10 signs that you need a new website
I know, it feels like you’ve only just had it done but already your website is not doing it for you anymore. There’s a direct correlation to how well a business does with how good its website is if it relies on an online presence for sales and marketing. It’s a difficult decision whether to get your website redeveloped, not to mention a financial one, but there are a few tell tale signs that it may be time to start seriously considering it.
1. It looks out-of-date
Unfortunately for business owners, website trends and capabilities change rapidly so a website’s typical lifespan is around three years. Any longer than this it starts looking out-of-date. If you rely on your website for conversions or sales, an ‘old-fashioned’ site will send out a negative message to potential clients about your digital outlook and ‘progressiveness’. A website is a representation of a business as a whole and underlying messages can have a great impact on a viewer.
2. It doesn’t represent your brand anymore
Firstly, congratulations, your business has moved on – you’re doing something right! However, if your business model has changed or your services are different your website needs to reflect this. Not updating your site means that people are coming to your website looking for services that you no longer provide and aren’t finding you for the ones that you do.
3. It’s hard to update
If you have a website with a content management system (CMS) then you may well be updating it yourself. If it’s a pain in the neck to do, takes you ages to upload a new blog, or there are areas of the site that you can’t change, then it’s time to think about a new one. Some web companies devise their own CMSs and then discontinue support. Any decent agency will use an open source platform (like WordPress) to ensure longevity.
4. It performs poorly in search engine results
Search engines look for certain things in a website and then rank them according to the good things and the bad things about it. Google changes its algorithm every now and then and adjusts the criteria for a website’s position. If your site was built for old criteria (e.g. number of backlinks and number of keywords) then it may suffer when trying to compete using new criteria (e.g. number of quality backlinks, the right balance of keywords, and user engagement).
5. It has poor mobile performance
Internet browsing is split roughly 50/50 between mobile devices and desktops/laptops (Source). Responsive design first kicked in properly in about 2013 as the capability of mobile phones began to improve rapidly. Mobile phones continue to improve so a website should be developed to keep up with these advancements. Users’ demands increase in proportion to the capabilities of their smartphones so if your website was built when responsive design was in its infancy then it could be leaving your visitors frustrated. If your website isn’t responsive at all, then users will not be wanting to pinch and zoom and swipe on their phones.
6. You’re embarrassed to refer people there
We all attend business meetings, networking events, get referrals, etc. If you privately cringe when you hand over a business card then it may be time to get a new site. At some point, if you’ve ever said, “Oh, our website is awful – we desperately need to get it redone,”, then ditto. Thinking or saying these things means that you understand the importance of your site for getting new business and converting visitors so it may be time to act on this understanding.
7. The site doesn’t fill the screen
As with smartphone technology, computers have come a long way too. Most desktop PCs have a screen at least 1360 pixels wide up to 1920 pixels. Before responsive design, websites were built with a fixed width of around 900 pixels to fit neatly on the available monitors at the time. If your website looks like a thin column down the middle of the screen with lots of space either side, it’s time to have it redeveloped as you’re missing out on a lot of usable space and sales room.
8. Your competitors’ sites are better
This is an easy one. If you know your competitors’ websites are better than yours then they may be getting business that could be coming to you. Websites are usually the first point of contact for potential customers and they will opt for the company whose website is better at its job and gives them the answers they need.
9. Your website is all about you
“Our company has gone from strength-to-strength since it was established in 1986 and our management team members have over 150 years’ combined experience . . . blah, blah, yawn. . . “. Your website should be about your customers. People look for the services you provide because they need something from you. They need to know that you can solve their problems and deliver what they want. The fact that the managing director likes a round of golf once a fortnight won’t convince them to pick up the phone. Website visitors need their questions answered, to be engaged, to feel like they’re being spoken to, and to feel confident that you are the company they need. Go with the 80/20 rule. 80% of your website content should be about customer and the benefits for them, and 20% about the company and its team.
10. You’re not using multi channels
The web is about engagement these days. Your website should not be a ‘bolt on’ but central to a wider online marketing strategy. Social media and video channels should be an integral part of your website as they are means of raising your profile, driving traffic to your site and converting new customers. If you are not pushing and pulling content to and from your site with social channels, you’re missing out on free publicity and a wider digital reach.
Add them up. Result = Low conversion rates
Have you noticed a drop off in calls and enquiries through the site? This could be for any of the reasons above. Again, if you rely on your site for sales and conversions and business is slowing down, reflect on which of these ten points may be contributing to this happening. Consider your website as part of your sales team, almost as a member of staff who has a job to do, and which of the above requires a written warning!
If your website is suffering from any of these ailments, please get in touch for a chat on 0151 709 4930. We create websites that are intended to see a return on investment – whatever money you spend on it with us, we want you to see that money back in increased sales. Ultimately, it’s a phone call that could end up bringing you more business and more, or better, customers.
Give us a bell or drop us a line. For website design, digital marketing, web hosting, graphic design for print and SEO, contact us for a chat about how we can help you and your business.