Committing to a new website is something we see a lot of businesses push down the tracks. It’s not that they’re unaware of the problems of having an out-of-date site, it’s just that there always seem to be more urgent business priorities to address. Not to mention the, often tricky, need for budgetary sign-off. And all the while, that website is getting older and more out of date.
Like most experts, we’d recommend you update your site every 2-3 years (yes, we hear your groans). But, let us remember, your website is the most important marketing tool you have. Just think about your own behaviour, where do you go if you want to find out more about a company? You pull up Google (92.3% of search share goes to Google) and start typing. When you find the website you’re looking for, you immediately start making judgments on how the site looks, how it responds, and how it presents information. Your website doesn’t just represent your brand, it’s talking to your customers at will, and is it saying the right things? If the last time you updated your website was 5 years ago, the chances are it probably does not.
The good news is that you will find the cost of changing your website is soon paid for by the new business it brings in, directly or indirectly. So, if you know it’s got to be done but need some more reasons to get that time or budget signed-off, here are eight reasons that will let you know, for sure, that you can’t put off the inevitable any longer:
1) You’ve updated your brand positioning
Your business is evolving all the time and your website needs to reflect any fundamental changes in your brand messaging or with your target audience. After all, if you’re saying the wrong things to the wrong people, you’re not going to be getting the right results. Another way to look at it is that if you don’t let everyone know the great things going on in your business, it’s like they never actually happened.
2) Your site is out of date
With your business evolving all the time, it follows that a website that worked brilliantly for you five years ago is unlikely to be so perfect now. If your content is no longer as relevant as it was for customers, or the data security and SSL certificates are no longer up to scratch, then it’s time to bite the bullet and take the time and trouble to put things right.
3) It's too slow
Gone are the days when consumers would hang around patiently waiting for a website to find its feet. According to KISSmetrics, 47% of consumers expect a web page to load within 2 seconds, and 40% of people will abandon a site that takes more than 3 seconds to load. So, if your site doesn’t load immediately, then it’s history (or at least it should be). Site speed is important to Google too and the search engine will prioritise other sites over yours if the loading speed is an issue.
4) Your visitors aren’t sticking around
Maybe you’ve seen an unwelcome drop in leads or conversions, and that’s giving you cause for concern. If your web analytics show a high bounce rate, low time on site and low average pages per visit, that’s a strong sign that your website is no longer fit for purpose. These issues could be down to outdated content or site navigation that isn’t as user-friendly as it should be. Whatever the cause of the problems, it’s time you solved them.
5) Your SEO rankings are low
SEO is as important now as it ever was. Search Engine Journal maintains 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine and that stat highlights the importance of hard-working SEO. But this can be a tricky art to master as the search engines regularly shift the goalposts in an attempt to thwart those trying to find ways to cheat their way to the top of the list.
You can forget the old gimmicks. Good SEO these days is all about having original, high-quality content on your site that's regularly updated, which is why sites with blogs perform so well. Strong keywords still play a big part too, and if the content on your site wasn’t written with current SEO trends in mind, it’s time you attended to that.
6) Your site is difficult to update
If this is a problem for you, or you find that your site doesn’t support your dynamic new content strategy, then it’s probably quite a few years old now. That’s because the modern trend is for websites that are built to be flexible and easy to update.
If you find making updates more effort than it’s worth, or you have to contact a third party to do it for you, then you know your current website isn’t doing your business any favours and it’s time for rapid change.
7) It doesn’t work well on mobile
This is a biggie. According to a study by Perficient Digital, 58% of website visits last year were from mobile devices (phones or tablets), whereas most older websites were purely designed for use on desktop or laptop computers.
If your website isn’t responsive, which is the term used for a site that’s designed to adapt to fit the device it’s being viewed on, then you’re likely to be alienating more than half your visitors. Ouch!
8) You’re simply not proud of your site
If you’re reluctant to give people your URL because you’re simply embarrassed at the thought of them checking out your site, then it’s definitely time to go back to the drawing board.
There’s a good business reason for having a site you’re proud of. A study by ResearchGate found that 94% of people say websites with good designs are more trustworthy, and it’s hard to argue against that. Maybe, deep down, you know your competitors have websites that look and work better than yours. Well, it’s time to take your head out of the sand and acknowledge this is putting your business at a disadvantage. Put things right with a new website that positions your company in front, rather than behind, the main competition.
Help is at hand
If one or more of these reasons apply to you, then you might be in need of some help. At Enquiry Lab we do websites properly, this might sound like an odd thing to say, but sadly there are so many out there who don't, using templates and off-the-shelf solutions to deliver projects that may look nice but rarely deliver the business impact required, and we’d be happy to have a no-obligation conversation to point you in the right direction. Get in touch now.