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This piece is presented by Click Rain.
By Justine Murtha, UX strategy director
“But we just redesigned our website.”
I hear this statement regularly, and I sympathize. Overhauling a website can be a lot of work, and you want to be sure it will be worth the effort and expense. So how do you know it’s worth it?
When clients come to us, there are four signals that shout “new website.” Before we dive in, remember that your website exists to build reputation, increase leads or sales, support marketing efforts and provide useful information for your visitors. The following factors suggest your website isn’t delivering on those requirements.
1. Your visitors aren’t converting.
If you’re not getting enough inquiries or sales, it’s time for a website checkup. Check analytics to see whether your website is contributing to the sales slump. If you aren’t able to gather this data, that’s another warning sign. You need to upgrade your website so that you can track visitors and set up reporting on your key metrics.
With this data in hand, you can evaluate whether your website is underperforming compared to your overall business strategy. If the site is underperforming but it lacks other warning signs, site upgrades such as conversion rate optimization can improve your website progressively without requiring a full redesign.
On the other hand, if your website lacks purpose or is speaking the wrong message, you’ll want to consider a new content strategy. This will help you evaluate your website against the competition, clarify your strategic goals in relation to your website and bring your online communications in-line with those goals. You can accomplish this over time through incremental improvements or as part of a new website project.
2. You can’t manage your own content.
Aside from the frustration of not being able to manage your own content or fix a typo without calling the IT team, this can have a detrimental effect on your reputation and sales.
Furthermore, a lack of content management suggests a lack of content governance. It’s hard to stay current when you have to rely on someone else — the IT team or an outside agency — to make the updates, and it’s almost impossible to know what other updates are happening without your knowledge.
As your business grows and new online tools become available, you will need to incorporate some new site functionality or MarTech platforms for accurate reporting. If your website setup is so outdated that you can’t add these components, it’s time for a new site. Make sure that a good content management system is part of the mix, and incorporate your content governance program into this system to mitigate risk.
Fresh, up-to-date information is critical for search engine optimization, or SEO, and authority rankings. It’s also good for user experience. For example, if your business hours are out-of-date, you could turn potential customers away, online or off-line. On top of that, if your business services or products are inaccurate, you leave the door open to your competitors.
3. Your site isn’t search optimized.
As we’ve discussed, fresh, relevant content is crucial for SEO. Search engines are looking for and rewarding good content, but that’s not all they’re looking for. Technical SEO signals and on-page factors usually can be improved incrementally over time — unless you can’t access or manage this information.
If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, however, you need a new website, plain and simple. Google’s search algorithm specifically penalizes websites that aren’t mobile-friendly. This is what was known as Mobilegeddon. In addition to search indicators, your site’s mobile experience plays a role in your online reputation. Even if you don’t think mobile traffic is important to your business, it’s making an impact on potential customers.
4. You’ve outgrown the existing design.
Take a serious look at your website design. If your initial reaction is that it looks out-of-date, that your competitor’s design is better or that you just hate it, your customers probably are thinking the same thing. Your website design influences your brand identity, so it should be updated as often as you refresh brand assets. We recommend every three years, depending on your industry trends.
It can be hard to consider paying for a new website if you just spent thousands of dollars on it a few years ago, but you need to regard your website as an investment, not an expense. If your site is not functioning properly or meeting your business objectives, you may be losing more money over time. A new website, with a strategy and growth plan, should help improve your ROI.
If you think it may be time for a new website, think about your overall business and marketing strategy. Then reach out to web design and development agencies for a quote. Consider asking for a website audit to better identify opportunities and get a more accurate estimate. Often, we can suggest quick wins to implement while you wait for the new website to start paying off.
Your website exists to build reputation, increase leads or sales, support marketing efforts and provide useful information for your visitors. Here are four signs it’s not delivering for you.