Do I Need a New Website?

Websites are essential to many aspects of business today; most importantly, staying in touch with and relevant to your customer base, expanding brand awareness, leveraging greater exposure to potential customers, and utilizing sales through e-commerce.

Businesses without websites, or those that have websites that lack certain stylistic and practical elements, suffer from lack of exposure and brand legitimacy. A website that was created five, or even two or three, years ago may be outdated, especially with the emphasis on mobile browsing and e-commerce, which have greatly changed the online marketplace.

You may need a new website or may be due for updates. Sometimes, even newly designed websites aren’t adequate to meet your business’ goals. Take a moment to review your business’ website. Here’s some factors to consider when deciding whether you need a new website:

    • Does it look like outdated?
      – Website design in the 1990s and early 2000s is quite different from contemporary design, and if your site design is outdated, it shows. An outdated site, which implies a lack of time and energy spent on it, leads consumers to expect similar results from your company’s products or services.
      – Your website should look fresh, enticing, and easy to read. It should clearly reflect your brand so visitors can easily tell what the business does and what makes it unique.
      – It’s easy to clutter up a landing (home) page, or to leave it too sparse. The website should be pleasing to the eye, and include matching color schemes, fonts, and text size.

 

    • Does it load slowly?
      – A website that loads slowly is one of the major reasons for a high bounce rate, meaning that visitors to your page leave quickly, often out of frustration (more on bounce rate below).
      – Additionally, Google prioritizes websites that load quickly; ideally, within three seconds. Google includes speed in its algorithm which contributes to where your website appears on search engine results pages. If you’re unsure about whether your website is being discriminated against for its speed, we will measure the current speed of your site as part of our free website analysis.
      – Hand-in-hand with load speed is sizing – if your images, graphics or text aren’t sized correctly or uniformly, your site may look unprofessional.

 

    • Is it unnavigable/hard to find information?
      – In addition to looking good, your site should be user-friendly.
      – Information that potential customers will search for on your website should be easily found. Difficult navigation of your site is a big deterrent to current or potential new customers. For instance, a restaurant without a location listed on its website is likely to dissuade many prospective diners. Home or About, Products (if applicable), Hours, Location and Contact links should be found on the top and bottom navigation menus of each page. Be sure to include an easy way for users to navigate to and from all of these pages – for instance, if a user clicks on your company logo from any page on your website, it should redirect him or her to your home page.

 

    • Is it low ranking in search engines?
      – Search engine results pages (SERP) are an incredible tool today. Ranking high in search engine queries can help a business strengthen its brand and grow its customer base. When a business appears on the first page of search results for key words or phrases, whether the consumer is actively searching for the business or not, it can directly result in leads and sales. Having low results in SERPs can hurt your business as much as good results can help.
      – The key to ranking high in SERPs is having an optimized website. Search engine optimization incorporates on-page editing, including visible text and the “behind the scenes” (in the back end of the code). Search engine optimization work should be done on a continual basis to ensure a high ranking on search engines.
      – Websites should be optimized to include all relevant keywords, including geographic location. Need to know how your website is currently ranking? Check out our free website analysis (details below).­

 

    • Is your website responsive?
      – Your website should be mobile friendly and responsive. In 2017, over 50 percent of website traffic worldwide was generated by mobile devices. People now turn reflexively to their smart phones to learn, do, discover, watch or buy something, and it’s time to take advantage of the trend. Having a “mobile friendly” website is mandatory. A mobile-friendly site is responsive, meaning that it shifts to fit differently-sized screens (such as tablets or mobile devices) and to increase menu and button sizes, making it easy to navigate using a clumsy finger instead of a precise computer mouse.
      – Many search engines have converted to mobile-first advertising campaigns, so if you want to advertise your merchandise, blog, or anything else on your site, paying attention to mobile-friendly design is essential.
      – Complying with search engines’ Mobile Index is another great reason to update to mobile friendly browsing, as this is yet another component that is factored in to your website’s ranking.

 

    • Is your website broken?
      – To function properly, a website must have updated functionality. There should not be compatibility problems when switching between browsers or devices.
      – Your site must also be secure. If you have an e-commerce component on your website, you must maintain an SLL Certificate, which protects communications between the website and an internet browser. This encryption safeguards not only your data, but any data accessed from those who visit your site. This extends to website forms. If you don’t have an SLL Certificate, a visitor will be notified the site is not secure.

 

    • Is it unfocused? Do you have a high bounce rate?
      – Your website should inspire action, whether that is the consumer visiting multiple pages and spending additional time on your website, contacting, buying, sharing, or otherwise interacting with your website. Call-to-action “buttons” are a simple way to encourage interaction; these may be a contact form or questionnaire, an Order Now button, a Read More button, or numerous other options which can be catered to your particular business. Every website should have these to prompt visitors to engage with the website and therefore the business, as this could lead to a conversion (a lead, purchase, etc.). If your site is conversion-focused, this goal is more likely to be met.
      – Additionally, a conversion-focused website will reap the benefits of a lower bounce rate, which is the percentage of visitors who leave a site after only navigating to one page. A lower bounce rate can help your site climb to the top of the SERPs.

 

  • Is your content outdated?
    – Up-to-date web copy is a vital part of site maintenance. If your website still lists a holiday sale that isn’t available anymore, customers will be frustrated, may demand money back, or may leave a bad review of your company on popular review or social media sites. If your current hours aren’t listed, you may miss out on potential customers who rely on that information from your website.
    – Having a blog is a great means of communicating your values and interesting or relevant content to consumers, but it can only work for you if you post on it regularly. A blog that hasn’t been updated in months or years will leave your consumers wondering why you no longer invest in it, or worse, whether you are still in business.
    – Updated website content can help boost your search engine ranking, too.

If you said yes to one or more of these questions when evaluating your website, you will need to update your site at a minimum. If you checked off many of these points, it’s time to consider a website redesign. Most companies redesign their websites every three to five years, but the lifetime of your website may vary. Your site’s longevity depends on your goals and your customer’s needs.

For Your Impact Online is dedicated to providing integrated marketing solutions for local businesses, including website development and optimization. We offer a free website analysis, including a Search Engine Optimization Audit and keyword ranking analytics, which will report on where your business ranks on search engines and how you can improve.

To learn more about our services, please call 855-776-4123, email info@for-your-impact.com, or complete our contact form.