When you invest a ton of money and time into something like a website redesign, you put the prospect of ever having to overhaul it again out of your mind. We get it. Sometimes it's tough to know when it's worth spending the money to update your website. After all, no one wants to throw hard-earned dollars into something that doesn't bring any return.
The truth is, sometimes it's not worth it. But if you're starting to wonder if you've reached the tipping point, here are five red flags that indicate it's time to look into redesigning your site.
1. Your Website Is Mostly About You and Not Your Customer
In the early days, websites were about taking your company tradeshow brochure and making it digital on the web. Nine times out of ten, that brochure was all about your company, who you were, what you did, why you were qualified to help whomever was reading it, etc.
If your site still resembles a high-tech business card instead of a lead generating machine, you need to optimize your site and focus it on your customers. Identify their pain points and challenges they might be coming to you for. Make sure to clearly explain:
- What you offer
- How it makes their life better
- how to buy or what the clear next steps are
If you're having a hard time answering those questions, you might need to take a hard look at your brand's core messaging. Clarifying your messaging helps align every piece of communication with your prospects to speak a language that's relevant to the problem your prospect is facing.
2. Your Website Isn’t Responsive
With estimates well above 50% of web traffic coming from mobile devices, you don’t want to be missing out on business opportunities if your site doesn’t function well on various screen sizes.
In another piece we've published, we focus specifically on why responsive and mobile-friendly sites need to be prioritized by business owners and how they impact a website's user experience:
“...in short, the implications are clear, if you’re not providing a satisfactory mobile experience on your site, you are missing out compared to competitors who are. This means it needs to be mobile-friendly and easy-to-navigate no matter the screen type, or size by which it's being accessed.”
Not sure if your site is mobile friendly? Check out this pretty sweet tool. Just plugin your website address at the top and see what it looks like on the different size of screens. How do you know if it looks ok? Well if when you go to the mobile version of your current website and you know there's no way you would stay on it for very long, then it's time for a full redesign.
3. Your Website Takes too Long to Load
This is something that is often overlooked by many marketing departments and site owners. In fact, often this aspect of web design can be one of the largest contributing factors to losing out on on potential customers. Think about it. Do you remember the good 'ole days where we all sat by our huge computer and waited until that ear piercing dial-up tone was finished? Exactly. None of us as online users has the patience for that any longer. Slow sites continually lead to larger bounce rates, because if it takes too long to load, they'll just go to one of your competitor's websites.
Most of the time in website design when digital marketing priorities are set, page speed optimization isn’t even in the top 10! You may have spent a lot of time and money on developing the coolest homepage around with great content and cutting edge functionality, but are users having to wait for your site to load? Then it probably means they're leaving before they even see it.
An article from Amazon discovered that for every one second delay, conversions dropped by 7%! To push this point even deeper, Walmart has found gains of 1% revenue increase for every 100ms of improvement in page load speed!
The question we always get is “how fast should my website load then?” Well in 2016, the optimal load time is between 500ms and 2 seconds at most. By 2026, we're going to consider that speed the new "dial-up tone."
If you're not sure where to start though, GTmetrix is a great tool to give you insights on how fast your pages load as well as some ideas to fix, if needed.
4. Your Prospects Can’t Find Your Website
If you are literally nowhere to be found in search engine rankings or you are buried on page 5 or deeper, then it is time to change things. Being found on search engines is important to help drive traffic to your website, which can convert to more customers and increased business. This is the meaning behind that big worded phrase you've probably read a thousand times "Search Engine Optimization" or SEO for short. Being found in search engine rankings is all about the following:
- How your content is written
- What terms and keywords you want to be known for
- Telling search engines who you are, what you do and where you’re located
This is is how search engines like Google or Bing know what to search for when a person goes to their search bar. Social media is great for helping build brand awareness, but at the end of the day it's not where most of us go when we're looking for a service or product.
If you are unclear on how to incorporate better SEO tactics for your website to be found, follow a few of these tips.
5. Your Website Isn’t Built on a CMS
Do you need to hire a web designer or a developer every time you want to make a change to your site? In this day of the importance of content, you really need to be able to update content yourself to keep it fresh and your site relevant. There are many content management systems out there, but we recommend the major ones, WordPress, Drupal or if you are a company running inbound marketing campaigns we’d recommend HubSpot COS.
We advise all business owners who come to us against going with a platform that is custom developed or something that ties you to a specific agency or business. You don’t want your business to be tied to that company or business forever. The fact is new technology is constantly impacting whatever industry you are in, and custom systems cannot always easily account for what the new design trends or technology changes call for.
If your website has one or more of the above issues, it means you are due for a website redesign or refresh at least. When choosing an agency, be sure there is someone on your team — internally or with the developer you hire — who stays focused on the site’s ability to meet your business goals and objectives. Great design and really cool features are nice to haves on your websites, but a good return on your investment is even more important!
If you're starting to feel a little nervous that you're falling behind your competitors, or just aren't sure where to begin, don't worry that's normal! What's important is that you're asking these questions, and that you're looking to continually grow. Growth takes time and progress, and you're on the right path! If you have any questions about the things we talked about here, or just aren't sure on where exactly to start, give us a shout! Before you know it, your website will be a selling machine.