OK, so you have a website. It’s been up for a few years and you think it is serving you well. However, time moves very quickly online, and what you thought was once a great website may now be outdated, and as a result be doing more harm than good. Below is a list of 15 reasons why it may be time to update your website.
Your website will be most people’s first impression of your company. A professional site with lots of useful information will give you the air of an expert in your industry. Conversely, a poorly designed, old-fashioned website will reflect negatively on your company. One example would be the use of Flash on your website. Once seen as the way forward in web design, it is now viewed as outdated, and on top of that, it won’t work on an Apple device!
The ease of use and capabilities of mobile devices means that most people are now searching online on their smartphones. If your website cannot be viewed properly on mobile devices then you are immediately alienating a large proportion of your potential customers. A truly responsive website will render on all devices, adapting to any size screen.
With coding techniques and web standards changing all the time, an old website may well have unnecessary code which is slowing down its performance. It can also have an adverse effect on your Google ranking. Update your website with modern coding techniques to ensure your site loads fast and Google likes it.
Does the imagery on your site reflect your company? Too many sites rely on the use of overused stock imagery. We’ve all seen the businessmen shaking hands on the services page and the smiling woman on the telephone on the contact page. Where possible, try to use imagery which is unique to you. More often than not, no picture at all is better than a cheesy stock image.
How easy is it for your customers to get in touch? Every landing page should have a compelling call to action on it, which relates to the content on the page and highlights the reason why they should get in touch.
Older websites will not necessarily allow you to measure how effective your website is. Web tools such as Google Analytics, can now enable you to see exactly what is working and what isn’t on your website. With heat mapping, conversion tracking and user recordings, it is possible to track the progression through your website to the smallest detail. You can then update your website accordingly.
Any visitor to your website is looking for useful information. When you redesign and update your website, you have the opportunity to relook at how you communicate your message. Your copy needs to be simple, up-to-date, on message and, most of all, what people want to read. With only a few seconds to engage a new visitor, great copy is essential.
Search Engine Optimisation – the holy grail of all website owners. However, the best way to think of it is to view the search engine as a person. If Google comes across content which has been up on the web for several years, it is going to consider it to be less relevant, no matter how good the content is. Search engines will see the freshest content as the most relevant and rank it as such.
The User Experience (UX) of a website is down to more than just how a website looks. It is mainly determined by how easy it is for a user to find the information they want. A good website navigation should allow the user to easily find what they want, and, if designed well, can even direct the user to the parts of the site you want them to reach.
Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your site without visiting a second page. A high bounce rate can be a sign of people not finding what they want straight away, or simply not liking the look of the website. However, a high bounce rate is not always a bad thing. It depends on what the visitor does next. If they have all the information they need from the single page, and this results in a lead or conversion, then happy days! With good analytics, you would be able to determine this.
No one likes a slow website. If a visitor is waiting for an image to load which adds nothing to the content of the page, they are more likely than not to leave the page before reading the information on your site. Update your website and it will load quickly, ensuring any large files are downloaded in the background and don’t delay the rest of the content from loading.
How easy is it to update your website yourself? Content management systems, such as WordPress, will allow you to easily update the content of your site, without needing to know any code. It will also ensure that the new content is in keeping with the look and feel of the rest of the website and keeps the code clean and simple.
There are more and more stories of websites being hacked and information being stolen. Even large corporations are not immune to this. In fact, many of these large corporations are actually running websites based on older technology, as it is such an undertaking to update such large sites to the latest standards. The older the website, the easier it is to hack. By keeping your website fresh and making sure all updates are applied, will increase the security and help prevent it being hacked.
When a business starts out, often it will use a number of different systems and online tools. Trying to bring these all together and “get them talking to each other” can be a time-consuming and costly undertaking, and is open to errors. By updating your website, you can ensure that all the required functionality is presented within one simple website. CRM, shopping carts and order fulfilment can all be done through the same system. There will be no need for your customers to visit numerous tools, with several different logins, thus improving the overall user experience.
Finally, when you update your website it can give you a fresh view on your company’s objectives. Understanding how your customers act and what they want to know can have an impact on all aspects of your marketing mix. A new website could help you identify the need for a leaflet campaign, participating in a trade show, getting on a new social channel, or even making sure there is always someone to answer the phone. Your website is crucial to your business, but it is only one part of the marketing mix.
Update your website
If you would like a review of your current website and advice on how it can be improved as part of your overall marketing strategy, get in touch for a free marketing consultation.