Taking your business to the next level means always thinking steps ahead and planning for new growth. Your website is a vital partner in this growth process, and it is essential that you maximize its effectiveness in order to increase profits. Your website is your best marketing tool and it is often necessary to redesign it to get the best results.
1. Your Content Management System Needs an Upgrade
Technology moves at the speed of light online. While it can be practically impossible to keep up with every software update and new trend, it is important to update your systems periodically. Your content management system allows you to easily update your blog postings, event listings and other site data. Having a CMS that looks outdated can hurt your credibility and make your site look less than professional.
The key is to have your site redesigned to look more contemporary and technologically advanced. There are new widgets being introduced all the time, so getting the most updated features will set you apart from the competition. In addition, updating your content management system will help you to avoid being the victim of hacking and other security breaches. Developers are constantly introducing new products that will keep your system safe from intentional malice and harmful viruses.
2. Your Website Needs a New Coat of Paint
An old, outdated website will hurt you big time. Internet users browse for an average of three seconds before deciding to go any further on a website. This means that you have to grab their attention and keep it in order to get the best results. If your site is using old graphics, you will not be able to compete with other businesses with better site design.
The search engines are very strict when it comes to delivering only the best content for Web users. Search engines look for fresh content—updated blog postings, new images and clean site design. If your site is lacking in any of these features, you will get lower search engine ranking, and by extension, fewer eyes looking at your website. The key to keeping your customers engaged is to make sure your site is projecting an image of forward-progress and professionalism.
3. Your Site is not User Friendly
Believe it or not, there are some webmasters that actually make it harder for users to use their sites. There are several offenders when it comes to this. First, making it hard for visitors to navigate through your site is a big no-no. If your readers can’t find the links they need, they will simply surf away from your page. Create a table of navigational links across the top of the page to make it easier for them to find what they need on your site.
Make it easy for them to contact you. Some sites will hide contact information or bury it at the back of the website. Remember the purpose of your page. If the purpose is for people to contact you or buy from you, feature your contact information in a prominent place to make things simpler for your readers.
If you sell products online, it is imperative that you have a user friendly site. Some websites make it a chore to checkout from their shopping carts. Making your customers create an account in order to check out, hiding the shopping cart from view and making it difficult for them to change their selections from within the cart will send them running to other merchants. Offer as many payment options as possible and make it easy for your customers to buy from you.
4. You’re Going in a Different Direction With the Company
If your company is changing direction, you will need a new website that reflects these changes. If, for example, you are expanding from a children’s line of clothing to adult fashion, your site will need an overhaul. New changes in the business mean new changes to your site’s image. You may need to change the color scheme, font or layout in order to reflect your new image.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when revamping your site is to simply change a little of the content but leave the site virtually unchanged. Your visitors will be confused by this. First, if you announce a major change, your website is the first place that your customers will look for confirmation.
5. Parts of Your Site are Not Working
If your customers navigate to certain sites and get error messages, it can be a real turnoff. Many business owners mistakenly believe that customers are so loyal that they will put up with poorly designed and maintained websites. This is often not the case. Customers will simply find a better updated site with which to do business.
Depending on the severity of the problem, you may need to replace your content management system. If, however, there are only a few broken links or missing images, you may be able to get by with just fixing these issues.
6. You are Not Getting Results
If you have a well-designed website but are still not seeing the results you expect, the fault may lie in your design. It helps to have your site tested periodically by third party raters to ensure that it is doing its job. One website found that it was getting fewer and fewer leads. An outside tester observed that it was difficult for users to find the “Contact Us” page.
When they did locate it, the page would often not allow the user to leave a message. These issues can cost your company money and sales, so if you are not getting the results you expect, it may be time for a website overhaul.
7. Your Site is Slow
Your site should load in three seconds or less. That is precisely the amount of time that your readers will wait before surfing away to another site. If your site is not loading quickly, it can mean that your server cannot handle the level of traffic to your site, or that your content management system is out of date. Both of these issues can signal a need to revamp your website and upgrade to a new site.
8. Your Competitor’s Site is Better
Go and take a look at your competitor’s site. Is it better than yours? Does it load faster? Does it have sharper images? Google them. Is there name prominent in search? These are all factors to consider when thinking about whether it is time to update your site. Think of your website as your storefront on the Web. If your store is dark with outdated products on the shelf collecting dust and the store next door is clean and bright with new products, why would your customers stay?
You can create a perception of success based solely on your website. In many industries, your customer will never meet you in person. Your site is what tells them what you are about. If you are a financial services firm with a poorly designed site, people are not going to trust you to manage their money. If you are selling designer clothing, discerning buyers will not want to shop at an outdated site. Your site should reflect the nature of your business. If it doesn’t, you run the risk of losing out to your competitors.
9. Your Site is Not Mobile Friendly
The majority of Americans use smartphones, and many of them view websites with their devices. If your site is not mobile-friendly, you are missing out on a huge chunk of the pie. Many people use their phones exclusively to make purchases online. If you are not set up to meet the needs of the 90 million smartphone users, you are missing out on valuable sales. At Links Web Design we recommend a responsive website versus a mobile website. Click the tag over to your right “responsive web design” to learn more.
10. Your Content Scares Away Readers
If your site is filled with huge blocks of text, people will not stop to read it. They will simply surf to another site. Part of your website redesign will include breaking up the text into readable chunks. Take long paragraphs and convert them to short sentences for better readability. Break up text with pictures, videos and other visually appealing media.
Create headers that will allow your readers to scan text and gather the meaning of the content without having to read every word. Migrating your old content to your newly designed site is a waste of time. When planning to redesign your site’s layout, plan to update your content as well.
When it comes to deciding whether to redesign your website, there are several factors to take into consideration. If your design is outdated with broken elements and blocks of text, it may signal that your site needs an overhaul. The key to an effective website design is to create a site that accomplishes your mission. Whether this is selling a product or promoting a brand, your site should stand out from your competitors. Redesign your site and see results today.