“Is it time to redesign our website?” If you’ve asked yourself this question, there’s a good chance you’ve been enlightened about the amount of work that goes into a website rebuild. Between sourcing content, allocating internal resources and finding the time for your team to rebuild your site, it can often turn into a months-long project that only negatively impacts your bottom line.
For these reasons (and several more), we at The James Agency see companies put off their website redesign work and only approach the topic again when it’s absolutely necessary. Many business owners fail to realize the ugly, ugly truth: every day they delay their website redesign, they lose business to their competitors.
Below are some of the signs that your website is ready for a redesign.
1. Updates are impossible
It’s a telltale sign that a redesign is in your future: when you or someone on your team needs to make an update on your site only to find the task impossible. CMS tools like WordPress have many benefits for businesses, but they have to be maintained to function properly and keep the site secure. There are WordPress updates, theme updates (if you’re using one), plugin updates and PHP updates—and if any or all of those items have been neglected, there’s a possibility that your site might not function properly.
2. Lack of mobile responsiveness
This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but users expect a responsive, fully optimized experience on both desktop and mobile devices. They also expect a seamless, cohesive experience moving from one device to another. Look at your analytics and compare your desktop data against your mobile data. If there's a huge disparity between desktop and mobile metrics (bounce rate, conversion rate, time on site, etc.), then that’s a clear sign that your mobile users are having a poor experience and it needs a rework.
3. A big drop in leads
Your website is an extension of your business and often the first place your customer goes to learn about your brand. If the number of leads/sales has steadily decreased over the years, then relaunching your site might be the right move. Focusing on clear messaging and defining a method for collecting, analyzing and measuring leads is crucial to a successful relaunch.
4. Your site isn’t showing up in search results
If your site hasn’t been touched in years, chances are it’s probably lacking in SEO best practices. For example: as of 2018, Google is using webpage usability as a ranking factor. So if your site is insecure, slow, or poorly optimized for mobile, it could be hurting your chances at ranking on your key terms. Run the Google Lighthouse test and see how your site does.
5. Your branding is outdated
Brands continually evolve as a business grows. Oftentimes, these evolutions aren’t captured through their web presence. Logos, colors, imagery and messaging are just some of the improvements that brands continually improve upon as the years come and go. Updating these elements on a website (especially one that is out of date) can be time consuming and laborious, so it’s often overlooked or pushed aside.
That said, redefining your brand through refreshing your logo, messaging and imagery can be a great first step toward improving your website.
Don’t be afraid to hit us up for help with those too.
6. Your competitors are doing it right
Check out your competition. Are they thriving? What do their websites look like and how does yours measure up? Look at their content, functionality, mobile-responsiveness and sales flow. If you find yourself at the bottom of any of these categories, then your business is probably losing to your competitors’ digital presences.
7. Your website is SLOW
Years of website neglect can lead to a slow, bloated site. A quick look on Pingdom or Google PageSpeed Insights will give you a gauge of how much work needs to be done to get your site into high gear. Some of the issues that these tools find can be fairly easy to fix (and a redesign may not be necessary), but if you’re failing in every speed category, it might be more beneficial to rebuild from the ground up. While there are many ways to speed up your WordPress site, getting a new hosting plan might be critical to your site’s success as well.
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Paul Cookson once wrote: “Websites promote you 24/7; No employee will do that.”
Is your website promoting you or is it scaring people away with those seven red flags? If you don’t know for sure (or where to get started), let TJA help you with that. We’re always ready to audit your site, refresh your brand and get your business back out there looking better than ever.