It’s no secret that the Internet has and continues to change the way that people are living their lives and doing business. In the years B.G (Before Google) you were ahead of the pack if you had any online presence, but in today’s world just being online isn’t enough.
Technology is changing, and with it people’s expectations are getting higher – studies have shown that 75% of people judge how credible a business is based on their website, a pretty high number! So what does this mean for you if you are planning on redesigning your website, and how should you know whether your website is due for a bit of an upgrade?
Below are some questions to ask yourself about your own website to see if it’s time to update your company’s website:
Is your website responsive?
There has been a huge push in the past few years to make websites more responsive (that is, mobile friendly). With the amount of devices available to your customers to view your website on, it’s no longer acceptable to have a website that only displays correctly on desktop. Try accessing your website on your smartphone or tablet, can it be easily viewed without having a less than positive experience? If the answer to this question isn’t yes, then it is definitely time to review how your website works and consider at the very least, having your website made responsive.
Is it hard to keep updated?
When was the last time that you updated the content on your website? I’m not talking about a complete redesign, merely something as simple as updating some out of date text or images. If your answer was “not recently”, then why? I’m guessing the answer to that is because you don’t know how, or your website is so old that you simply can’t. Content Management Systems (CMS)’s have come pretty far over the past few years, so there’s not really a great excuse for not being able to update your website without knowing code. There are a number of benefits to keeping the content on your website up to date, and changing it regularly, and if you don’t have the option to be able to do this at the moment then it’s time to take a look at why this is the case.
When was the last time you completely redesigned your website?
This might seem like a rather obvious question, and you might be thinking why this wasn’t asked ahead of the questions above. In short, this question isn’t always a strong indicator of needing a new website, where as some of the other points on this list – read, having a responsive website, is almost more important than updating your website every 18 months.
A general rule of thumb is that you should redesign the look and functionality of your website every 4-5 years. Design trends on the Internet are changing all the time, and again, people have become accustomed to viewing websites that they like the look of. Today’s design trends lead to clean design and easy navigation. If you’re website is cluttered, with too much unnecessary information and too difficult to get around then it’s time for a redesign. It’s important that people landing on your website trust your business, and know that you take pride in your product. Having a website with a clean and respectable design can help with this.
Does your website take a long time to load?
People in 2016 are impatient; they’re used to getting things now, and don’t have the time to wait around for websites to load. If your current website is slow, you’re running the risk of annoying any potential and existing customers (and giving them reason to leave the site), but you are also hurting your search engine ranking. Having a website that loads quickly will not only make sure that visitors stay on your website, but will ensure that they have a great user experience!
Does Google know you exist?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is an online strategy to help your business show up in Google search results. If your website is quite out-dated, and you haven’t been investing in an online marketing strategy since it initially went live, then chances are you’re not very high on Google’s radar. As I mentioned above, Google loves responsive websites, but this is only one of the many things that you can be doing to increase your search ranking. Google is updating it’s algorithm all the time, and it’s current focus is all about content: how relevant the content on your website is, how often it is updated, and whether people are interacting (ie: sharing) with the content on your website. Pair the content on your website with a design that people want to visit, and you have a great base for Google to start recognising your existence.
Are you embarrassed to show people your website?
You need to think of your website like a business card that you are handing out to potential clients and/or associates. If when people ask you about your website and you feel a sense of embarrassment, or dread at showing them your online presence then this isn’t right. I’m sure that you have worked hard to get your business to where it is today, and don’t want this hard work to be impacted in any way; your website should be something that you are proud of, something that you want to show to other people. If you don’t get this feeling when you look at it, then have a think about what other people are thinking when they stumble upon, or are directed to your website..
Have you or your brand outgrown it?
People change, and so do businesses. Who you were 10, or even 5 years ago, might not be the same company as you are today. If you have had an overhaul on terms of the way your business branding appears in other parts of your marketing, or have restructured the way that you do business, then your website needs to reflect this.
The reasons listed above are only a few of the benefits of updating the design of your website, and I have only scratched the surface of the benefits that I have listed. If you have been thinking about redesigning your website, or if this blog post has prompted you to ask some questions of your current website, then let us here at Webfirm know. We’d love to have a chat to you about the things that you could be doing to help improve your online presence, and get you thinking about the way that your website could and should be working for you.