We were thrilled to launch our brand-new website in July after weeks of planning and hard work. But before we could put this shiny, new eye candy in front of you, we had to accept the hard truth: our website needed an update.
There’s no shame in needing an update—website design, best practices, and UX is constantly evolving, and it can be hard to keep up. But no matter what industry your in, your website will be one of the first impressions a potential client or customer will have of your business, so having a top-notch website is key and worth your effort.
How do you know when your website needs some lovin’?
1. It’s Outdated (Information)
If you’re not providing relevant information to clients, you’re starting off any potential relationship on the wrong foot. It’s important your website provides the correct basics—hours, location, contact info—as well as anything else that might be relevant to your business/industry—skills, languages, rates, etc.
2. It’s Outdated (Visually)
Unless you’re the Space Jam website, you probably shouldn’t have something that looks like it stepped right out of the 90’s. Or the early 2000’s, for that matter. Your website is often times the first impression a visitor will have of your business, so if you’re presenting something covered in cobwebs, they might see a business as obsolete, unprofessional, or—dare we say it—uncool.
One way your site might be visually outdated? Too much text. Current trends lean toward websites that are primarily images, icons, and/or graphics. Too much text—especially on a tiny phone screen—is overwhelming. Figure out a way to add visual elements that can build your brand and give your audiences’ eyes a break.
And speaking of phone screens, if your website isn’t mobile friendly, you are absolutely due for an update. No ifs, ands, or buts.
3. It’s Difficult To Get Around
We’re sure you’ve heard it before: the average person has an eight-second attention span. So if a potential customer can’t figure out your services or how to contact you, don’t expect them to stick around your website for long. (And expect them to head over to a competitor’s website.)
Not being able to find your way around might also contribute to a high bounce rate. Bounce rate is when users make their way to your homepage, but never get beyond it—missing out on everything else you have to offer. Visitors who spend more time on your website are more likely to become clients or customers—and at the very least, them sticking around has built some brand awareness that can go a long way.
Website conversion is getting your users to do what and engage how you want. High conversion means more engagement and higher success. An easy way to do that? Utilize call to action buttons to get your visitors to engage with you easily and effectively. (They also add an interactive visual element that can spice up your website, so it’s a double win.) Also make sure your primary information—your Products/Services, Contact, and some sort of About page—are front and center on your homepage.
And, of course: make sure you don’t have any broken links! There’s nothing more frustrating than being led to a 404 error page.
4. It Loads Too Slowly
Like we said, users have short attention spans—you don’t want to waste any of that precious time with them staring at a blank page while it loads. Slow load times could be a laundry list of things:
- large image sizes
- broken code
- too many or out of date widgets
- poor hosting service
- site updates needed
Make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep your load time to 3 seconds or less. Use a website like tools.pingdom.com to test the speed of your website and make sure you have fewer conversions.
5. It Doesn’t Reflect What Makes You You
At the end of the day, your website is all about you and what you have to offer. This is an excellent opportunity to sit down and make sure you have a clear mission and roadmap of your businesses’ goals. Naturally over time these things will shift, so be sure your client knows where you stand. Having a clear sense of identity can help a client relate to your brand and choose you over your competitors.
6. Making Changes Feels Impossible
If you’ve taken the time to reflect on your website and realize you need to make changes, the ability to do so is kiiiiind of important. Whether you’re doing a large overhaul or just wanting to update a small typo on your Contact page, if the solution you’re using doesn’t provide easy, user-friendly ways to make these changes, it’s definitely time to switch.
7. No One Can Find You
When was the last time you scrolled past the first page of Google search results? Second page? We won’t even ask about the third page, because let’s face it: no one does. If your website isn’t showing up at the top, or at least within the first few results, it’s time to make a change.
Check out this article by Kelly Shelton on Forbes website to see how you can increase your rank on Google. (Spoiler alert: some of the things we’ve already talked about in this post are mentioned!)
8. You’re Embarrassed To Show It To People
Finally, if you’re not happy with your website, chances are other people will find issue with it as well. Don’t put something out there that you aren’t proud of!
Whether you check one, several, or, internet gods forbid, all these pain points, you may be due for an update.
Lucky for you, we happen to know some pretty great web developers who are more than happy to take on the task.