Having a modern, up-to-date website is not a luxury – it’s a business necessity. This is especially true considering people have access to on-demand, high-speed Internet connections nearly everywhere: at home, at the coffee shop, and on the boat at the beach home. If you do not have a website that attracts attention and encourages action, then you’re missing out on potential customers and new business.
If you aren’t aware of this already, your business website is your most important marketing tool. And if you haven’t had at least one major design change over the past three years, then you are not doing what you can to keep your website up to par with your competition. Indeed, the average business redesigns its website every 2-3 years. To keep hold of your market share, and to have any chance at growing it, you need to do the same.
So, is it time for your business’s website to receive an upgrade? If you relate to at least one of the 9 surefire signs listed below, then the answer is a resounding “Yes!”
1. Your site doesn’t show up well on mobile devices.
So many small business owners are utilizing mobile tools to enhance their business and their lives, but they overlook their most crucial advertising tool: their websites. Think about it. You spend a good portion of your day reading Facebook and news articles on your phone, ordering take-out, and playing Words with Friends. But have you ever visited your business’s website on your smartphone? No? Well your potential customers have. Are they getting the best experience possible?
Approximately 1 in 3 website visitors view those websites on their mobile devices. If your website is mobile-friendly, you have a greater chance at converting those mobile visitors into customers. So what exactly does a mobile-friendly website do? It adjusts based on the device accessing it. It allows for easier use and clearer navigation. It cuts out unnecessary code for faster load times. Most of all, it is directly focused on that mobile user.
2. You have a hard time making small updates to content or pictures.
Outdated websites or old programs can make it nearly impossible to change wording or add a picture. They require billable hours from computer programmers who speak old coding language.
3. Your site isn’t showing up in search engine results or your traffic is dropping.
Most traffic coming to your website is not from customers directly typing in your website address into their Web browsers. Instead, it comes from random search inquiries that people type into Google and other search engines. And nearly 30% of organic search traffic comes from mobile devices (refer back to #1 to see why this particular statistic matters).
If you have a newer website that uses search engine optimization (SEO), then you’re in good shape. But if you have an older website, you likely do not have access to tools to help you optimize for search. And even websites just a year or two old now face search engine problems due to the latest updates coming from Yahoo! and Google. A redesigned website on a new platform can help alleviate many of these problems for you. You can optimize your site, you can add traffic reporting tools such as Google Analytics, and you can tie your site into social media for even greater reach.
4. Your copyright information is out of date.
If a website visitor scrolls down to the bottom of your website (and if your website is designed properly they should be scrolling all the way to the bottom), and sees “Website copyright 2011,” chances are they won’t continue clicking through your pages. If you haven’t taken the time to keep your business information current, why should they trust you with their business?
5. Your site doesn’t function right.
Your website is broken if it has dead links, a lot of errors, a contact form that goes nowhere or images that do not load properly. You’re even worse off if your site won’t load fast – or won’t load at all. This can be a huge problem, as statistics show that up to 80% of visitors will not return to a broken site.
6. Your competition has a better website.
Do you constantly find yourself saying, “I wish my website looked like John Smith’s”? Or, “I love how John’s site gives this information” or “that is a great feature my site can’t have”? You CAN do something about this. In fact, you can make your site BETTER than your competitor’s site. All you have to do is pick up the phone and call your favorite website designer and developer.
7. Something flashes or blinks.
Animated GIFs, scrolling text, and flashing graphics were all the craze online…in 2001. And everyone knows that a site that still uses these items is out of touch with the times. What does that mean? Your visitors will leave your site and never return. This is behavior you just cannot afford. Get rid of those outdated GIFs and flashing graphics quickly with our help.
8. Your website no longer reflects where you are, who you are or what you do.
Perhaps you have refined your goods or services. Or you recently redesigned your logo. This makes sense, as every company evolves over time. What’s important is that your website evolves with you.
9. You’re embarrassed to share your website address.
As your website is your most powerful marketing tool, you should ensure that you prominently display it in all of your marketing materials. If you’ve been leaving your website address off of your business cards, email signatures, brochures and other collateral because you are ashamed of it, it’s time for a revamp.