Is it Time to Update Your Website?

Just like your home, a website is a personal entity that has to be nourished, updated, and looked after. From hiring a web designer (or getting on Wix) to making your website available online, every step requires effort, time, and money.

If you want to engage people in your content and attract them to your site, keep it updated, do your SEO, and make sure it’s responsive. How do you know when it is time to update your website? Here are a few signs that might mean you need to give it some thought:

Sales are not increasing, or they may even be decreasing

A drop in lead conversions could indicate a huge gap in your design or content strategy. If your site has a lot of traffic but is unable to turn those visitors into customers, you may need to take a look at how the site is engaging those visitors and why they might be leaving without buying anything or taking the next step toward purchasing your service. A good starting point here would be to make sure you have Google Analytics set up to monitor your traffic. If people come onto the site and then leave without interacting with anything, then you know you need to find a way to keep them there longer. This brings us to the next point:

High bounce rate, AKA they come but they don’t stay for very long

Place yourself in the shoes of your potential customers. A website with interesting content and friendly design makes the users want to stay on the site and engage with it. If your website has a high bounce rate then it might be time to take a look at things like: ease of navigation, and if the content flow makes sense.

Have someone outside of the business take a look and see if they struggle to find a particular thing, or if the way they try to interact with the site matches the navigation. If a site is difficult to navigate, many users won’t even bother, and instead will go with a company that has an easier site. Make the design appealing, attractive, user-friendly, and easily readable so that people are more likely to stay on your page and engage with the content.

Loading the website takes time

Load time is more important than most people realize. But let me throw some stats at you, as compiled by Kissmetrics:

  • 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less
  • 40% of people leave a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load
  • 73% of mobile internet users say that they’ve encountered a website that was too slow to load
  • A page response delay of just one second can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. To put that into hard numbers: if an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, that 1 second page delay could potentially cost the company $2.5 million in lost sales every year

A good resource to check your load times is GTmetrix, which calculates load times and suggests changes you could make to decrease them.

It doesn’t look quite right on mobile

Everyone has a cell phone in their pocket. In fact, as of December 2016, mobile internet usage has finally surpassed desktop usage. Just over 50% of internet users are now accessing the web from their phones. Because of this, the web trends have all gone “mobile first” to ensure a good experience for mobile users. Is your site keeping up with the mobile trend? If you haven’t visited your site from your phone, it’s a good idea to take a look and make sure the experience is just as good as it is on the desktop. If not, you’re probably losing potential customers to a site that isn’t optimized for their preferred method of browsing.

Has your information changed?

This should be a no-brainer, but if any of your business information changed recently, it should be reflected on the site. This includes contact info, store hours, and even alterations to the mission statement or branding. While you’re at it, be sure to update your business listings on sites like Google, Bing, and Yelp. There’s nothing more frustrating to a customer than seeing online that you open at 9, only to find out by the posted hours on the door that they have to wait until 10.

The final verdict

Technology is changing at a rapid pace, and the web is no exception. Keeping your site current, easy to use, and with relevant information can help to increase customers and sales. And if any of these bullet points hit close to home, you might want to think about a refresh.

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