Your website is usually a consumer’s first encounter with your company. You may be offering killer products and services, but if you’re casting a horrible impression, that potential client is likely to bounce toward a competitor. Is it time to start thinking about a new website?
YOU NEED A NEW WEBSITE
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, marketing manager, enterprise director, or institutional officer, you’ve built your website to attract, engage and motivate clients. Whether you’re in a B2B, sell directly, or offer organizational services, the cycle begins with an online search, hopefully ending with your business.
If you take a look at the infamous, often-cited Stanford Web Credibility Research studies, over 75 percent of website visitors judge the veracity of a company based on its site design alone.
Which is precisely why your website design and overall functionality must be the latest and greatest, aligned with marketing goals that make sense, attracting new leads, motivating sales, and nurturing relationships.
So, how do you know for sure?
Here’s eight signs it’s time for a new website.
1) YOUR SITE HASN’T SEEN A REAL UPDATE IN THREE YEARS
Have you reiterated the UX, strategy, messaging, structure, design and functionality of your website recently? How long has it been?
Technology is changing and evolving at a tremendous rate, as well as the manner customers and prospects behave online.
In a survey report issued by Econsultancy, more than 9 out of 10 respondents (95 percent) agreed with the statement that “Good website user experience just makes sense.” There you have it.
2) YOUR SEARCH ENGINE RANKINGS ARE PRETTY DARN DISMAL
There’s no point in having a website selling products and services if no one can find you when performing a Google search (or when using any other engine). Your business might as well not even exist. So, it’s fairly easy to see how important it is to show up on the first page of Google, as well as possess a sweet ranking.
According to Google Webmaster Tools Search Queries reports only 5.59% of users performing searches clicked further than the first page, with few checking past the top two or three ranked results. If consumers can’t easily find you listed with the first few search engine results, you’re toast.
Google’s algorithms have changed to favor original, quality content over crammed keywords, so if you’re wondering why your organic search engine rankings are low, you can begin with Google’s SEO Starter Guide.
For example, improving your URLs to contain relevant keywords creates better search engine crawling, leading to more succinct ranking, along with optimizing page content, page titles, meta descriptions, H tags, image alt text, and so on.
Completing this SEO when building your new site will build web traffic by adding leads, ultimately becoming conversions and new customers. Adding unique content, using email marketing and social networks while sharing content with other members of your target markets will also organically boost your Google-love.
3) YOUR WEBSITE AESTHETICS ARE WAY BEYOND AWFUL
If your site design is simply outdated, loading a bit slowly, or looking a bit crusty while playing opening Looney Tunes music, that’s not a huge problem, as long as those elements support your corporate branding and company identity.
However, getting serious, is this how you want to present yourself, your company, your products and services? According to the Keynote User Survey, 94 percent of people cited web design as the reason they mistrusted or rejected a website. If your site looks like an exploding bomb, how long do you think potential clients are going to stick around much less engage in conversion?
You have about three seconds to grab a visitor’s attention before they move to another website. Without clean design and easy navigation, your website will not be able to compete with other sites boasting professional, up-to-date aesthetics and functionality.
4) VISITORS KEEP ON BOUNCING AWAY FROM YOUR SITE
Consistently high bounce rates indicate prospective customers are experiencing a negative impression of your site, and there can be many reasons.
For a visitor, engaging with your website should not be like prepping for an archeological dinosaur excavation. Users want to quickly find information without a lot of digging or moving from one page to the next, and if it becomes too difficult, they will surf elsewhere for results.
Studies by Forrester Research estimate that approximately 50 percent of potential sales are lost because users can’t find information, and that 40 percent of users do not return to a site when their first visit is a negative experience.
When constructing your new website, pay more attention to navigation containing breadcrumbs and footer links, focusing on simplicity and ease of use. Keep the overall number of site pages highly structured with internal links to related content. This helps display valuable elements users are seeking, increasing conversions.
5) YOUR SITE IS REALLY WAY TOO SLOW TO SUSTAIN
If your site is still languishing in the stone age, taking longer than 5 seconds to load, or is a pain to use, you’ll lose even the most patient visitors. According to KISSmetrics, 47 percent of visitors expect a web page to load in less than 2 seconds, and 40 percent will abandon the site after 3 seconds. If your site is slower, it’s time for a new website.
There many reasons why a website may be sluggish, and some are quite fixable. For example, Zoompf reports that unoptimized images account for 90 percent of website slowdowns.
If every conceivable form of website optimization and compression you’ve tried has tanked, then your new goal should be to finally eliminate your Byzantine site and bust out of the digital dark ages.
6) YOU’VE CHUCKED YOUR BRAND AND TRASHED YOUR MESSAGE
Many don’t realize updating their corporate identity and/or manipulating the overall direction of their brand will require a new website, integrating and incorporating the updated branding through every element.
According to NewsCred, 69 percent of consumers attribute the most important driving force of their loyalty to brand recognition and trust.
The real question becomes: How can you trust that a company will competently handle your biz if they clearly aren’t in control of their own marketing identity?
Business goals, positioning, and messaging change over time. If your site bears no resemblance to the rest of your firm, seemingly suffering from a form of online schizophrenia, potential customers will bolt, seeking a company with its act together. Believe it.
7) YOU COULDN’T UPDATE YOUR CONTENT IN A CODER’S DREAM
Remember when developers were in control of every aspect of your destiny, constructing websites without a comprehensible interface, using specialized programming tools and back-end language requiring ten years of systems analysis experience to understand? Of course you do.
Although we still all love developers, it is a slight relief for everyone when a stable content management system can be used by just about everyone to update relevant content.
Content management systems possess easy-to-use interfaces, themes promoting user-friendly design and functionality, plug-ins helping to incorporate specialized features, and can accommodate various tools, such as forms, blog postings, event listings, video and other site data.
To illustrate the magnitude and popularity of content management systems, Open Source CMS recently reported that WordPress held 68 percent market share, was used by 2,281,668 websites, and possessed 97,449,871 page views.
And marketing teams worldwide have reveled in their empowerment.
8) WHY ISN’T IT RESPONSIVE? WHY DOESN’T IT WORK ON MOBILE?
Imagine pulling up a website on your smartphone and only seeing parts and pieces of the site. A bit fragmented, huh? A great user experience? Decidedly not. Time to indulge in some responsive website design, meaning your site is built so that the architecture, content, and images appear the same on any device.
A mobile-friendly experience is important for any website. A recent report issued by Smart Insights points out that over 20 percent of Google searches and more than half of all local searches are performed on a mobile device, while fully 25 percent of internet users are only using a mobile device to surf the internet.
Further, Google’s Think Insights on mobile states 61 percent of users abandon a website if they don’t find what they are seeking immediately, while 67 percent of users reporting a positive experience with a mobile website are more likely to purchase a product or use a service.
Also, if your website isn’t mobile friendly, the Google-police will penalize your search engine rankings. So, if you haven’t already, check out your current status at Google’s Mobile-Friendly test site.
A NEW WEBSITE IS ESSENTIAL TO YOUR DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGY
You better believe it.
These days, visitors expect instant and easy access to information, and when encountering a junked-up, technically stunted, impossible to navigate website, will certainly choose a competitor’s professional and polished web presence.
Don’t underestimate the importance of presenting your website image professionally to engage visitors, drive conversions, make sales and generally maintain a high ROI.