Not too long ago, simply having a website meant that you had everything covered, but these days, it takes more than this to have an edge over the competition. You need a well designed website that is highly engaging, easy to use and can meet the demands of your customers and needs of your business simultaneously.
According to experts, 75% of visitors judge the credibility of a company based on the design and appearance of its website. If you consider that web design trends are constantly evolving, you will likely agree that a website which worked fine just a few years ago may not meet the demands of today’s internet led society.
Here are a few reasons why it may be time for a website makeover:
It is not mobile compatible: If your website is not mobile compatible in today’s competitive internet industry, then take it for granted that you’re losing a good chunk of your customers to the competition. According to research by Smart Insights, more than 20% of search queries are carried out via mobile devices, and when it comes to local search, that figure is more than 50%. It follows that a good portion of websites today are accessed via mobile devices. Therefore, if your website isn’t mobile compatible, it will not provide a good user experience for your visitors, who will more than likely not visit again. Also, consider that according to a study carried out by econsultancy, 62% of businesses that redesigned their websites and made them mobile responsive experienced a significant increase in sales. So essentially, if yours is still a desktop only website, you’ll definitely need to consider a makeover – and fast.
You have poor search engine page rankings: In the past few years, there have been a series of updates in the way search engines rank websites. At one time, all you needed to do was fill your content with relevant keywords in order to rank for organic search. Nowadays however, it’s vital that you have original and fresh content on your website in order to qualify for ranking. There are also a whole range of improvements you may need to carry out on your website to ensure that it ranks properly on search engines. You might think you don’t need SEO because you have a lot of direct traffic coming from existing customers and your corporate publicity efforts; while this may be, understand that more than 93% of any online activity begins with a search query, so you cannot hope to enjoy organic traffic if your SEO game is not on point.
High bounce rate: There are numerous things that can result in your website having a high bounce rate. This is the rate at which visitors leave your site immediately after landing on it, without carrying out any activity. For starters, a slow loading website can result in a high bounce rate; also, if the design and appearance of your website is too complex for your visitors to understand and navigate, it can cause them to leave. Once you realise from your metrics that you have a lot of visitors coming to your site (or on a particular page) without commensurate activity, this means you’ll need to work on certain aspects of your website. Before undertaking any restructure, have a clear picture of what your visitors expect from your website and what your business goals are. Then, find a way to make the two of them align.
You have changed your brand: It conveys the wrong message when visitors come to your website expecting to find one thing, only to be met with another. We understand that as time goes by, the vision of your company can become clearer, to the point where you need to change your brand message. At this stage, it’s vital to also change your website to suit the new brand. You may not know it, but your website is very much like the image of your brand, as it is the first impression people will have, so you have to get it right. In some cases, this might also warrant a change of name; fortunately, such tasks are now easy to undertake and no longer expensive. It’s merely a case of searching for the domain name of your choice, with your favorite domain registrar.
Do not forget to take a look at the URL so you don’t waste your time on a site. For instance, if you come across a freeparking.co.nz/domain-names/nz/ , you can tell that the page will allow search for domain names in New Zealand – as the URL stipulates.
Understand that if the look, feel and name of your website do not correspond with the brand you are portraying, you could lose credibility in the eyes of your visitors.
Your website is slow: You will be hard pressed to find a visitor willing to wait more than a few seconds for a website to produce the information they need. As a matter of fact, about 40% of people will abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to produce the goods. This means that if your website is to be a useful part of your business, it has to be fast. Of course, there are various reasons why your website might load slowly, such as inappropriate hosting platform, bad coding and heavy files. At the end of the day, all the above requires a redesign. Not only do you risk annoying your customers with a slow loading website, you’ll also risk losing them. A fast website will help you reduce bounce rate, improve user experience and is great for SEO.
It doesn’t look like other sites on the internet: If you have had your website for a few years, it will probably not look like a lot of other sites you come across online. This is because, as I pointed out earlier, design trends do change. Therefore, to remain relevant, you have to change with them (go ask the dinosaurs). Modern design calls for a minimalist approach, where only the most necessary elements needed in a website are included. If your website still has flash, a riot of colours or simply looks out of place in a lineup of websites, then it’s time to consider investing in a makeover.
A website is an important investment in the success of your business. Just like every other investment, you need to review it every once in a while. Making sure your website is up to date, follows current practices and meets the expectations of your visitors is a surefire way to make it online.