By Taylor Perry

10 Signs It’s Time For A New Website

I’ll be honest…as a web developer, I’ve often seen a look of apprehension appear across the table when “a new website” is suggested. The process of launching a new website can be daunting and expensive, so as a business owner, it’s not likely a decision you’re going to come to easily. Plus, doesn’t it seem like you just got a new website yesterday? However, that site you have now, the one that’s “just fine” may actually be missing the mark with your visitors and in the end, costing you valuable opportunities and lost ROI. So, take a discerning look. Here are 10 issues that could be rendering your website ineffective:   

1. Your site is not optimized for mobile.

Since more than 50% of all web traffic originates from mobile devices, take a moment to consider what half of your site visitors experience. Pull up your site on your phone or tablet. If you’re not able to read your site without zooming in, you have to scroll horizontally, or links are too close together to click with your finger, then that is a frustrating experience for a mobile visitor. Because of this, Google now favors mobile-friendly websites in its search result rankings. Google wants to ensure a good experience for its users not only on the search results page but also in the quality of the sites that it’s directing users to.

2. Your site is not optimized for search engines.

Optimizing your site for search engines means that you are helping search engines find your content and understand what your site is about. There are many factors that impact a site’s SEO but some core SEO basics include:

  • Indexable content. In order for your most important content to be visible to search engines, it must be in HTML text format. Elements that a search engine can’t read, such as images, videos, and Flash media, should be supplemented with descriptive text. Also, be sure to double-check that critical site pages are not hidden from search engine crawlers by a “noindex, nofollow” meta robots tag.
  • Keyword usage. Appropriate use of keywords and keyphrases in title tags, URLs, and on-page content will make it possible for search engines to categorize and rank your site. Keyword research helps you find the right keywords to use and can guide your content strategy.
  • Search-friendly URLs. Concise, descriptive URLs that are readable by humans are best. The URL should make it clear to both users and search engines what the page is about.

A search engine optimized site will have increased visibility and rankings in search engine results, which can help increase traffic and bring in more leads and customers to your site.

3. Your site doesn’t provide a good user experience.

User experience encompasses all aspects of a visitor’s interaction with your site. A good user experience will relay vital information, serve your audience what they need, function well, and follow best practices in design. Pages should be organized in a simple, logical content hierarchy with main categories and subcategories. Pages should also be linked together in a consistent, organized navigation structure that makes it easy for users to locate information quickly. Overall, your site should be tailored to suit your target demographic and their needs.

4. Your site loads slowly.

Load time is a major contributing factor in page abandonment. The average user doesn’t have the patience to wait for pages that take too much time to load. A slow-loading site is not just frustrating for your users but can lead to lowered Google rankings. Your site’s load time will be of the most importance in mobile searches, when Google rolls out this new ranking factor this year. Uncompressed assets and images, bulky and inefficient code, poor server performance, excessive plugins, externally hosted assets and too many redirects are all contributors to slow load times.

5. Your site’s bounce rate is high, and the conversion rate is low.

Bounce rate is the percentage of visits in which users leave your site from the landing page without browsing any further. A high bounce rate can be an indicator that the page was not relevant to what the user was expecting to see, there was some issue preventing the user from browsing any further, or there was not a clear conversion action for them to take. A conversion could be a submission on a contact form, an e-commerce purchase, or a newsletter sign-up; the conversion rate is the percentage of users who take that action out of the whole visitor total. If your website is not offering clear, compelling and valuable options for visitors to convert, they may immediately exit and go somewhere else.

6. You’re not able to add or change content easily.

If your current site is not built on a Content Management System (CMS), then chances are you have to engage with a developer every single time a content update or change is needed on your site. This might mean that your site doesn’t get updated often enough. If your site is built on a CMS, is the back-end interface intuitive and easy for you to use? If not, then it may be time for a change. A good CMS can streamline your content update process by providing an easy-to-use interface for making content updates quickly.

7. Your site doesn’t reflect your brand.

Over time, your brand’s logo and brand standards will likely evolve. Visual brand queues that are mismatched across different media can confuse your site visitors. Your brand’s logo, fonts and color palette should be up to date and consistent throughout all of your marketing channels.

8. Your site looks outdated.

Visuals can make a first impression faster than the user can read the words on your site. Just as technology has changed, web design trends have changed over the years. If your site was designed more than five years ago, then there is a strong possibility that it looks dated. Plus, content that has not been kept up to date (like a pesky copyright year in the footer or a blog that hasn’t been updated in years) can be a clue to users that the site has been neglected, and leading them to wonder if you’re still in business.

9. Your site is not aligned with your current marketing goals.

Goals shift. Dynamics change. What metrics you have determined are important to your business should define the overall purpose, drive the strategy, and determine the functionality requirements of your website. Be sure your site and business goals align.

10. Your site just doesn’t work.

If your site is experiencing chronic technical difficulties, is barely hanging on with outdated technology, or has persistent security issues, then a new website should be in your immediate future.

At FUEL, we specialize in creating effective, beautiful sites that, most importantly, convert visitors to customers. Let us know if you are ready to evaluate your site and take the next step. Contact Annalynn Barnett at annalynn@fuelingbrands.com or call 864-627-1676.