A businesses’ website should be updated regularly and redesigned and/or redeveloped when there is a good case for more of a wholesale upgrade of the structure, look and feel or technology.
Designing an attractive website is one of the best and most cost-effective ways of advertising your business to a variety of audiences. Making sure that your website is continually evolving alongside your company is key to bringing in more customers and to produce the best possible return on any investment made in digital marketing.
The visual appearance of a website is very important because it is the first thing that a customer is going to view when visiting a site in order to gain an initial impression of a brand.
“94% of first impressions are design related” Streampage
If the site looks professional and appears to be trustworthy then the customer will be more likely to stay and spend more time on the site. If the visual appearance of the site is messy, out of date or not maintained properly, then the customer is more likely to have a negative initial impression which will make them think twice about navigating through the website. A website needs to be regularly reviewed and updated in order to make sure that it looks good creatively and works well structurally, so that target audiences can quickly find the content they are looking for.
Another sign that your website is in need of a refresh is the loading speed. Slow loading pages have a negative impact because they make the user experience of the site poor as users have to wait around for certain pages to load. This will result in the bounce rate of your site increasing as people do not want to be waiting for content to load when they can easily go to another site and get the results quicker.
“53% of mobile website visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than three seconds to load. For every one second delay in site load time, conversions fall by 12%” Google, 2018
Another reason why your site may have a slow load time is due to extra content that is not needed. For example; older sites may have old information that is out of date and is clogging up the server, making the site slower to run. This could be due to redundant pages that were created a long time ago that are not necessarily needed anymore as they receive no traffic.
Fonts and Images
Old fonts and out-dated graphic images can also mean that your website would benefit from a refresh. Font fashions change in web design and unfortunately, some font styles age faster than others, which can leave your website looking out of date.
If your website is not mobile responsive then this is a big sign that it needs a refresh.
“61% of users are unlikely to return to a site on mobile if they had trouble accessing it and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead” Google, 2018
A responsive site is designed to function on a desktop, as well as a phone or tablet because the screen adapts to whatever device it is being used on. For example, on a mobile view, a responsive site will shrink so that you can still see all of the information.
And example of a non-mobile responsive webpage:
In the non-responsive example, you would not be able to see all the copy and would have to zoom in and scroll across the page to be able to see all of the content, which is not good for the user experience.
“62% of businesses who designed a website with mobile in mind saw an increase in sales” Streampage
If your website does not help customers get to where they want as quickly as possible, then they are likely to leave your website and move on to a competitors website.
Make sure that the site navigation makes it easy to find certain content and also gives the exact information the audience wants to view. Furthermore, having good navigation can be very helpful for a website because if a website is giving off a good impression and satisfying the customer they are more likely to return.
“40% of visitors don’t return after having a negative experience” E-Consultancy
Finally, incorporating Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) techniques into your website helps to make each page a potential entry point for customers. If having completed a full analysis, you find that the current site is generating very low levels of organic traffic, SEO has the potential to drive traffic and revenue.
It is often easier to redevelop a site with SEO built into the foundations of the strategy from the ground up, rather than amending an existing site in the hope that you will see better results. This decision should only be made following thorough research so that the conclusion you reach is based on solid analysis and facts.