Users have high standards when it comes to web design, so don’t risk scaring away users with an old, neglected website. And we’re not just talking about how your website looks, it is also about performance and functionality behind the scenes…
Why is a website important?
Living in the digital age, it is practically essential to have a website! There really are few businesses who could grow without one. A great website helps to establish credibility for your business, because many consumers do not feel comfortable purchasing from a website that doesn’t look modern, professional, and well-kept or loads very slowly and is full of annoying, spammy adverts.
It also provides an online storefront for your customers. Nowadays, people are too busy (and too smart) to go out and shop around 5 different places before making a purchase. Instead, you can go on Google and finds hundreds of results within seconds and decide within minutes.
When it comes to websites, people often make the mistake of thinking that their design and functionality are good enough to last for years and years. Once you become complacent and adopt a ‘if it’s not broken why fix it’ mindset, you risk losing out on potential customers. It is important to always strive to improve your pages and optimise your user’s experience, and quite frankly, waiting 5 years to do this is just too long!
Experts think that Google updates its algorithm around 500-600 times per year… that’s nearly twice a day! If you don’t update your website for 5 years, you’re missing out on potentially 30,000 algorithm changes that could see your SEO rankings take a real hit.
So, now that we know why an up-to-date website is so important, here are 5 signs that you might need a new website:
Not Mobile Friendly
One of the biggest factors in today’s online world is how your website looks on a mobile. If you log into your website from a small phone and the buttons move to the wrong places, the pictures squish into the wrong shape, the text overlaps and your menu/search bar disappears… It is time to think about a mobile responsive website.
In the past, most websites were designed to look great on a desktop, because this is how most people used the internet. You can imagine how websites that have been solely designed for the large screen of a desktop computer wouldn’t render well on a mobile phone or tablet. Now that we have reached a point where mobile searches have surpassed desktop searches; it is time for a big change.
You might think that if your website looks okay on a mobile, you’re out of the hot water… Not necessarily! Google has introduced an algorithm update that actually penalises websites that are not designed and coded to be mobile-friendly, meaning that it could be hurting your SEO rankings and causing you not to appear very high on the Google search results page.
A lot of people underestimate how powerful a first impression can be! If your website looks old and outdated, a potential customer will get the impression that your website doesn’t get updated, you don’t put work into it, and that your company might not be credible.
We all know it’s important to not judge a book by its cover, but when you are looking to invest your money into a product, you want to do this with a website you trust. Customers want to make sure they will receive the best product/service possible, so you need to sell it to them with the homepage of your website. A poorly designed website is likely to make them feel uncertain about buying from you.
Web design trends are rapidly evolving. Even if you had a brand-new website designed 5 years ago, it is likely to need a bit of a refresh! You should be updating your website design every few years with a team of experienced designers who can help improve your user experience and optimise your website for inbound leads, to give potential customers a powerful first impression.
If you go to check your competitors’ websites and they look much more modern and professional than yours, alarm bells should be ringing! When potential customers are searching around, it becomes more and more likely that they will discount your website if it looks outdated in comparison with your competitor.
An old design immediately suggests to the consumer that you don’t put effort into your website and therefore your products/services. Equally, people are lazy! When they see an old-fashioned website, they might immediately click off it because they think it might take ages to load or be too complicated to find what they need. Customers are going to choose the slick, new website with the simplified navigation and user interface over the old, clunky website that barely even loads.
Lacking Conversions/High Bounce Rate
If your website has a good amount of traffic but a low conversion rate, you’re in trouble! A good conversion rate is around 5%. If you are looking to find out yours, you can evaluate how much traffic you have coming to your website and how many people actually complete the actions you want them to (e.g. completing a purchase or filling out a contact form). An easy way to configure this is to use goal tracking in Google Analytics. Click here for our guide on setting up goal tracking.
High traffic and a low conversion rate would suggest that your SEM (search engine marketing) strategy is working well but your website is not delivering what customers need as they are not actually converting and completing the purchase.
On the other hand, you might have a high bounce rate. Your bounce rate is a measure of how many people visit the homepage of your website but don’t go on to view any other pages and just leave. Anything higher than 50% for bounce rate is worrying and should be addressed as soon as possible. This suggests that your homepage is not delivering what was promised and you should look into your user experience and journey.
Bad User Experience
Whether it is the site taking too long to load or difficult navigation, a complicated user experience (UX) can be really frustrating! A common issue we see with old websites is a jumbled layout. A good test is to see if you can reach a piece of content on your website within less than 3 clicks. Put yourself in the shoes of the customer and envisage what they might need. Now see how easy and clear it is to actually get there. 9 times out of 10 on an old website it is complicated and time-consuming.
This is why you can always benefit from having a qualified UX and UI (user interface) designer overseeing the design of your website. Consumers are very easily deterred from websites that make them work to find the content, so don’t risk losing out on potential sales!
Whilst checking in on your website regularly might not feel like a priority, it is absolutely worthwhile to ensure you aren’t driving customers away. If you would like to partner with an Oxfordshire based web design agency to give your website a refresh, please get in touch. We would be really happy to discuss some website solutions that may work for you and your business. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01993 835 117.