Regardless of its intended purpose, your website sits at the centre of your entire online marketing strategy. As such, it needs to be in tip-top shape. An unattractive, shoddy website won’t do your sales numbers any favours. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the top 10 signs that your website’s due an update.
1) IT NEVER SHOWS IN SEARCH ENGINES
Online shopping behaviour is driven by independent research. That we know, because most consumer journeys start with a Google search. Improving rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs) is essential if you hope to attract new customers to your website. While bagging a spot in the top three results for terms most related to your products or services is the ultimate goal, you should aim to rank somewhere on the first page at the very least. If your current website isn’t making any headway on Google, it may be time to design a new website. To improve your organic search rankings, make sure that your new website is fully optimised by using strategic keywords. Also, don’t forget to ensure your site is responsive and blog regularly.
2) IT LOOKS ODD ON MOBILE
27% of internet users say they’ll leave a website that isn’t mobile friendly (ExactTarget). If your website is awkward to view on small screens – like one smartphones and tablets – potential customers aren’t likely to hang around to browse for more than a few seconds. What’s more, Google uses mobile-friendliness to determine ranking. So not only do responsive websites keep visitors on your website longer, they also get more people there in the first place. It’s official: responsive web design is no longer a ‘nice to have’. It’s a ‘must have’.
3) YOU DON’T KNOW ITS USERS
If you don’t really know how many people visit your website each month, who thesy are, how long they stay on your website or what proportion go on to become customers, you’re seriously limited. Without making use of web analytics, it’s impossible to fine-tune your online marketing strategy based on what’s working and what isn’t. If a key landing page isn’t performing as it should, you need to know about that. Basing your marketing efforts on tangible data is a crucial pillar of highly effective e-marketing.
4) YOUR BREAKING NEWS ISN’T NEWS AT ALL
If your last blog post is dated 2010 and your product information is terribly out of date, it’s time for a refresh. Both Google bots and users favour current, up-to-date websites that regularly publish new content over websites that art static and collect cobwebs.
5) IT’S DIFFICULT FOR USERS TO FIND THEIR WAY AROUND
Here’s the hard truth: visitors won’t stay on your website for more than a few seconds if it’s difficult to navigate. We’re an increasingly impatient lot when we surf and are accustomed to getting the information we’re after almost instantly, so don’t expect people to painstakingly scour your website looking for a hidden webpage. A clear, logical structure is essential to keeping visitors on your website long enough to convert them.
6) IT’S ANTI SOCIAL
Word-of-mouth is still the most powerful marketing channel at your disposal. In our hyper-connected world social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn present golden opportunities to get people talking about and endorsing your brand. Always make it as easy as possible for users to share your content with their networks by including easy-to-spot social media share buttons on every page.
7) IT’S SELF-CENTRED
Customers today switch off when websites look nothing more than glorified online brochures. These days, the consumer decision making process is driven by independent online research, so to resonate with potential customers your website needs to offer consumer-centric content that’s genuinely helpful – educational even. Web visitors are much more likely to stick around on a website that focuses on helping them as opposed to taking every opportunity to flog them something.
8)EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING IT
If each of your competitor’s websites are snazzy, top-of-the-range efforts but yours is painfully old fashioned, users will immediately get the impression that your company – like your website – is behind the times. Not exactly the first impression you want to give! Also, bear in mind that websites have lifespans. Ideally, you should audit your website every 12 to 18 months and refresh its design if necessary.
9) NO ONE ELSE IS DOING IT
If your industry is generally slow to catch on to tech and marketing trends – perhaps not even one of your competitors has a fully function site, there’s still no excuse to slack. On the contrary, if no one else in your industry has realised the importance of having a state-of-the-art website, it’s a golden opportunity to stand out from the crowd and position yourself as a cutting-edge brand by launching an all singing, all dancing new website. Time to grab that market-share that your industry is just begging for you to take!
10) THE COPYRIGHT IN THE FOOTER DOESN’T SAY 2016
If your website isn’t copyrighted to 2016, you’re essentially telling visitors that your website is, well, gathering dust. With so much quality content freely available online, modern web users aren’t will not waste their time browsing a neglected, out-of-date website. If you’re working with a marketing agency, constant maintenance and regular updates should be part of your SLA. The bottom line is, if you haven’t made any changes in the past year, it’s probably time for an overhaul or even an entirely new website.
If any of the above sound familiar, you might be in need of a new website. Give us a call or contact us for a chat.