Your website is the online storefront of your entire business. Even if you own a physical shop, people will usually check your website before stopping by. It is essential, therefore, that your website is kept up to date and running smoothly. If any of the following criteria apply to you, you should consider sprucing up your website in the near future.
1. Your website is not responsive
Simply put, if your website is not optimised for use on a smartphone screen, it desperately needs an update. No matter how jaw-dropping your design may appear on a larger screen, it needs to perform equally well when shrunk down to a small, compact device.
Even if your website shrinks down relatively effectively, you must still consider the end-user experience. A navigational structure that works well with a mouse and keyboard may be too much of a hassle for a user relying on their thumbs. Make sure your mobile website features large buttons that direct new mobile visitors to the page that best matches their interest.
2. Your bounce rate is too high
If people are consistently finding your website and then immediately leaving, that is a huge red flag for your current design. Either people are having trouble finding what they are looking for, or they are off put by the homepage in some way. You may personally like the look and feel of your site but if your audience are not sticking around, something needs to change.
Remember that a visitor to your website is going to feel no obligation to stay. If you are not winning people over quickly, they will look elsewhere.
3. Your website takes too long to load
You can put together the most beautiful website in the world but if it takes more than 5 seconds to load, nobody is going to see it. Sometimes the issue that is causing long loading times is easy to fix but in other circumstances you may be better off rethinking your website from the ground up.
A flashy website is not necessarily a good website so make sure you are prioritising user-friendliness rather than complicated homepages and other distractions. Take a look at a few big brands and you will notice that their websites load quickly and immediately direct visitors to where they need to go. Keep things simple and your website should load quickly every time.
4. You keep receiving calls from telemarketers about upgrading your website
Yes, all businesses will receive unsolicited phone calls and emails from digital marketing agencies, it’s unavoidable. With that being said, if you keep getting calls about your website in particular, it could be a sign that you need a redesign. When I worked in digital marketing sales, we would specifically target companies whose websites were obviously underperforming and were clearly in need of an update. The most surprising thing about making these calls was how frequently business owners would completely deny that there was anything wrong with their website.
You will always receive marketing calls but if you notice they are all talking about upgrading your website in their opening pitch, that is probably a bad sign. These salespeople are trying to hit their monthly targets and they know that companies with great websites are a waste of their time. Take the hint and get a second opinion on your current site from somebody you trust.
5. Your ranking on Google is dropping
Always remember that Google’s number 1 goal is to make sure people keep using Google. To this end, they want to ensure that the top positions on their search results take people through to well optimised sites that contain relevant, up-to-date information. While search engine optimisation is a constantly developing field with a range of different strategies, one constant factor is the importance of a modern, well maintained website.
Make sure your new website features the right keywords and that it conforms to Google’s website guidelines. If you have the time or budget, work on your offsite SEO and you should begin to see your website rising back up to where it belongs. Your competitors will be doing their best to outrank you. Don’t let them.
If some of these descriptions are sounding a little too familiar, it is worth taking a good look at how well your website is working for you. You will not necessarily need to undergo a full redesign but don’t be afraid of change. Much like any other medium, websites develop and expectations change over time. If you want to stay up to date, you need to be proactive and allow your online presence to showcase the very best that your business has to offer.