Research from Stanford University suggests that 75% of people judge a company based on their website.
So it might be time to consider upgrading your site.
Your website is one of your most powerful tools. More often than not it’s also the first thing people see when they research your business. But we understand better than most that upgrading a website can be an expensive and time consuming process.
Still, if you’re reading this article you probably already appreciate that you need a new website or are at least trying to ascertain whether it should be updated. So we’ve compiled this list of five warning signs. If your website correlates to any of the points below you need an update.
1. Your website isn’t responsive
Over 50% of shoppers browse on mobile devices and they won’t waste time trying to navigate a difficult website. So if you’re website isn’t responsive they’re going to jump ship; straight to your competitor’s modern and responsive site.
All those people who leave your unresponsive website straight after landing on it will contribute to your website’s high bounce rate- a metric Google uses to assess the quality of a website and thus to determine a website’s ranking.
Google also rewards responsive design by boosting the ranking of every webpage on a website that is mobile optimised.
So if you like customers, then you need a responsively designed website.
2. It Looks Outdated
94% of people deem websites with good designs to be more trustworthy. Your website’s design may have been good in 2013, but trends in web design change as rapidly as the seasons.
This means that it’s worth looking at updating the aesthetic of your site every couple of years at a minimum. Otherwise you might find that new customers don’t trust what you’re selling.
We highlighted the likely trends of 2015 in this article and many have proven popular and come into fruition. Currently, minimalist, clean designs are in; so if you’re website is cluttered it’s time for a spring clean.
3. You don’t rank well in Searches
As mentioned in point one, if you’re website isn’t responsive you will struggle to rank anywhere near the top in google searches.
93% of people start browsing via a search engine. Couple this with the fact that the top hit in a google search receives 34% of the traffic compared with the 1% received by the 11th ranked site and you will appreciate how important search engine optimisation is.
It doesn’t just come down to responsive design though, other technical aspects are examined when Google indexes (ranks) your site. These other aspects include relevant meta-tags, meta-descriptions, site speed, keyword in domain, HTTPS and URL length to name a few.
If you don’t know what these are then talk to a good web designer.
4. Your site is slow
If your site is slow it’s going to contribute to that high bounce rate. Nowadays people have short attention spans and less and less tolerance for slow sites.
Anything that takes over three seconds to load is too slow and will be affecting your search ranking. In fact 40% of people will leave a website that takes over three seconds to load with 42% expecting website’s to load within two seconds.
Having a quick and responsive site isn’t the only way to improve your ranking. You can also improve it by producing quality content. Why not read our article on Google’s Definition of Quality Content?
5. Your branding/services have changed
Whilst bigger businesses, with solid foundations, probably won’t suffer from this problem many small businesses do.
One of the beautiful things about small businesses is their agility and adaptability- they can chop and change to suit their needs. Many small businesses re-position their branding or even change or evolve their services over time; before I arrived Ri Web didn’t offer content marketing, for example.
The problem here is that your clients and potential clients won’t have a clue about these services unless your website makes it clear you’re offering them.
On top of this, it’s important to keep your branding consistent. If you’re website looks old school, but your business cards and other marketing material has been upgraded to look modern and slick, this will be confusing for customers. Either way, it’s time to be consistent and upgrade that website.