A question we often hear is:
“How do I know if it’s time to
update my website?”
Knowing when to give your company website a makeover might not be as intuitive as one may think. For some businesses, it’s a matter of keeping up with competitors, which means frequent content updates, design changes and new site functionality. Other folks like to wait until they absolutely need to make a change, since websites get outdated and updating them represents a good portion of their marketing budget.
So, when is the right time to begin the renovation process? And how do you know your website is due for a tune up?
Here’s your answer: As soon as you have to ask the question, “Should I update my website?” is the exact moment when you begin the updating process.
If you can answer ‘yes’ to any of the next 6 questions, it’s time to consider a site update:
1. Has it been over 3 years since you last updated your site?
Wait – it has? If so, this is a good indicator to start seriously considering a refresh. Why? Well, one reason you should consider is the increase of usability in web design. Every year web standards change radically and techniques to build web sites become more advanced in order to comply with the latest standards. If your site was developed several years ago, it probably has a lot of unnecessary HTML code, and may be slowing down your website loads speeds – which may in turn impact your ranking in the Google search results. Speaking of Google search results, if your site doesn’t have a responsive design, it’s potentially being penalized and given a lower ranking than your competitors (see #2, below). Plus, chances are, the general
2. Is your website responsive?
Responsive web design creates a system for a single site to react to the size of a user’s device—with one URL and one content source. A responsive website has a fluid and flexible layout which adjusts according to screen size. Waaaay back in 2015, Google rolled out a change to the search engine algorithms which now factor in a website’s mobile presence as a ranking signal. Websites not optimized to be responsive for the smaller screens of mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones can actually experience a decline in their search engine rankings. This reason alone can justify why responsive design is important! Throw in the fact that over 60% of searches now come from a mobile device, and it becomes clear that you website MUST be easy to use and read for all of your visitors. It would be a shame to lose a customer before you even had one due to a non-mobile friendly website.
3. Is your website intuitive and user-friendly?
How many times have you left a site after just a few moments because of confusing and frustrating site layout and navigation? This quick exit is something no one wants for their website visitors. Don’t make your website visitors waste any of theirs on a site that does not flow well! Sites with good structure and navigation are consistent, intuitive, and transparent. Good navigation gets your visitors where they want to go quickly, and offers them easy access to the breadth and depth of your site’s content. In the same vein, good structure and navigation gets your visitors to go where YOU want them to go, whether that’s to sign up for your e-newsletter, check out your latest product release, or head over to an online sale you’re promoting.
4. Is your website in line with your current brand?
Each time your company makes a change, your website should reflect that. No matter how major or minor, neglecting to update your site can turn people away. How often do you land on a site, only to discover the content, imagery, and even the brand is stale and out of date? So, do you have a new logo and brand guidelines? Are you offering new products or services? Have you revised the company vision, mission statement or value proposition? The world needs to know!
5. Does your website keep up with your competitors’ sites?
It’s a good idea to look at refreshing your site if you have fallen behind your competitors’ online presence. Sometimes, it isn’t that anything has changed within your company, but within the market you serve. If all of your competitors have improved websites, then it’s probably the right time to make a new investment in your online marketing strategy.
6. Finally, what does the nagging voice in your head say?
Sometimes, you just know when it’s time for a new site. Call it a gut feeling, or your savvy marketing intuition kicking in. Even if you can’t quite put a finger on it, you and the rest of your company probably know that your site is out of date, or isn’t reaching its full potential.
The longer you put off needed changes and improvements to your company’s website, the bigger and more costly the job is going to be when you finally do commit to something new. If you’re read through this post, chances are you might already know your business needs a new site. If that’s the case, feel free to reach out to us here at [email protected] and we’ll be happy to discuss ways we can improve your online presence!