Simply owning and operating a basic website isn’t enough. It’s the approach you take to web design projects that determines the outcome. Even the best-looking websites out there don’t necessarily resonate with their target audiences nor they help you grow your business. Now more than ever, it’s about the total package of engaging content, mobile responsive design, and the all-around user experience. From time to time, every website needs to be tweaked and updated. Web development shouldn’t be viewed as a one-time-only job. Instead, the secret to creating the coolest websites around lies in continuous refinement and improvement. But if your website just isn’t up to scratch, it could be time to scrap the whole thing and head back to the drawing board.
Time for an Upgrade?
If you’re generally quite happy with your website, it can be difficult to know when the time comes for a tune-up. Let alone a complete new-build of the whole thing. The problem is that just because you like your website doesn’t mean anyone else does. Never forget that your website is perhaps the single most important representative of your entire business online. If it doesn’t deliver a strong and memorable message, it’s game over. So rather than taking chances, an occasional audit of its value comes highly recommended.
It’s up to you whether you work with leading web design agencies or take the DIY approach, but periodic improvements to your website are mandatory.
So with this in mind, here’s a summary of 18 reasons why you may need a new website right now:
You still don’t have a website but rather a single landing page
If you don’t already have a website, you’re in danger of disappearing entirely. Irrespective of the size or nature of your business, today’s consumer expects every brand to have a well presented and information-rich website. Hence, you need to get on the case as quickly as possible or run the risk of losing customers.
A poor first impression
As touched upon, your website needs to deliver a strong and lasting first impression. Research has shown that you’ve got less than 7 seconds to win over every new visitor to your website. If they’re not immediately impressed by what they see, they won’t stick around to check out the rest of your business.
Outshining your competitors
Chances are your competitors already have seriously impressive websites. Unless you find a way to outshine them with your own online offerings, you’ll struggle to gain a competitive edge. One-upmanship is the key to success with any online business venture. If you don’t provide your target audience with a more appealing offer, why would they choose you over your competitors?
Outdated e-commerce platforms
If your current e-commerce platform doesn’t support the latest plug-ins and add-ons, you could be selling your business short. Consider carefully how dynamic and responsive your website is to the requirements and expectations of visitors. E-commerce websites that are not regularly updated almost always fall behind the pack.
Generally poor performance
Today’s web user has neither the time nor the inclination to deal with slow and sluggish websites. Instead, they’re willing to wait no more than 3 seconds for any specific page to load. Anything slower and they’ll head straight into the open arms of your competitors. If the back-end of your website doesn’t deliver the goods, you may need to start again from scratch.
The content you publish on your website will play a key role in determining if and to what extent your business succeeds. If your content is out of date, poorly written or generally uninspiring, it could be holding you and your business back. Quality content is the backbone of every successful website and should be prioritized.
Flawed payment processes
It’s worth remembering that impulse purchases can contribute heavily to your total e-commerce revenues. The quicker and easier you make it for customers to convert, the more likely they are to do just that. By contrast, complex and drawn-out payment processes increase shopping cart abandonment rates. You need to do everything you can to streamline the payment process, eliminating complications where possible.
Attract mobile audiences
The importance of delivering outstanding mobile experience is hardly a new discovery. In fact, Google has been handing penalties to mobile-unfriendly websites for over three years. Given that more than half of all web searches are now carried out via mobile devices, you cannot afford to turn your back on mobile audiences. Instead, you need to ensure your website delivers a flawless experience for every visitor.
Improve your SEO performance
There’s only so much you can do with an existing website to improve its SEO performance. If you’re serious about climbing the ranks in the SERP listings, you might want to consider a fresh website from scratch. Powerful SEO elements can be woven into the fiber of a website during every step of the development process. Websites built from the ground up around effective SEO typically perform strongest in the SERP rankings. And you have slim and low-quality content you are guaranteed to have no organic traffic from Search Engines.
Start selling online
Of course, it could be that you don’t currently sell your products and services directly through your website. Rather than simply bolting a sales function on to your existing site, it could be more effective to build an entirely new e-commerce website from scratch. This way, you’ll have the opportunity to create a unified and cohesive online retail experience for your target audience. Bolt-ons are better than nothing, but a new purpose-built website could be even more effective.
You’re losing traffic
It’s never nice to acknowledge a notable and continual decline in website traffic. Things may have been great at one time, but seem to have hit a downward spiral. If there’s no obvious explanation as to where you’re going wrong, it could simply be that your website doesn’t resonate with your audience. In which case, the solution is simple – invest in an all-new website, built from the ground up with your perfect customer in mind.
No website is immune to the attacks of cyber criminals. In fact, the likelihood of being targeted by fraudsters is at an all-time high. The question being – are you doing enough to safeguard both your online business and your customers? If the answer is no, it’s only a matter of time until you face the consequences. Hackers are becoming more sophisticated than ever before, which calls for enhanced diligence on the part of online business owners.
Your website uses a pre-designed template
Under no circumstances should you ever build a website using cheap (or free) prefabricated templates. Along with coming across as amateurish, such websites are notorious for delivering a poor user experience, terrible SEO performance, and bloated code. Not to mention, the impossibility of creating a unique website that distinguishes you from your competitors. If your current website is essentially a clone of countless other websites, you need to think about starting from scratch.
Your navigation system will have a direct impact on how your website is interpreted and interacted with. Complex and confusing navigation systems are one of the biggest turn-offs for today’s web user. If they can’t find exactly what they need in seconds, they won’t bother searching any further. Consider the efficiency and effectiveness of your navigation system, along with how it may be affecting your performance as a business.
Still using Flash?
The days of Flash impressing online audiences are now confined to the history books. Today, Flash only stands to hinder the performance of your website, dilute your SEO strategy and make it impossible for mobile visitors to get any real value from your pages. On the whole, therefore, excessive use of Flash is to be avoided at all costs. If Flash plays a pivotal part in the design of your current website, it’s time for a rethink.
Social media has become a lifestyle for the 21st-century web user. Hence, it should be seamlessly integrated with your website. It’s up to you to make it quick and easy for your customers to head straight over to your social media profiles. Rather than seeing your website and social accounts as separate entities, they should be brought together to form one cohesive web presence.
Your imagery is painfully outdated
Try to remember that every visitor to your website will make snap judgments based on visual content alone. If they’re put off by outdated imagery, everything else is inconsequential. Every image you add to your website should inspire and reassure your customers that they’ve come to the right place. If not, they’ll head someplace else – it’s as simple as that.
Your website no longer represents your company
Last but not least, it could simply be that your current website is no longer an accurate representation of your company. You may have added new services, branched out into new product areas or simply evolved beyond what you once were. If this is the case, there’s really no better time to consider refreshing your online presence with a brand new website.
Author: Dennis Dubner, CEO, and Founder of SONDORA MARKETING. Dennis Dubner is a marketing strategist with more than two decades’ experience. Specializing in management consultancy, digital marketing, and traditional marketing, Dennis has an established track record in strategic global business development.