Don’t ignore your website!
In this article, Riweb writer Lesley Barker explores the website warning signs that signal it’s time to take a closer look at your website.
Much like digital marketing, website design is an ever-changing discipline. New trends emerge on a near-monthly basis and it can be extremely difficult to keep up.
Everyone wants their website to look great but if it’s slow, frustrating or confusing, then your users, potential clients and current customers, will be the ones to suffer.
An audit, either of your user experience (UX) or of your site’s search engine optimisation (SEO), will help you assess whether or not your website is as effective as it should be.
Your website is, in many ways, the most important slice of your online presence. It tends to have the most information about your business and, if done right, your content should reflect your brand and ethos accurately.
However, problems with your website can arise in a number of ways.
Because of the fluid nature of the online landscape, every website should enjoy a UX and SEO audit every six months.
But that’s not always feasible for the busy small business owner, so even if it’s only every two years, auditing your site will give you an understanding of what needs improving.
With this in mind, here are a few warning signs that signal it’s time for an audit and, most likely, an upgrade!
Your Website is Old
If your website was built more than a few years ago, then it’s a guarantee that it was created using methods that have since evolved or simply don’t apply anymore.
If your site was built on a platform such as WordPress or Drupal, then there’s an even better chance that it needs to be rebuilt on a newer version of the platform.
It all depends on exactly how old the site is of course but if you’re unsure, speak to a web developer (like Ri Web’s friendly team!).
Your Visitor Count is Tumbling
If you can see a steady decline in the number of people visiting and, more importantly, browsing your website, then there is probably an issue with your website’s speed or your relevance to search engines.
In this latter case, an SEO audit will help your website become more visible when people are searching for businesses or services like yours.
An increase in your bounce rate, which is basically when people arrive at your site and leave almost immediately, is often caused when your site is frustratingly slow to load.
Performance optimisation can usually fix this issue by reducing the size of photos and changing how the page loads.
User Feedback is Negative
This one can be tricky to gauge because you have to take personal opinion into account; however, if you are getting frequent complaints about your site’s speed, usability or accessibility then there is a good chance that your site needs an audit to try and assess the problem.
It could be a loading speed issue, an SEO issue or your site might its user experience looking at.
You’re Not Getting Enough Conversions
If people are looking at your site but not taking it any further by getting in contact, signing up for a newsletter or completing a transaction, then there could be an issue with your calls-to-action or your site’s usability.
A UX audit will be able to tell you whether or not your site’s visitors can easily see and access your calls-to-action.
An audit doesn’t always have to equal a full redesign or redevelopment. Sometimes, these audits will just highlight some necessary changes to the existing site and its content. Most frequently, it’s the copy that needs to be optimised for search engines so that your site is easier to find. These kinds of small changes can make a big difference to how effective your website is and are well worth making. After all, if people aren’t finding or using your website then there really is little point to having it.