Are you wondering how often you should update your website? Good, because in order for websites to stay relevant and be effective they have to be updated every few years. The number of years can vary depending on your industry but a safe estimate is every three years. Updated websites are likely to help with your click thru rates and conversion rates. This means website visitors will be more likely to pick you over the competition in a search. More importantly, once on your site, they will take an action that leads to a call, purchase of form completion.
Data compiled by BigCommerce shows how shopping behaviors are shifting from in-store to online. As of this year, 51 percent of American consumers prefer to shop online rather than in stores. Additionally, 67 percent of millennials and 56 percent of Gen Xers would rather shop online than visit a store. These statistics demonstrate how crucial it is to update a business website every three years.
If you’re running a business in the digital era, online presence is fundamentally important to increasing your bottom-line and growing your brand. Research indicates that 71 percent of all buying decisions begin with an online search and if you want your website to sell your company’s products or services effectively, it should be quick to load, well-designed for mobile devices and easy to navigate. Here are some important signs to help you determine if it’s time to seek a professional web development agency to redesign your website look for these seven signs:
1. Your Website Conversion Rate Has Decreased
According to research compiled by Stanford University, 46.1 percent of people say that website design is the top criteria for deciding if an organization is credible. Additionally, 38 percent of users will navigate away from sites they find unattractive. A key component of your online success hinges on how regularly you update your business website.
An up-to-date website design gives consumers confidence that your business is alive and well, and web design is just as important as the information on your site. Consumers don’t have to be design experts to recognize stale and dated web design. If your website is more than 3 years old, take an unobjective and hard look at your website, it may be in need of a major facelift.
2. Your Website Doesn’t Look Quite Right on Mobile Devices
As millions of consumers are searching the web for businesses on their smartphones, tablets, and computers - not having a responsive website can put your business at a major SEO disadvantage. Your website should look sleek and easy to read on devices of all sizes. If your site can’t adapt to these different screens, it’s going to look clunky and be harder to navigate, resulting in potential buyers leaving your site.
3. Your Website Has a Low Search Engine Ranking
Users rarely go to the second page of search results or choose a website from the bottom half of the first page. In fact, 75 percent of users never click past the first-page search engine results.
But how do you make sure your website is actually on the first page of the search results? A well designed and optimized website will help you claim some real estate in Google’s top Search Engine rankings. Plus, the easier your website is to find, the more people will see your site; meaning your traffic, leads and sales will go up as well. To make sure that your website is seen for both branded and top-searched keyword queries it’s important to seek out a professional digital marketing agency with experience in both web design and search engine optimization for help.
4. Your Website is Still Using Flash
Once upon a digital time, Flash technology revolutionized web design. It meant designers could incorporate animated content into their designs. However, the development of HTML5 made Flash obsolete. And that’s not all. Flash actually works against your site in two important ways.
It works against your SEO rankings. It lowers the usability of most websites and significantly reduces the amount of content Google’s indexing bots can see, ultimately lowering search engine visibility and rankings. Flash also makes a website less user-friendly. Flash elements can’t be scaled using the plus and minus keys on most keyboards; there’s also no ability to copy and paste content; no back button, or way to identify clickable links. It also loads more slowly, suffers from more security issues and many browsers no longer support it.
If you’re not sure if your website is using Flash, try loading it on an Apple device such as an iPhone or iPad. If it doesn’t load, then it’s made with Flash technology because Apple devices do not support Flash.
5. Your Website is Loading Super Slow
In the fast-paced world we live in, no consumer wants to spend time waiting for a website to load when they can press the back button and click over to another site in seconds. In fact, a one second delay in page response results in 7 percent decrease in conversions.
Slow page speeds don’t only impact user experience, they also influence your search engine ranking. According to Kinsta’s A Beginner’s Guide to Website Speed Optimization, “website performance subsequently impacts search engine rankings developed under proprietary and undisclosed algorithms, incorporating key factors including page speed, user experience, website responsiveness and a whole lot of other website performance metrics.” So, the slower your website loads, the less likely consumers are to even find it.
If you’re not sure what your site’s load times look like, resources like WebPageTest.org and GTmetrix will analyze your website’s performance for free. If your website is taking too long to load, it’s time to seek out a web design company to start planning your new website design.
6. Your Website Has a High Bounce Rate
Google defines a bounce as a “single-page session on your site” and goes on to explain bounce rate as:
“…the percentage of all sessions on your site in which users viewed only a single page and triggered only a single request to the Analytics server.”
In other words, bounce rate indicates how many people took one look at your website and left immediately – Probably straight to your nearest competitor.
There are few, highly-select instances where a high bounce rate is acceptable, but for most websites, it is a red flag that something is wrong. But, if you have a website with multiple pages that leads consumers to share contact information or purchase an item, then a high bounce rate is a serious concern.
A high bounce rate is a great indicator that the consumers visiting your page don’t like what they see and that it did not want they were looking for in the first place. You should know what the average bounce rate is for your industry. If your bounce rate is higher than average, consider making some real changes to your website with the help of an experienced web developer.
7. You’ve Updated Your Business Recently
In our tech-savvy world, your website may very well be the first impression your business gets to make. It should be an accurate representation of your brand identity and the products or services you offer. Whether it’s a logo change or the addition of new products or services, if you make any significant changes to your business, you should also update these on your website.
Consistent branding is key to building confidence and gives site visitors the most positive and accurate introduction to your business possible. If you’ve recently changed your marketing message, added or removed products or services, and especially if you’ve rebranded, you should update your website as soon as possible.
Making consistent branding choices increases brand recognition, helps establish a strong market position and helps sales growth through increased perceived value. The same brand identity across all marketing efforts conveys professionalism and expertise to site visitors and builds their confidence in your business.
Turn to a Professional Web Development Agency for your Website Rebuild
If your business website suffers from one of the issues we’ve discussed here, it’s time to seriously start planning your website update. Not sure where to start? At Get YOU Found, our digital marketing team has developed high-quality websites for local and national companies. Using fresh designs, website development gives your business a fresh new look. Many times while doing the web design work our digital marketing analysis can identify other ways to optimize the site to improve the website effectiveness and visibility in search results. Contact us at (336) 790-6735 for a quick consultation and to begin redesigning your business’s website today!