, has obsolete features, is slow, or is tough to navigate. Beyond this, many of the things that will turn away a human will also impact your search engine rankings.
Not sure if it’s time for a website refresh or redesign? Here are eight signs that your website might need an update.
1. It’s Been A While
When was the last time you reviewed or updated your website? If it’s been a while, that’s a sure sign that it’s time for a change. Styles and trends change constantly, meaning you can’t “set and forget” your business’s website. Similar to cracked tiles or peeling paint, your “classic” website will make your business seem dated.
Remember, this is your first impression for many customers. It should not only be modern but also accurate. Some of the things you might need to update include:
- Contact details
- Any new locations
- Team members
- New certifications and awards
- New products and services
2. Your Site Takes a Long Time to Load
One of the biggest signs that you need to pull the trigger on a website update is when your website is sluggish. Page load speed is vital for keeping the interest of your potential visitors, and Google also uses this as a website ranking factor.
How fast should your website be? Aside from being faster than your competitors, a Nielson Norman study found that anything over 2.0 seconds means you’re likely to lose visitors. You can measure your page load speed using Google’s own PageSpeed Insights tool.
3. Your Site is Difficult to Use on Mobile Devices
If your company’s website isn’t mobile-friendly, the time to fix that was yesterday. Every website should be built with “responsive design,” meaning it will automatically adjust and look great on any type of device, whether it be a desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone.
This is vital for several reasons. First, you want people who visit your website to have a positive experience. Second, Google is now actively penalizing websites that don’t have responsive design, so this will impact your search engine rankings.
4. Visitors Have Trouble Finding What They Need
Part of offering a positive user experience (UX) is helping your visitors find what they are looking for in as few steps as possible. If they can’t find what they want, they’re likely to hit the “back” button and end up on one of your competitor’s websites.
When your website has a high bounce rate, this could be a sign that you aren’t delivering the content that the user expected. There might also be a problem with your website’s navigation or the clarity of your calls to action.
5. Adding New Content to Your Site is a Challenge
If you dread having to add new content to your site because it’s so difficult, you probably need to re-think your current setup. Website technology continues to evolve, and updates are meant to make your life easier instead of more difficult.
There’s no need to wrestle with your platform with error pages or formatting to get your updates the way you need them. An updated website will be easier to work with and make adding new content a simple exercise.
6. Your Website is Too Text-Heavy
If your current website is a huge wall of words, it’s time to makes some changes. We live in an increasingly visual world. It’s not that people don’t want to read what you’ve posted. Many do, but text-heavy websites are tough on the eyes, and they’re overwhelming on a screen.
You can convey your message more effectively by including a ton of headers and white space on your website. Paragraphs should be limited to about two to three sentences each (one is fine, too).
To break things up, include plenty of photos, videos, and infographics so that readers have a choice about the content they consume on your website.
7. Your Search Engine Rankings Are Struggling
If your website isn’t ranking well in Google, people are going to have a hard time finding your business, and your overall results will suffer. Part of this comes down to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which are the on-site and off-site strategies that help your website “get found” in organic search.
Approached right, you can get your website ranked in Google for various targeted keywords. But, the search engine algorithms change constantly. So what Google emphasized a few years ago or even last week might be different today. Staying up-to-date with SEO is a vital part of your ongoing digital marketing strategy.
8. Your Competitors Have Re-Designed Their Websites
Is your competitor’s website making you jealous? Competition can be a strong motivator to take positive action for your business. If your competitor has just launched a website that's slicker and more functional than yours, they might also be luring away some of your potential customers.
Take a look at what the competition is doing. Bells and whistles aside, are their websites easy to navigate and engaging? Take notes about what works and what doesn’t so that you can chart your own path with your website redesign.
Is It Time to Refresh Your Business Website?
If you recognize any of these issues, it might be time to shake things up with respect to your online presence. Whether you need some simple changes or a complete website redesign, we can help.
Connection Model will assess your current website and identify any pain points. What problems are impacting the user experience, and what can be improved? Addressing these can move you closer to achieving your business goals.
Contact us today to learn more about our services and to schedule that free assessment.
Written By: David Carpenter