13 Signs Your Business Might Need a New Website

Wondering if your website needs to be redesigned? Here are 13 signs that your business might need a new website.

Jeff Shibasaki
Sep 5, 2020 · 10 min read
An iMac computer with Lori Greiner’s website loaded on the screen.
An iMac computer with Lori Greiner’s website loaded on the screen.
Photo by Jeff Shibasaki / Master Your Website

1. Your Website Contains Warnings

A Google Chrome browser warning on Lori Greiner’s website.
A Google Chrome browser warning on Lori Greiner’s website.
Lori Greiner’s website has a Not Secure warning because her site doesn’t have an SSL certificate. Image by Jeff Shibasaki / Master Your Website.

SERP Warnings

SERP (search engine result pages) warnings appear on search engines like Google and inform users when a site has been hacked.

Browser Warnings

Web browsers like Chrome and Safari warn users if a website doesn’t have an SSL certificate that encrypts the connection between browsers and websites to ensure the data is private. Sites that don’t have an SSL certificate use HTTP instead of HTTPS.

2. Your Website isn’t Attractive

Just like readers judge books by their covers, users do the same with websites. Your logo, colors, fonts and photos should all appeal to your target market. Unattractive websites are often the result of DIY designers or from abandoned websites with outdated designs.

3. Your Website isn’t Mobile-Friendly

Google’s mobile-friendly test of Lori Greiner’s website that’s not mobile-friendly.
Google’s mobile-friendly test of Lori Greiner’s website that’s not mobile-friendly.
Google’s Mobile-Friendly test for Website warnings on Lori Greiner’s website. Image by Jeff Shibasaki / Master Your Website.

4. Your Website isn’t Optimized for Search Engines

If your website isn’t optimized for search engines like Google and Bing, how are customers going to find your business? You can’t always run a business on word of mouth and SEM (search engine marketing) can be costly. SEO (search engine optimization), on the other hand, is the organic (i.e. free) way to be found on search engines. The two ways that your website should be optimizing for search is through on-page SEO and off-page SEO.

On-Page SEO

On-page SEO consists of optimizing individual web pages to rank higher and earn relevant traffic through search engines.

  • Header tags
  • Meta descriptions
  • ALT tags

Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO consists of promotional methods to improve the position of individual web pages on the search engine result pages (SERPs). An authoritative website has many backlinks from other relevant and high-quality sites and ranks high in search engines. For example, if a potential customer is searching for best sushi restaurants in Atlanta on Google and your site doesn’t appear until the third page — you’re not an authority.

  • Social media marketing
  • Guest blogging
  • Linked and unlinked brand mentions
  • Influencer marketing

5. Your Website isn’t Fast

Google’s PageSpeed test for Lori Greiner’s website with a score of 28.
Google’s PageSpeed test for Lori Greiner’s website with a score of 28.
Google’s PageSpeed Insights for Lori Greiner’s website. Image by Jeff Shibasaki / Master Your Website.

Pro Tips

  • Avoid redirect chains
  • Avoid blocked resources
  • Avoid too many plugins
  • Avoid too many third-party embeds
  • Avoid more than two typefaces or fonts
  • Minify HTML, CSS and JavaScript code
  • Resize and compress images
  • Use a CDN
  • Use a trusted hosting service
  • Use gZIP Compression
  • Use modern web browsers

6. Your Website isn’t Optimized for Accessibility

Lori Greiner’s website scoring an average grade for accessibility from Google Lighthouse.
Lori Greiner’s website scoring an average grade for accessibility from Google Lighthouse.
Google Lighthouse’s accessibility report for Lori Greiner’s website. Image by Jeff Shibasaki / Master Your Website.

Pro Tips

  • Allow keyboard navigation
  • Avoid PDFs (or offer them as an alternative to text-based information)
  • Ensure text can be resized
  • Use page titles
  • Use color contrast of at least 4.5 to 1
  • Use labels for forms
  • Use focus states
  • Use ALT tags (i.e. text that describes images)
  • Use play/pause buttons for videos
  • Use descriptive anchor text (e.g. Good: “Reserve Now” Bad: “Click Here”)

7. Your Website isn’t Targeted to a Specific Market

A yellow silhouette with the definition of a user persona.
A yellow silhouette with the definition of a user persona.
Illustration by Jeff Shibasaki / Master Your Website

8. Your Website isn’t Intuitive

Websites that are easy to navigate simplify discoverability and lead to higher conversions. Conversely, websites that aren’t easy to navigate are usually poorly structured, have broken links, lack descriptive labels in the navigation bar and footer, don’t have effective calls to action, FAQs, search bars, directories, filters, etc.

9. Your Copy isn’t Compelling

While great aesthetics engross users, effective copy sells products and services. It combines the talent of a well-versed writer with the skills of a marketer and it’s written at a ninth-grade reading level — free from spelling, grammatical and factual errors and uses empathy to communicate and scarcity and urgency to persuade.

10. Your Website doesn’t Have a Strategy

I’m always surprised at the number of websites that I encounter that were built without any clear business and conversion goals. Business goals detail what an organization wants to achieve with its website and the conversion goal is what they want users to accomplish.

Questions to Consider

  • What’s my business goal?
  • What are my conversion goals?
  • How do users become aware of their problem?
  • How do users become aware of a solution?
  • How do users become interested in my offers?
  • How do I move users along the funnel?
  • Why do users desire my products or services?
  • What motivates users to buy my products or services?

11. Your Website doesn’t Appear Trustworthy

Lori Greiner’s website.
Lori Greiner’s website.
With browser warnings, an odd warning sign (instead of an announcement bar), auto-playing video, slow load time and poor design — Lori Greiner’s website conveys lots of untrustworthiness. Sorry, Lori. 🙁 Image by Jeff Shibasaki / Master Your Website.

Pro Tips

  • Avoid stock photography of people
  • Avoid auto-playing music/video
  • Avoid outdated technology (e.g. Flash, Google Plus)
  • Avoid free email addresses (e.g. name@gmail.com)
  • Avoid broken links
  • Include up-to-date business information
  • Include a copyright notice, terms of service nor privacy policy in the footer
  • Keep blog posts updated

12. Your Website doesn’t Reflect Your Current Business

Do you remember when Starbucks removed their name from their logo? They had to update the logo on all of their cups, signage, website and all other marketing materials. It’s taken them years to complete the transition, but it was a necessary step to keep the brand fresh and deliver a consistent message across all marketing channels. Naturally, business is going to evolve — your website needs to evolve with it.

13. Your Website Can’t be Updated

I’ve worked with businesses where nobody could sign into their website because they didn’t have the username and password. Websites aren’t a set-it and forget-it solution. You’re always competing. That’s why you need to be in control of updating and managing the content on your site.

Final Thoughts

You just learned 13 signs that your business may need a new website. While this list could go on and on, these are some of the most important signs that your website may need to be refreshed or redesigned.

Master Your Website

Teaching how to design, market and manage websites.

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Jeff Shibasaki

Written by

UX Writer. UX Designer. Culture Blogger. See my work at https://jeffshibasaki.com

Master Your Website

Teaching how to design, market and manage websites.

Jeff Shibasaki

Written by

UX Writer. UX Designer. Culture Blogger. See my work at https://jeffshibasaki.com

Master Your Website

Teaching how to design, market and manage websites.

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