A website says a lot about your business. It’s often your audience’s very first impression of the brand, which is why it’s important that your website represents your business in the best way possible and gives your visitors the best user experience.
Investing in a new website doesn’t mean you have to change every aspect of it, but you will need a strategic digital marketing plan in place to help you identify what needs to change and what can stay. Re-designing a website requires a fair amount of time, thought, strategic planning and money, so a lot of businesses put this project on the back burner. The question to ask here is what is the real cost to the business of doing nothing?
To help you decide whether the time is right for you, we have listed below.
1. Website is visibly unattractive
As mentioned earlier, your audience’s first impression is usually formed when visiting your website, and as we know first impressions are everything. They can make or break the relationship between the customer and the brand itself. You may or may not be surprised to know that 94% of people base their impression on web design according to Forbes. Moreover, 38% stop browsing if a website is unattractive according to Adobe.
An unattractive web-design can come across as unprofessional to potential customers. Big brands which have been around for years sometimes think that customers will forgive them if they have an unattractive web design. Although it might work for the 5% of customers who remember your name, we wouldn’t suggest following this strategy as it will only lead to bad surprises in the long run: a newer but “better-looking” company is likely to look more legit, fresher, more believable, more capable and therefore get all the customers.
And if you own a smaller, not so well-known brand, there is no excuse: customers will desert your site and take their business elsewhere.
It is more difficult than one might think to recognize whether you have an unattractive web design. You know your website inside out (you might have helped design it a few years ago so have an emotional attachment to it!), you can recite by heart the text that’s on every page, you like all the images; but that doesn’t mean that the users will share your opinion. You may have seen our article last week about the metrics you should measure, however, you should check your Google Analytics. How long are the users staying on your website? Are people browsing your pages or are they giving up after a few seconds? How many conversions do you get? Have you set the correct goals to track and measure the performance of your website?
2. The website offers a poor user experience for mobile users
Mobile device browsing has made a heavy impact on all web traffic. Although desktop browsing is still widely used, mobile device browsing has grown rapidly in recent years. Statistics from Statista show that the share of mobile phone traffic in 2017 was 50.3% and so far in 2018 mobile traffic share was 52.2%.
As a business, it’s important to adapt to the increase in mobile users by making your website mobile-friendly. You will need a responsive design (RWD), as this is an approach to the web design which automatically adjusts the layout, sizing, orientation and proportions to display your website to suit the device that is being used. Without a responsive design, you risk losing potential consumers, as it may make navigating your site difficult and annoying.
If your potential customers find it difficult to find what they’re looking for on your website, or if certain tasks are difficult to carry out on your website, then this should be a major cause for concern for all types of device users.
3. The website is not addressed to the right audience
Customer behaviour is always changing, so it’s important to understand who your audience is so you can easily adapt to it over the years. A very common mistake that businesses do is to try to address everyone when their target audience can be easily narrowed down. The result is appalling: mixed messages, cluttered design, confused OVP (online value proposition)
You should create user personas to help distinguish them from one another. For example, create a persona for customer type 1 and list what information they would want to access on your website, then do the same for customer type 2, and stop there. Businesses think they have to create as many personas as possible and adapt content to each of them, that’s simply wrong. Where is your business coming from? Who are your main customers? You will quickly realise that 80% or 90% of your revenues come from 2 different types of customers.
Once you understand who your audience is and what their interests are, it’s easier to build better content that they can engage with. Not only that, you will now have better guidelines for a design that works with your specific audience.
4. The content is stagnant or unengaging
Content is important when it comes to building brand awareness, and ultimately converting visitors into leads. Content can help showcase that your business is still relevant, so long as you keep it up-to-date by adding new content regularly. Without fresh content every so often, you will appear stagnant and potential customers will lose interest in your business.
This means that you have a competitive advantage at your fingertips: create relevant, fresh content and you will already be amongst the leaders.
5. Your website is difficult to find
Search engines have certain methods (algorithms) for how websites are ranked in order to give the searcher the most relevant results. These algorithms are continuously being altered to suit the ever-changing searcher’s user behavior. For example (touching on mobile users again) Google introduced a ‘mobile-first’ index to reflect user behavior. This indexing affects the way your website is ranked depending on how well your website’s mobile version performs.
If you want to rank higher in search results, you will want to be following the newest rules. An old/outdated website will be following old rules (if any) which is why investing in a new website can help you rank higher making it easier for your website to get noticed online.
Please note that getting a new website is not a guarantee of ranking higher, this is rather the SEO work associated with building a new website that is. Whether it is getting rid of old pages with wrong redirects or making sure that every new page/post is SEO-ready (content, keywords, meta descriptions, titles, headlines, alt texts and so on), there is a lot of work involved – but this is sometimes easier and faster to create something good from scratch than try to fix something old and deficient.
Want To Invest In A New Website?
We hope this article has given you insight into the reasons why investing in a new website is crucial and beneficial for your business. If you are interested in working with us to help you design a new website, contact us via phone or email.