Update Your Website: This is Not A Drill
Interesting fact: Did you know that web pages have an expiration date? When we see our website for the first time after numerous changes are made, (hopefully) it looks exactly how we want. With all of the time and energy we invested in creating it, we have a common misconception that its perfection will not need any future changes. However, like physical spaces, websites also need to adapt to changes in the company, the users, the services or products offered, and ultimately, trends.
As new technologies continue to appear in our lives, change seems to occur much faster than before. Let’s take an electronic device that you bought a few years ago as an example. It looked awesome and attractive a few years back, but as of now, it has most likely become obsolete and/or attracts no attention from the market. This is one simple example that illustrates a much larger picture of today’s world. Everything (& we mean everything) is constantly changing, updating, being renewed, and looking for better improvements. To be successful and stay ahead of the game, we must remember to consistently update and add improvements to the design of our company’s website.
I would say this is one of the most important parts of your website. Although a little self-explanatory in terms of your site’s success, a good user experience should be the main goal for every single website. User experience includes a variety of aspects that we will dive into further in a second, but first, it’s important to note that every user experience starts with navigation.
Related: What is User Experience (UX)?
Navigation is essential for the usability of the website. Regardless of the type of site you have, it is a key detail that many web developers and designers often overlook. Be sure that your website’s navigation is simple and user-friendly. It’s important for users to be able to find the information they need and want in the easiest way possible.
Related: Website Navigation Best Practices
Here are a few other key ideas to consider when creating a satisfactory user experience:
When websites don’t load in less than 10 seconds, most users tend to drop out of (a.k.a. leave) the page. Take a moment to think about this. 10 seconds is the duration of a users patience before pressing the upper x. What does this mean for your site? With fast-speed and easy navigation (mentioned above), your users should be able to easily access your website and find the information they are looking for in the shortest period of time.
The loading time of a website is a technical aspect of the site that deals with the architecture of a page. Very heavy images, poor distribution of content, pages loaded with graphic elements that are not optimized for the web, hosting — all of these things make up the architecture of a page and add on delay seconds, which ultimately affects the performance provided to the end-user.
Improvements such as reducing the size of images or migrating the website are always an option; however, if the website does not have a good base structure, the best option is a redesign.
This is an extremely important point. According to Google, 49% of B2B consumers do their web searches using a cell phone. Further, 65% of smartphone users agree that searches with their devices help them find the most relevant information from the companies that offer the products and services they need.
Several years ago, websites were designed to be viewed solely on a personal computer or laptop screens. Web designers created sites with specific characteristics and fixed window sizes. Conversely, websites today must be created for use on a wide range of devices and sizes, ranging from very large screens of desktop computers to tablets, smartphones, and other assisted devices. Don’t expect this trend to change anytime soon, as web traffic from smartphones keeps growing by the second. Just think about your own behavior as a user. What is the percentage of searches you do with the phone? Have they become indispensable to get work done? Bingo. There is your answer.
That being said, It is essential to evaluate the support and performance your current site has for different types of devices. Doing this evaluation will not only create a better user experience to the users visiting the site, but will also be a contributing variable that Google takes into account during its searches and googles algorithms, rewarding the websites that are mobile and user-friendly.
The responsive design for mobile devices is not the future; it is the present. Each day that your website continues to appear deficient on phones or tablets is another day of lost revenue.
Related: What is Responsive Design?
Poor SEO Optimization
If your website is not attracting a lot of traffic, this may be an indicator of a poor SEO strategy. With a poor SEO strategy, search engines have a hard time finding your website when users are looking for content on your page. Alongside a redesign of your website, consider working in an effective SEO strategy that can help you with your content optimizations, and ultimately, drive more traffic to your site.
Websites are the primary target for hackers. Your website’s security is crucial, therefore you must be aware of the potential security holes in your site. To solve this problem, it is important that you protect your website in the best way possible to safeguard all your valuable data. If your website is disorganized, has a bad base structure, or has a low-security system, it is very easy for hackers to access your data. If you find that your website has been hacked, it will be tedious to recover all of the data. For this reason, it is important to implement preventive measures to avoid these situations from happening. It is much easier to redesign a website and make sure it is secure, rather than waiting until it has been hacked, and having to go back and redesign the website from square one with no data.
Change in Brand and Goals
With the evolution and growth of your business, it is possible that your site is no longer functional or that it no longer fits the goals you anticipate it to achieve. In this case, consider it time for a website redesign! Consider all the new options and features you would like to include, such as e-commerce or the developments that best suit your needs.
Keep in mind that your site allows you to expand your operations and provide solutions to your customers. Having a high-quality website will increase your sales, open doors to reaching new markets, and generate more income. For example, a visual store allows their customers to see their products, buy, place orders, and pay online.
You have to be careful with this indicator. Just because your competitors do something does not mean that you must also do it; however, it is important to be aware of their every move. The steps made in an industry constantly reveal information about where the sector is headed and what new things can be done to differentiate your company from the rest.
We know that understanding our competition is key in every marketing process. When your competitors redesign their website, pay attention to why they did it, evaluate the trends, and objectively consider if it is time to take a similar step. This is not only about how a website looks; it involves many different things behind-the-scenes. Be sure to consider all of the variables and keep in mind that it may be a good idea for your business to do a website redesign, or maybe not. You must always keep your business strategies and goals in mind when considering any change.
Visually out of date
Every month, new technological and design advances are made. Just think about how much technology has changed in the past 10 years. Design has also changed and evolved. Single page websites with long content and multiple images are already out of the game.
If your site is stuck in an old trend, it is time to redesign. Websites today are the face of your company’s presentation and are the first impression that users get when seeking your services online. If your website is not trendy, visually attractive, or updated to function in today’s world, some users may think you are no longer in business.
This is not a sign, but more of a suggestion. Many entrepreneurs and marketing managers believe that if their business has gone well, they do not need to address the needs of digital improvisation. On the flip side, it does not hurt to think of redesigning your site as a way of celebrating your growth and thanking your audience for their loyalty.
The market is always changing and technologies keep evolving more and more every day. It is key that you keep your website updated and optimized.