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8 Signs It Is Time To Update Your Website
At Alexander Designs, we have recently updated our website with a complete overhaul. Indeed, an updated site can have a significant impact on business, and our reasons for updating were varied but how do you know if it is time for a website update?
Is It Time To Update Your Website?
To know whether it is time for your website to be updated, consider the following eight points:
1) The appearance of your site is outdated.
Are you reluctant to give your website address to prospective clients or customers? This reluctance is a sure sign that your site is due an overhaul! Even if that is not the case and your website isn’t so bad, websites with an outdated appearance are much less likely to be attractive to new customers and win their business. It always makes sense to put your best foot forward, and a relatively small investment in your website can reap dividends for your business.
2) Not mobile friendly.
If your website is not device responsive and does not look attractive and function well on mobile devices, your business will, without doubt, underperform.
This is an extremely high proportion of users and websites targeting a Ghanaian audience must be mobile friendly, full stop.
In addition, Google has made it clear that being mobile friendly is an essential part of their website ranking factors for their search engine and, as of April 2015, Google has been giving preference to mobile-optimised sites in mobile search results.
Google's Mobile Friendly Test Performed on Alexander Designs' Website
3) Your website is slow loading.
A slow loading website can be a disaster for any business with an online presence. No customers will be happy to wait more than a few seconds for a site to load. Any longer and their business could be going to a competitor. The Need For Mobile Speed Report by Google, reported that a whopping 50 per cent of internet users would not wait more than 3 seconds for a webpage to load.
To be exact, “53% of visits are likely to be abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load”!
You can test the speed of your website at Pingdom or GT Metrix which are two popular choices amoung professionals.
Pingdom's Speed Test Performed on Alexander Designs' Website
4) Poor conversion rates.
If your site visitors (traffic) are not converting into sales for your business, then you have a problem. Most websites are created to generate additional income, and if this is not happening, it is a missed opportunity. The reasons are varied, and it could be because the content of the website is unappealing, or that visitors do not like its appearance, or it could just be because visitors find it hard to understand and/or navigate.
Either way, low conversion rates on websites could be an indication that the site needs updating.
5) The website is experiencing high bounce rates.
A website's bounce rate is the percentage of its visitors that leave after viewing only one page and is a strong indication that site is not user-friendly or the content is unappealing/not relevant to users.
As a rule of thumb, a high bounce rate is considered to be anything over 55 per cent but may not be cause for alarm. A bounce rate of 70 per cent and over means that there is a significant problem with the website and is in need of immediate action.
A successful site redesign is a means to rectify both unappealing content and any issues with a site's usability.
6) The website is poorly optimised for search engines (SEO).
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a vital part of having a successful online presence in 2018. How a website undergoes SEO determines how search engines will view the website's content and how important or relevant it regarded as for users. This, in turn, determines the site's rankings in the various search engines.
Over time website content invariably becomes less relevant. The consumer market changes, customers demand new products and services. The product lines that companies offer change to more popular items or because of technological advancements.
If companies do not keep their websites updated, they are very likely to be seen as less relevant, and their search engine rankings will reflect this. Search engines such as Google favour sites that regularly update their content and sites with content that is relatively old may be regarded as less relevant.
Part of SEO is also making sure that each element of a website is correctly presented, for example, that images and code are optimised to be as small as possible without affecting the site's appearance and usability.
If all these various requirements are not met, or your site's content is relatively old, it could be time to consider updating your website.
7) Your website is getting old.
Technology moves on apace. Google and the other search engines are continuously refining their criteria for its search engine rankings. Image optimisation techniques and software are improving all the time. HTML becomes HTML5 and CSS becomes CSS3. Tastes change often.
If your website is more than a few years old, it should be evaluated on a regular basis to ensure that it is working as hard as it possibly can for the benefit of your business.
Sorry Web King. Sometimes things just move on...
8) User experience is poor.
Keeping users on a website and encouraging them to return is all about providing an engaging, enjoyable user experience. It is about delivering compelling content that is relevant to your business and your visitors and easy for them to digest. By including images that inspire and written content that captures the imagination, a website will win loyalty.
A site that is hard to understand or navigate, or is slow to load amounts to poor user experience and one which is unlikely to keep visitors engaged or compel them to return.
Minor changes can improve user experience; in most cases, the best solution is to redesign the website with the user's experience central to the design and content creation.
Websites are created to serve a purpose. If yours is not achieving its goal, then it is time to consider updating it to become more effective.