If your business has been around long enough, then you already understand the importance of having a website. But what if I told you that simply having a website is not enough?
That’s right. I said it.
*cue outrageous protest*
Listen for a second though.
Websites are just like businesses. As markets shift and consumer demands change, businesses either comply or get beat out by more customer-savvy competitors. The same goes for websites. They must evolve with users in order to maintain and grow traffic.
So what can you do to prevent your business from falling behind your competitors?
The most successful businesses keep up online with a Growth- Driven Design, which is an agile approach to Web design that is wholly focused on growing your business and maximizing your ROI.
That's right. Rally up your Web Designers, round up your Web Developers, call up your digital marketing team and head to the drawing board, because more likely than not, if you clicked to read this blog, you're already looking for a way to increase your digital sales through a website redesign.
In order of descending importance, here are 8 surefire signs it’s high-time you need a better website:
Sign #8: Your website navigation is a hot mess
In almost all of the super outdated sites I’ve seen, one commonality is an incredibly confusing website navigation. I’m mainly talking about two things here:
- Small text boxes and links
- Confusing top navigation and CTAs
I dug through the inner depths of Google to show you a website that has these navigational no-nos, and I found this gem:
I question the designer who ever thought, “Hey, people like options, right? Let’s give them 3 navigation menus to choose from but make it really hard for them to actually find what they’re looking for!”… And the business owner who actually agreed to this.
I don’t know about you, but as soon as I opened this web page, I had to resist the very strong urge to run away. There are so many distracting elements on the page that I’m not sure what I’m not sure what the business is selling or where to go to find more information.
Don’t make this mistake.
Remember: a poorly designed website navigation is where online sales go to die. Tweet this
If it’s not intuitive for users to navigate your site, then it’s time to redesign your website.
Sign #7: Your website no longer speaks to your target audience
If your website was designed any time before 2013, then there’s a high possibility your site has some pretty old-school designs that may not work for your audience anymore. Details like this may seem trivial, but they can kill sales.
When your website no longer aligns with your target audience’s needs, wants, and values, it’s a good indication you need a new website that does.
Measuring your website’s performance, analyzing your audience’s on-site behavior, and optimizing specifically for those most common audience behaviors is key to online growth and will ultimately lead to business success – both online and off.
Sign #6: Your website is not mobile-optimized
The fact that I’ve mentioned mobile in basically every blog over the past 6 months goes to show how critical mobile usability and mobile optimization are to your overall digital business strategy.
Without a responsive design website and a strong mobile strategy, you’re actually losing money because a large sector of the users visiting your website are using mobile devices. Here’s why:
48% of users say that if they arrive on a business site that isn’t working well on mobile, they take it as an indication of the business simply not caring. Tweet this
Do people a favor and make your website mobile-friendly. In return, they’ll shower you with more website visits and sales.
For more info on mobile, read these:
Sign #5: Your website rankings are so-so
Think back to your middle school days… do you remember learning about the transitive property? No? Let’s go through an example of the transitive property in action:
If Bad web design=bad user experience and
Bad user experience=bad search rankings
Then that means that bad web design=bad search rankings
It's true. Your website design and user experience are intricately tied in with your search rankings on Google.
But how can search engines even tell that my website's user experience is bad?
- Bounce rates
- Page load time
- Page depth
- Customer feedback
- Behavior flow
Remember: great user experience isn’t just about beautiful Web design. It’s about your website as a whole – design, content, functionality - everything.
And great user experience is exactly what it says – an intuitive website experience for the user. This means that your website redesign has to be driven entirely by your target audience. Knowing the ins and outs of your target audience allows you to tailor your new website accordingly.
Sign #4: Your website loads slowly
Your website loading speed can mean the difference between a sale and no sale, and I’m not exaggerating.
40% of people will abandon a web page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Tweet this
With today’s limited attention spans, 3 seconds feels like 3 years, and users neither have the time nor the patience to sit around and wait for your content to load. How do you expect people to convert if they automatically leave your site because it’s slow?
With limitless websites from which they can choose, they’ll simply move on to the next website on the search results page without a second thought
Sign #3: You can’t update your content easily
How many of you find this scary?
Yeah, me too. And I work with website coders!
For many business owners, the only way to make website updates is to go into the actual HTML file (i.e., the one above) and mess around with the code. That’s fine if you actually know how to code. But if not then good luck trying to change anything without breaking the site.
The minute you have to deep-dive into your website HTML (or ask your Web Developer to do so) to update something - especially something small - is a very good indication that you need a complete website revamp, or at the very least a new CMS.
There are easier ways to manage your website, like having a custom Content Management System that allows you to update your website faster than you saying, “That was easy.”
Invest in a CMS specifically for your business (as opposed to a website building tool or template like Wordpress or Drupal) - you’ll be grateful you did.
For more info on the value of a custom CMS, read this:
Sign #2: Your business has evolved but your site hasn’t
For many companies, a surefire way to tell that business is on the up and up is simple: growth, whether in finances, market share, or overall brand exposure. But as your business grows, don’t forget that your website must grow with it.
Your website should be a reflection of your business and brand, so any change your company goes through must be clearly reflected on your website.
Here are some tell-tale signs that your business has evolved:
- You’ve added more products/services
- Your market has shifted
- Your messaging has changed
- Your logo/branding materials are different
If your site is still stuck in the dark ages, it’s time you start thinking seriously about redesigning your website.
Sign #1: You’e not attracting any new leads or customers
And last but most certainly not least, if your website has not done its job in attracting, converting, or delighting website visitors – it’s definitely time for a redesign.
Your website is your #1 business and marketing asset – it should not be left to collect dust while the rest of your business improves and evolves. Treating your website like an afterthought not only appears outdated quickly – it also means you are missing out on valuable, real-time marketing and sales opportunities.
So, to differentiate yourself from competitors and provide real, long-lasting value to your customers, you need to constantly analyze and optimize your website performance to align with your audience’s needs.
Technology changes quickly, and by adopting an ongoing, growth-driven design strategy instead of a one-off website redesign, you are taking the steps to ensure your business remains relevant against competitors online.
After all, isn’t that the point of business websites?