Should you redesign your website?
Here are eight tell-tale signs its time for an upgrade.
Your website is the single most important digital asset you have. It’s your home address on the internet, most people’s first impression of you, and (if you’ve built it right) a powerful lead generation tool. Nothing turns off a potential customer quicker than a website that’s slow, out of date, or difficult to navigate.
Having a great website is critical to success, and keeping it great is an ongoing process. Just because you had a new website in the past doesn’t mean it’s still doing the job. Technology, design trends, SEO techniques, and your industry all keep evolving, which means you periodically need to update your website to stay relevant.
Here are eight tell-tale signs it’s time for a website redesign.
1. It looks old
Be honest with yourself. Better yet, get some outside opinions. Does your website feel up-to-date, relevant, and enticing? Does it make you want to click around? Is it easy on the eyes?
If you’re still not sure if your website looks old or not, here’s a good rule of thumb: if it’s been more than three years since your last redesign, it’s time for a redesign. You might get away with rocking the same haircut for 10 years, but let’s be honest, you’re not trying to make money off your haircut either.
2. It’s hard to find what you’re looking for
For websites, function is just as important as form. After all, a website’s job is to provide information—about you, what you do, and why you do it. Thanks to technology, humans now have shorter attention spans than goldfish. If someone visits your website and can’t immediately find the information they are looking for, most of them will just leave.
Do you have a well thought-out top navigation bar? Does the information on each page flow in a way that makes it easy to quickly skim? If the answer to questions like these is “no,” you have a problem.
Equally as bad as having poor information architecture is simply having too much information. If each of your top navigation buttons has a dropdown menu with 11 options, most people will just give up. No one wants to read 50+ menu options to find your pricing.
When it comes to a great website, less is usually more. Here’s proof: a study by Google found that as the number of elements (text, titles, and images) on a page went from 400 to 6,000, the probability of conversion dropped by 95%.
Alt text: Man makes website mobile friendly
Image attribution name: William Ivan
Image attribution link: https://unsplash.com/@firmbee
3. It’s not mobile friendly
70% of internet traffic comes from mobile phones. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile, you are immediately cutting out seven out of ten potential visitors to your website.
Being mobile friendly is critical, and it doesn’t just mean that pages fit on a touchscreen. Look up your website on your smartphone. Does the top navigation bar still work? Is the font size appropriate? Do pages load fast enough? Do images and videos load properly? Are buttons the right size?
Again, if the answer to any of those questions is “no” it’s time for a new website, because 70% of the people trying to view your current one are website.
4. Pages load slowly
It doesn’t matter how beautiful your website is or how easy it is to find information—if your pages load too slowly, nobody is going to stick around to appreciate it. We’re goldfish, remember?
According to Google, you want to keep load times under three seconds. Here’s just one interesting find from that study: as load times went from three to ten seconds, bounce rates increased by 123%.
To quickly check your page load speeds, just paste some of your URLs into Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.
5. Visitors don’t stay long
Your bounce rate is the percentage of single page view visits to your website—in other words, how many people land on your website and then leave before clicking anything else? You can check your bounce rate with Google Analytics, or whatever other website analytics program you currently use.
Your website is your home on the internet. You want visitors to come in and hang out for a bit, not turn around and leave as soon as they peek in the door. A high bounce rate indicates that something about your website is not enticing people to stay.
Good bounce rates vary depending on your industry and some other factors, but as a rule of thumb, anything over 70% means it’s time for a new website.
Alt text: Man plans website redesign
Image attribution name: Startup Stock Photos
Image attribution link: https://www.pexels.com/@startup-stock-photos
6. You’re not ranking well on search engines
It’s been said that the safest place to hide a dead body is on the second page of Google. Think about it: when was the last time you scrolled all the way to the bottom of a Google search page and clicked “next”? 99% of the time, if you don’t rank on the first page, you might as well be invisible.
Search engine optimization used to consist primarily of cramming your web pages as full of relevant search terms as possible. Today, search engines are a lot more sophisticated about how they rank pages, which means your SEO has to be a lot smarter.
Your content, title tags, URLs, and images all need to be optimized, but it’s not just that. Your off-page SEO—the things you do outside your website to help your pages rank well—is equally as important.
7. You’re not getting a lot of leads
At the end of the day, if you’re a service-based business the goal of your website is to generate leads. If you’re not getting enough leads, it means you need a new website.
Maybe the problem is your page visits—you’re just not getting in front of enough potential customers. Or maybe the issue is your conversion rate, because you’re not converting enough of the visitors you do get.
Whatever the reason, not getting enough leads is an indication that your website isn’t doing its most important job, so it’s time for a website redesign.
8. Your competitors’ pages are better
Sometimes, the only thing wrong with your website is that it’s not as good as your competitors. Maybe your design, mobile optimization, load times, and navigation are all pretty good—but theirs is great. Guess what? It’s time to level up, because as long as your competitor’s website is better than yours, they’re going to have an edge.
You don’t need to copy what they’re doing—make yours just as awesome in your own unique way. If you’re not sure how your website stacks up, ask someone outside your company to give you an honest first impression of yours versus your competitors. It might hurt to hear at first, but knowing there’s some room for improvement is the first step towards building a great website.
Need help redesigning your website?
At Grow!, we specialize in helping you turn your website into the lead-generating machine it was meant to be.