Remember the good old days when having a website meant that you were ahead of the game? It didn’t matter if your website was ugly or slow. If you could point customers in the direction of something that existed online with your name on it, you were awesome.
Today, a website like that would shut down your business. Having a website is not enough. You need a well-designed, engaging website that is fun and enjoyable to use. Making all of this come together isn’t easy, however. You can have a great looking website that is difficult to navigate, or a simple website that is boring and unengaging. Both are bad.
If you think that people don’t care about your website, think again. According to a study by Stanford University, 75% of people judge the credibility of a business by their web design. Even if your company has a loyal fan base, it’s going to be hard to generate new customers if your site isn’t up to speed with the latest trends.
Just because your website could use some work doesn’t mean that you have to start from scratch. A redesign is an efficient way to give your website a modern-day boost without starting over.
Here are 10 signs that your website is crying out for help.
1. It’s slow on mobile devices.
Despite the increasing number of mobile searches that are done online, many websites are still slow on mobile devices. You’ve probably landed on a few yourself that didn’t load quickly or had missing content or shoddy formatting. This is annoying, to say the least, but it also makes it difficult for people to interact with your brand. Fortunately, a responsive web design can get you up to speed (no pun intended).
2. It uses Flash.
Flash used to be pretty awesome because it supported animations. But that was 5+ years ago. Both the iPhone and the iPad don’t support Flash, and search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo can’t read it, so it’s not good for SEO. Even for users that can access Flash on their devices, they still have to go through the trouble of downloading a plugin and keeping it updated.
If you love the look of animations, you don’t have to eliminate them from your site. HTML5 is easier to use, easier to create and easier to maintain. The best part about HTML5 is that it’s compatible with all browsers and smartphones.
3. Your pages are slow to load.
If your website is slow, you have two problems. The first is that you risk annoying your loyal customers and losing potential leads. People aren’t going to continue using your site if it’s slow and aggravating. One KISSmetrics study showed that consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less. Second, speed is a ranking factor for Google, so a slow site will hurt your SEO. There are lots of ways to speed up your site, and a redesign is one of them!
4. Your brand has evolved.
Businesses grow over the years, and yours probably has too. This means that the website that once fit your brand may not anymore. You may have outdated services listed on your site, and new ones to add. You may not have calls-to-action at the bottom of each page, or your content may need to be cleaned up and optimized. If you feel that you’ve outgrown your current website, you probably have.
5. It’s difficult to make content updates.
Content is extremely important for a number of reasons, which is why it pays to update it often. With a new site design, you should have no problem making content updates. Content management systems (CMS) have improved significantly over the years, and they help with maintaining content on your own so that you don’t have to ask a web developer to edit the code.
6. Your messaging is different.
Not only has your brand evolved, but also your messaging. As you’ve learned more about your audience, you may need to update your site with optimized content that fits their needs and wants. For example, speaking directly to your customers using words like “you” and “your” sounds warm and friendly. Including relatable stories and examples is also a way to make your content feel personal.
7. It looks bad.
Web design trends change faster than what’s in your closet, so it doesn’t take long for sites to look old. While you don’t have to update your site with every new wave of change, it will become old and outdated if you don’t freshen it up at least some of the time.
Today’s sites are clean and uncluttered, so your site should at least follow this trend. If it’s busy, loud and cluttered, it’s time for a new design. Your website should also have seamless navigation, fast-loading pages, optimized content, clickable links and compatibility across devices. Good designs are associated with more trustworthy feelings toward a brand, so it’s worth every penny to get your site up to date.
8. Visitors aren’t converting.
High bounce rates are basically telling you that your website isn’t the least bit interesting. Sure, it’s possible that some people land on your website by accident, but a steadily high bounce rate says more. Same if your visitors aren’t converting. While there may be many factors influencing your conversion rates, a poor site design is a big one.
Fortunately, a new site design is a great way to lower your bounce rates and increase the amount of time that people spend on your site. The longer that visitors interact with your brand, the more time you have to get them to convert. During the redesign, keep in mind elements such as your audience personas, the journey they take and the goals you have in mind.
9. Your search engine rankings are low.
Search engine algorithms have changed a lot over the years, and a new site design reflects these changes. For example, when the Hummingbird update was first released, it favored content that was high in quality. That’s why websites with great blogs saw a boost in their rankings.
This trend continues today. Websites with strong content that is updated often tend to rank better. On the other hand, a website that has Flash elements and outdated content will have lower rankings. Also, when people don’t want to use a non-user-friendly site, traffic will drop and the website will take another knock in the search rankings.
10. You’re embarrassed.
You should never be embarrassed to point someone in the direction of your website. If you’ve been hiding your URL, it’s definitely time for a redesign. What’s been holding you back? Don’t let time or money stand in the way. You’re only losing money and customers by not moving forward with a new design, which will cost you a lot in the long run. Be proud of your URL.
Your website is an investment that influences the success of your business and the relationships you have with customers. You can’t just put it aside and assume that its existence is enough. Your website is your #1 tool for building brand awareness, generating leads and making your customers happy. Give it some love.