Why Do I Need a New Website?
Many businesses and organisations underestimate the power and importance of their website. Although most understand the importance of a high-quality site, some leaders fail to see the value and ROI of refreshing the design of your online home every few years.
The rapid pace of technological change and consumer expectations mean that your website is now responsible for the first impressions of your business. Would you invite a client to a tired-looking building with woodchip wallpaper and threadbare carpet in the reception area of your business?
The reality is that most of your business will take place online. Even if an organisation had a state-of-the-art website just a couple of years ago, it might now come across as old-fashioned. Keeping up with changing website expectations can be challenging. However, if it has been a while since your company created a new site, it might be worth reviewing some of the reasons you may need a new website.
Outdated Look and Feel
Your organisation’s website is your new front door. It is often the very first impression people have of you. Are you sending the image that you want to send? Design preferences change just like clothing styles and car designs.
What may have looked professional and modern a couple of years ago may now look old and dated. Look at the colours, fonts, graphics, and layouts of your site. What impression are you sending? Take a look at the websites of others in your industry. How does yours stack up? Even better, get the opinion of someone in the demographic you are trying to attract.
Is it easy for your website visitors to find what they are looking for? If not, they are not likely to stick around long. Not only does that mean the loss of a potential customer, but it can also impact your search results.
Search engines like Google take into account how long visitors spend on your site when determining your placement in their results. If people can’t find what they are looking for and click away quickly, you may see a reduction in traffic.
Fortunately, it is easy to follow the way people are using your website by using analytics tools. This will allow you to see if there are any obstacles in their way. If there are, it may be time for a new site.
Slow Load time
If website visitors have little patience for bad navigation, they have even less for slow load times. Web visitors expect websites to load nearly instantly. If yours fails to load within a couple of seconds, you will lose your audience.
Load time is so crucial that search giant Google includes it when calculating where your website will show up in search results. Sites considered slow are penalised and shown further down the page. There are ways to optimise your load times, but if your website is generally taking too long, it may be time to start over.
Not Mobile Friendly
Websites built more than a few years ago, or poorly designed sites may be formatted to look great primarily on a desktop or laptop computer. However, in 2018, more than half of the mobile website traffic came from mobile phones. And today’s smartphone and tablet users expect their web experience to be just as good or better than on a desktop or laptop.
Once again, Google is openly penalising sites that are not optimised for mobile devices. Modern websites are being built with responsive design to ensure the best possible experience, no matter the screen size. If your website doesn’t do that, it is time for a new one.
Not Designed Around Calls to Action
There was a time when organisations-built websites just because it was the thing to do. For some, there was not a clear process to determine the purpose of a website. And, perhaps more importantly, there was no concept of what was expected of visitors to the site.
Now, in a more mature world of digital marketing, it is essential to understand the purpose of a website and how it falls into the company’s overall marketing. For most, that centres around the call to action. Modern websites are designed to elicit a response from a visitor.
The exact nature of that response depends upon the organisation’s purpose and where the site falls in the marketing plan and, for those who sell products, its role in the sales funnel or buyer journey. No matter what type of business they serve, websites must answer the question, “What step or steps would we like visitors to take while they are on the site?” This answer leads to the call to action.
It may be to make a purchase, download more information, sign up for a newsletter, download a free trial, give money, or even volunteer. On a modern website, that intended response would be clearly visible and quickly completed. If your business is not designed around clear calls to action, it might be time for a new site.
In a digital world where experiences are even more important than the transaction itself, make sure you continue to provide your customers with the wow factor as we prepare for 2020.