Is your once booming business lagging behind in prospects and leads? Have things slowed down and you can’t pinpoint why? You haven’t changed a thing, but you seem to be losing customers and missing out on new opportunities. What could possibly be the problem?
Perhaps the problem is that you haven’t changed a thing — and the thing that needs changing is your website. The web world is fast-paced and always changing, and as a business owner, you cannot afford to fall behind the curve. Customers have more choices and higher expectations than ever before and the pace isn’t slowing down. A proactive approach to prioritizing a regular website refresh or redesign may be the lynchpin to your success.
If you are unsure or skeptical that your website may be the culprit to the lag you’re experiencing, take a moment to consider the following three reasons it may be time to update your website.
Your Website Is Not Responsive
Imagine that your business associate sends you a link via text or email. You receive the message on your mobile device and want to check out the information so you click the link. But nothing happens. The content is spread out and you only see bits and pieces; or all you see is heading text and bunch of blank spaces; or you get the dreaded message that reads: this site cannot be displayed on a mobile device. These are some common indicators of an unresponsive website.
In today’s mobile age, this is simply not acceptable. Websites need to appear correctly on any and all web browsers including mobile devices, tablets and desktop computers. You will lose customers, prospects and leads if they cannot access your website on their phone or tablet. Because the web world is ever-changing, there are old ways of designing sites that are incompatible with the new technology that powers mobile web browsers. Some this old back-end code still lingers on sites around the world-wide-web and it shows, or rather doesn’t show, on mobile devices. In plain terms, if your site has this outdated code, it will not show up properly on mobile devices, hence your site is unresponsive.
Why is this important? The number one way consumers access digital content is through their mobile devices. If the technology powering your website is outdated, you could be missing out on more than half of your potential leads. Not only that, if your website doesn’t perform well on mobile devices, then your site will most likely take a hit in the search engine rankings, making your site difficult to find when people are searching for content.
If you’re unsure about the responsiveness of your website, here is a handy link to help you gauge where you are and where you need to be in the world of responsive design.
Your Site is Difficult to Navigate
The people visiting your website are there for one reason: content. Your website may be graphically stunning and as responsive as apple.com but if the content is buried under layers of menus, submenus or walls of words, your future customer is going to bounce off your site and on to your competitor. A fancy site with cool bells and whistles may seem fun and cutting edge, but sometimes those bells and whistles can distract your visitors from the primary content, or worse, cause your site to load painfully slow (another big reason for visitors to bounce).
Today’s best-practices in web design emphasize minimalism – less is definitely more for your visitors. Pages that are crammed with data, images, proof points, or otherwise unrelated information require the visitor to work harder to find the information they need and consumers are not known for their patience. Your best bet is to ensure that your brand promise, key message, offerings or mission statement are clearly displayed and easy to read. If you run an organization that relies heavily on events you need to be sure your calendar is well designed and easy to navigate.
Bottom line: if the substance of your online presence is buried under complex site navigation or distracting tchotchke you will lose customers and miss out on new opportunities.
Your Website Isn’t Ranking on Google
Hits, visits, page views — oh my! What does it all mean anyway and what does it have to do with my Google ranking? We live in complex times and the answers to the mysteries of search engine optimization (SEO) are nuanced and constantly in flux.
Truly, there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to page ranking because the search engines are constantly changing their algorithms. Generally speaking, SEO is a game where the rules are always changing, and it’s up to SEO experts to find out how to make their companies’ sites rank well. Fresh content and consistent updates are often the most effective way to boost your SEO. One way to accomplish this is by utilizing a blog on your site and making sure you blog regularly. If you’ve let your website stagnate for at least 12 months without any design, content, or navigational refreshes, chances are good that your SEO is in trouble.
These are three common reasons to justify a website redesign; however, there certainly are more reasons than three and if you have have questions we would love to help you determine if the time is right for a redesign. The timing for a refresh or redesign is different for each company. We can help by coming alongside you, understanding where you are and where you want to be, and helping you identify a rhythm of redesign that makes sense within the context of your own unique approach. There are no cookie-cutter solutions to your online presence. Your business is unique and your website should reflect what makes you one of a kind.