It’s no secret that website projects can be long, tiring, and expensive. But your website is as necessary as any other component of your business. When a website works, it represents your brand and sells your business to any who visit it.
When a site is out of date, slow, or confusing, it can cause you to lose business and standing with search engines. While not every problem requires a complete website redesign, as a rule of thumb, if you haven’t updated your site in over three years, chances are it needs some serious attention.
If you need more than a rule of thumb to know how well your website is doing, here are 7 signs that your website needs a serious update.
Your website isn’t bringing you customers
Ideally, your website is your best salesperson. It’s working 24/7. It provides information on your company and it’s never pushy. It gives visitors complete autonomy in their choice.
So if your website is not delivering customers, something needs to change. Maybe the messaging is vague or overly detailed. Perhaps the people visiting are not the visitors you need. Or it could be that you never considered your website a salesperson and there are not any forms or conversion points on your site. Whatever the case, a content and design strategy geared toward conversions is essential to any successful website.
No one can find you on Google
People rarely leave the first page of Google. For that reason, you want your site to show when people are looking for your products or services. Now, there are an inconceivable number of possible searches and hundreds of websites competing for one specific search term. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t show up on the first page.
If people struggle to find you on Google, the problem is not your popularity. It’s your website. Your site is not optimized for search engines. Here are few tests to see if your website is optimized for search engines:
Any of these tools can give you a good sense of the health of your website and how it is affecting your ability to show in Google. But if you search your name or any of your services, and you are not listed on the first page, you likely have a problem and need some SEO help.
Your site takes more than two seconds to load
Yep, two seconds or less: that’s how fast users expect a site to load. A slow page allows users to jump ship. Surely, you’ve been on the other end, you type in the address and could cook dinner before the site finally opens. Then you find six or seven pictures are still trying to load and your browser freezes.
A slow website is more than just frustrating-- it hurts your rankings for search engines, and costs you business.
Do you know what your website’s load time is? Pingdom provides a great tool that checks your website load speed.
It looks weird on a phone
For many, their first visit to your website will be from their phone. Way back in 2016, more people used their phone to browse the internet than they used a desktop. Mobile continues to be a dominant force, and sites that fail to account for the mobile experience can lose customers.
Google, conveniently, has a tool to test how well your site reads on mobile.
People are getting lost on your site
Navigating a digital space is different than browsing a physical one. It takes work and effort to assemble a structure that easily guides users from one page to another, offering a chance to learn more, change subjects, or look up contact information.
Ask people to review your site. See if they have any issues going from one page to the next; if the journey makes sense or is confusing. Think about your audience—are they busy? Maybe your site has too many pages, too much text, too many options.
You can’t update your site
If you can’t make adjustments to your site, you’re in trouble. All the content on your website should be accurate and current. For functionality and security reasons, your site should also be updated regularly.
Templated sites can often restrict your ability to customize aspects of your website. Your site may also be using old plug-ins that compromise your sites security and lack updates. If either of these sounds familiar, it’s time to make a change.
There’s no way to personalize visits
We are entering the world of dynamic content. In many respects, we have been here for a while. Let me explain.
Have you ever browsed online for, say, an Easton guitar and then go to check your Facebook and images of that guitar are spread across your feed? Then you hop on to Instagram to check out pictures of your niece and bam! Same guitar right there!
A tailored experience like that is called dynamic content—and is sometimes referred to as lifecycle content. Content that changes depending on what pages you’ve visited, what forms you’ve filled out, and how frequently and how quickly you’ve returned, if you’ve made a purchase or not are all examples of dynamic content.
Sites that use dynamic content see high conversion rates, so if your site is failing to capture leads, updating it to allow dynamic content may be the answer to your sales woes.
If you made it this far, you are probably feeling iffy about your website. Truth is every website has a half-life and requires regular maintenance. A strong website strategy will help you account for the lifespan of your site, allowing you to keep it current with both content and technology.
Your website is a powerful tool for your business. Be sure to give it the attention it deserves.