Your website is your online shopfront and your business card on the web. Besides looking good, it needs to be easy to navigate and above all, bring in the sales. A successful website needs to keep up with technology and design to not fall behind your competition. Thinking about how you yourself use a website may be helpful. If your website doesn't meet your own requirements, it may be time to look at getting a new website.
DMM's article on the signs indicating you need a new website will help you decide if you require a website redesign.
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Signs your website needs a redesign
1. Your site is not mobile friendly
72% of people will have access to the internet via a smartphone, This means that a big chunk of your website traffic will be from mobile phone, with some tablet traffic in the mix as well. In 2019 Google announced that it will be indexing and ranking websites using the mobile version of websites. So a mobile site is necessary for rankings AND users.
From June 2016 to June 2017, mobile internet usage increased by 104% in New Zealand. With this trend continuing, it is no wonder that website managers and owners are rushing to make sure their websites are up to date. Your site should be easy to view and navigate on both desktop and mobile. The easiest way to do that is with a responsive website. This kind of site adjusts content to fit on a variety of screen sizes. Thus mobile friendliness is essential in 2020.
2. Your site doesn't look good
Mobile phone users have seen numerous websites by now, and it has been proven that people would rather spend time on a site that is beautifully designed than something plain. Website design is a deciding factor in the credibility of a business, according to 48 percent of people. Now that is a lot of people! Do you evaluate a site based on the look of it? A professional, polished site decreases bounce rates and increases the likelihood that a sale will be completed. Looking good in 2020 would be valuable.
3. Your site speed is slow
Users want quality information, but want to find it quickly. Think about yourself - walking down the street trying to find the best restaurant or show shop close to you. If the website you choose to look at loads for longer than 10 seconds, you are likely to choose another site. The same is true for your own users. Speeding up your site is crucial.
4. You rank poorly
Looking good is only valuable if you rank well. There are numerous factors that impact where you rank on search results. Your page should meet the Google guidelines (which will benefit you on all other search engines as well). Your content should be well written and your website must meet user experience design standards. Google evaluates your page quality, and then decides where you rank in search engine results. So if you aren't ranking well, a good place to start would be on the structure, functioning and design of your website. If you can't figure out why your site is ranking poorly, a redesign could help you rank better.
5. Your conversion rate is low
Getting people to the website is great, but if that is not leading to sales a change is needed. When you design your website, you should keep in mind who your user is and what they are trying to accomplish. Then make it as easy as possible for them to find the correct information and accomplish their goals. The most important information should be the easiest to find. Things like contact details and how to buy should be the most obvious. Improving your website could benefit your conversion rate significantly.
6. Your branding has changed
Branding on your website should be consistent with the branding of your business. Your brand identity should be communicated on every possible platform you are using. This will help your customers recognize you and know that they are dealing with you. Your own experience with a company that has inconsistent branding will show you that updating your website to reflect your new branding is important.
7. Updating your website content is difficult
If you find updating your website difficult or complicated, it's time for you to find a new content management system (CMS). The CMS is a tool for you to update the content on your site to keep it fresh and relevant, as well as be able to tweak pages for SEO. It is meant to make your life easier, not harder! Keeping your content fresh and up to date is not only great for users that want your latest information, but also signals to search engines that your site is legitimate and active. A redesign in a user-friendly CMS can be hugely beneficial, saving you time and money in the long run.
8. Your website is not consistent
It may be that your site has been around for a few years and more than one person has had their hands on it which makes pages inconsistent with each other. It may be that the CMS you are using limits what you can do. It may be that your site has not kept up with the times and advances in websites. All of this might make your site appear confusing and disorganized. Have you ever been on a site that looks outdated or one that isn't easy to use? Starting fresh with a brand-new website design can eliminate these issues and create consistency throughout your site’s pages. A redesign could be beneficial in many ways.
9. You've outgrown your site
Your business keeps evolving, and so should your website. If you have added or removed products, or you offer new services your website needs to reflect that. The focus may have shifted from one product to another. The goal of your website may have changed - you may have wanted people to call you up a few years ago but now you have many more clients and prefer them filling in a detailed contact form that helps you prepare a proposal for them. Your site should reflect where you are now.
10. Your industry has evolved
Technology advances. The needs of your customers change. New products and services become available every day. New competitors emerge. Tweaking your website may very well be all you need, but sometimes a whole new website is the only way to get the results you're after. If your site has been the same for more than five years you definitely need a redesign to be in line with what your competition is doing. In the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, websites evolve as your business and the world evolves.
11. Your website isn't secure
Website security is something that has been in the news frequently, with breaches of big international sites like Facebook and Tū Ora Compass Health in New Zealand. By installing an SSL certificate on your website, you are encrypting information that you send between a browser and a web server.This protects your website’s users from attacks like credit card information or logins. A website that is not secure, is also going to rank lower as Google penalizes non-secure sites. It is in your best interest to secure your data, and protect your customers. If your website is not secure, you should get this done as soon as possible even if you don't do an entire redesign.
What Is the best CMS?
Though there are a number of website builders that work well, we recommend WordPress. In 2020, Wordpress powers 35% of websites, and for some very good reasons!
WordPress has powerful features and integrations, but it’s easy to use as well. With this CMS, you’ll have complete control over every aspect of your site. There are thousands of themes to choose from, and you can customize to your heart's content. With over 50,000 free plugins, you are sure to get the additional features and functionality to your site that you want and need.
How often should I redesign my website?
This is a highly subjective question. There are many factors to consider Orbit Media discovered that the average life span of a site is about two years and seven months. If your site is older than that, you need to start thinking about a redesign. For future planning, you should budget for website redesigning and development every two to three years.
Why a small business need a website
If your are not entirely convinced your website is benefiting you, here are some things to consider
- Credibility: customers expect a business to have a website and a company that doesn't, will appear to be less professional and trustworthy
- Potential customers – Your customers are online. This is where they are finding you and where they may be searching for you right now, making buying decisions based on what they find online
- Information - People visit your website to get information about you. They expect to find out easily and quickly who you are, what you do/offer and how to contact you. Special offers and new products can be launched here.
- Data collection – You can collect data about who your customers are, where they are and how they found you. This can help you market to them and others like them much easier. Plus it will help you direct your resources to the most effective marketing channels.
- Money saving - paying staff to do what a website can do for you is much more expensive than the cost of setting up a website. Marketing, sales, reception and a lot of other functions will free up time to do their jobs when they don't have to spend as much time and effort preparing proposals, dropping off catalogues (that also cost money), making sales calls and answering some of the same questions again and again.
Check out if your website is ready to go and start marketing. Download our guide to website marketing in ten easy steps here.
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