Back in the early days of Internet marketing, simply having a website is enough to put you ahead of the competition. These days, however, it’s not enough to just have a website. To remain on top, you need to make sure your website is well-designed, easy to navigate, and engaging. It needs to give visitors a positive and enjoyable experience to encourage repeat visits.
If you’re still unconvinced of the importance of having a well-maintained site, consider this: Stanford University conducted a study that revealed that 75% of people make judgments on a company’s credibility based on their website design. So, if it has been years since your last website update, now may indeed be the perfect time for you to conduct another one. Your failure to update your site may be hindering you from making the most of your online presence.
Here are some of the most obvious signs that you definitely need to give your website a major facelift:
1. Your website is not mobile-friendly.
Note that more and more people are now accessing the Internet on mobile devices. SmartInsights compiled a series of reports and according to Google, mobile search has grown to 500% in just two years. In the same SmartInsights report, it is stated that more than half of local searches are done on mobile devices. At the very least, these statistics should prove to you that the world has indeed gone mobile and everyone is now doing practically everything on-the-go.
If your website isn’t optimized for mobile viewing, your visitors will find it almost impossible to navigate on their mobile devices and your content will be very difficult to consume. This could very well make you lose a huge market share to a competitor whose site is already optimized and designed to be responsive. You surely wouldn’t want that to happen, would you?
Of course, you also have the option of creating a separate website for mobile. However, it will be a lot easier to manage and track the effectiveness of a single responsive website than two separate sites. So it’s best to make sure your website is easy to access and navigate on all types of devices.
If that’s not enough to convince you, here’s another set of statistics that just might do the trick: A Google study revealed that 61% of Internet users tend to leave a website that doesn’t display properly on their mobile device. And Google actually gives lower search rankings to websites that aren’t optimized for mobile use.
2. Your website is difficult to find.
If someone conducts an online search, will he/she find a link to your site on top of the results? Does your site rank at least on the first page? If your answer to these questions is NO, how can you expect your target market to find your website? If they don’t find your site easily, how can you expect them to take the action you expect (make a purchase, avail of your services, etc.)? This is why it’s important for you to make sure your site is optimized properly.
As you may have noticed, search engine algorithms are being updated almost every day. Google, in particular, has been very busy with algorithm updates in recent years. In the past, optimizing your website simply meant stuffing your site content and Meta tags with as many of your targeted keywords as possible. These days, however, the practice that used to get you to the top is likely to land you at the bottom of search results.
The SEO of today necessitates publishing original, fresh, high-quality content on your site. Launching a website redesign project allows you to take stock of your content and make sure each piece of content you publish from here onwards is properly aligned with current SEO trends. Ditch those black-hat SEO practices you used to employ if you really want to make your website more visible and easier to find.
3. Your website has no added value to offer visitors.
So you’re getting a good number of site visitors each day. You’re good to go and don’t really need to redesign your site, right? Not necessarily. Before you can conclude that your website is good enough for now, you first need to check how long each visitor stays on your site and if they ever come back. People aren’t likely to stay on a site for long unless they find real value on that site and they’re even less likely to visit the site again after the first “wasted” visit. And no matter how many visitors you get, they won’t do your business any good unless they convert and return for more.
How exactly do you offer added value on your site? First of all, your website should have a significant amount of useful information presented in an interesting manner and updated regularly. It should also be pleasing to the eyes and free from unnecessary clutter. Furthermore, your website should be easy to navigate and functional. It shouldn’t be too difficult for visitors to find other pieces of content relevant to the one they’re currently checking.
Visit your website and try to look at it through the eyes of your target market. If it doesn’t satisfy any of the above conditions, and if your experience is somehow lacking, then it is indeed time for a redesign. The mere idea of redesigning your site may be overwhelming and the process itself may indeed be a bit complicated, but it’ll help you refocus on your business goals and will ultimately be for the benefit of your company. With a redesign, it should be easier to keep your existing customers, gain new ones, and give your brand the best possible reputation in the industry.
4. Your website is slow.
A study by KISSmetrics revealed that almost half of online users expect web pages to load in less than two seconds. The same study shows that 40% of people will abandon a site that takes three seconds or more to load. Yes, that’s right. You should go to your website RIGHT NOW and see how much time it takes for your pages to load. If it’s too slow for the average visitor, then you risk losing potential customers and suffering in search rankings. And yes, it is definitely time for a redesign.
The good news for you is that there are lots of things you can do to make your site load faster. All of these things point to one general idea, though – that of ridding the site of clutter and being careful not to download too much information at once. Check your website’s layout. Is there a way to simplify it while retaining its aesthetic appeal? If there is, then go ahead and do that. What about your site content? Are they published in formats that keep everything on your website light? If not, then adjust your formatting to speed things up.
The value of simplifying your website and speeding up the loading process lies not only in the fact that it increases the probability of visitors sticking around, but also in the fact that it gives each visitor a much better site experience overall. As you well know, a good experience tends to lead to repeat visits.
5. Your website is outdated.
Seriously, haven’t you noticed how quickly web design trends change? If it has been years since the last time you updated your site, then it’s a safe bet that it has indeed become outdated both in looks and functionality. Is the message that greets visitors on your Home page still the same one you had back in 2008? Are you still using an old musical intro on your landing pages? If you answered YES to either question, wait no more. Get up and start redesigning your website NOW!
The websites of today are all about simple designs and ease of navigation. So, if your site still looks cluttered, clean it up! ResearchGate conducted a study on websites and the results conclude that 94% of individuals tend to trust well-designed websites more. When you are deemed trustworthy, you’ll likely gain more loyal customers. So make sure your site design is always in tune with current styles and that the copy and images on your web pages are always fresh. In general, it is advisable to conduct a website redesign every two years or so.
These are just some of the most obvious signs that your website needs a facelift. There are plenty of other signs, but we don’t have to go through them all. The point is for you to realize how important it is to review and revamp your site from time to time.
Perhaps the easiest way to put it is this: Change is the only thing that’s constant in this world, and if you don’t change with the times, you’ll most likely get left behind.
Don’t allow your business to get left behind. Evaluate your website now and enhance it where necessary.