It can be tough to know when the time is right to update or rebuild your business website. Here’s a quick list of things to think about if you’re beginning to wonder if it’s time to make over your current site.
Things don’t look good on mobile devices. How does your site look on a smartphone or tablet? If you have a Flash-based site, chances are very good that a mobile visitor can’t even see your site. An effective mobile strategy is vital now that Internet access through mobile devices has overtaken PCs. Responsive web design automatically adapts your site to the screen size and device of a user so you can be confident your business is providing a satisfying mobile experience for your visitors.
You don’t have a blog. A blog gives you an outlet to publish new content that is virtually free and remains in your control. Most of the big social media sites are starting to require business marketers to pay for wide reach. Linking to your blog from social media gives you the opportunity to drive traffic to your site. A blog is also an effective way to improve natural search engine optimization (SEO) because it provides new content with focused keywords. Fresh content with smart keywords is currently one of the main factors that contribute to high organic search results.
Your design is a few years old or looks dated compared to your competition. The web has certain fashion trends just like cars or houses. Unlike the historic brownstone in your neighborhood or your friend’s vintage car, there’s very little benefit in looking behind the times online. Check the copyright date in your footer. What does it say? This can be easy to overlook but if the copyright date is old, a visitor may wonder if the whole site is out-of-date. A buyer doing online research will often narrow things down to 3-4 options and then look for reasons to eliminate businesses before calling them. Don’t let an out-of-date design knock you out of the running.
Updating or adding content is hard. How hard is it to add a new page, update a photo or publish a new post to your blog? The ability to easily do that indicates you’ve got a current website architecture. Making changes to a site running on WordPress, Joomla or other modern content management systems is as easy as writing an email. An older site may require editing individual pages, uploading the new material to a server and then pushing the updated content live.
Slow load times. Slow load times annoy users and increase the chance they’ll abandon their visit to your site. If a prospect found you through a search query and your site takes too long to load, all they have to do is click the back button to return to the search page. Slow load times can also negatively affect your search engine optimization efforts. Google and the other search engines mark down slow sites because they provide a poor user experience for search users.
Photo Credit: Ghost-town by Volitare88 (CC by 2.0)