No matter what business you are in, your online presence is critical to attracting and retaining customers. Your website is your home on the worldwide web. However, just having a website is no longer enough. Remember, you are competing with other businesses in your industry for the same eyeballs.
To make your site a traffic magnet and a major conduit for sales, you must keep it fresh by incorporating the latest trends in website design and development. The following are the reasons you should consider redoing your website.
1. The Website is Outdated
Whenever you search for something online, one of the things you’ll immediately notice is that not all websites in the search results are up to date. Internet users see an outdated site as a sign of mediocrity and lack of professionalism.
Outdated here could mean content that’s no longer current or design that’s no longer trendy. Content isn’t difficult to fix and is all about replacing old information with newer one. Design, however, will need a little more work.
Design trends change fairly rapidly. User interfaces that were popular five years ago are no longer appealing today. For example, it wasn’t too long ago that web design was focused on punchy, signature graphics as well as slide shows, glares and drop shadows. That has gradually given way to the simplified and minimalistic flat design that’s easier to read and navigate.
2. The Website Isn’t Mobile-Friendly
Thanks to the availability of smartphones and tablets, the number of mobile internet users has grown exponentially in the last ten years surpassing desktop internet users. Ergo, chances are most people who visit your site are doing so via a mobile device.
Whereas a mobile friendly site was an afterthought in the past, it is now a crucial factor before going live. First impressions count and visitors will not hesitate to move to your competitor if they are dissatisfied with how your site looks on mobile.
When a website is not mobile-friendly, the flow will be disjointed and visitors will have to zoom in and out or scroll left to right whenever they want to read the content. That’s unlikely to hold their attention long enough for you to convince them to buy your product. Unlike such static design, mobile-friendly sites are meant to conform to different devices and screen sizes.
3. The Website Uses Music or Animation
There was a time when having music or animated text that automatically played when someone opened your website was all the rage. That time is long gone. It’s not only distracting, but also gives the site a chaotic feel.
People do not come to a business website for a flashy presentation. Rather, they want to find what they are looking for within the shortest time.
With Millennials now the most dominant generation on the web, their dislike for websites with anything singing, bleeping, popping and moving has triggered a significant shift in what is considered great web design. Strip down your site to the basics with an emphasis on readability and ease of use.
4. The Website is Slow
Not too long ago, search behemoth Google started to include page loading speed in its list of factors that determine which pages appear first in search results. Websites that are slow are penalized. Given the indispensable role Google plays in driving traffic, this is reason enough to make sure your site is lean and clean. It is not the only reason though.
Unless your site provides a product or service that’s not available elsewhere, people will have little patience to wait dozens of seconds for your page to load. Internet users quickly abandon websites that take too long to open; and too long isn’t as long as one might think. A delay of as short as five seconds will cause more than 50% of visitors to move elsewhere.
Why are internet users so impatient? A significant proportion of people visiting your website will be keen on making a purchasing decision urgently. When someone loads your site on their browser, they expect you to avail the information fast. That way, they’re not only more likely to buy your product, but the pleasant experience will also make them more likely to return in the future.
5. The Website is Difficult to Update
Depending on what your business is about, you’ll have to make changes daily, weekly or monthly. Some updates will be minor, such as correcting spelling or replacing an image. Others updates will be more comprehensive, like introducing a new product.
You’ll need to be able to update your site regularly with little to no external help. If you require technical expertise to make even the smallest changes, you have a big problem that’ll be expensive in the long run.
Regular content is one of the ways to please your audience and rank higher in Google’s search results. An inability to make changes or post new content can paralyze your business and curtail your ability to close leads.
Some unscrupulous web designers will deliberately make it difficult for you to update your site in the hope of getting a steady stream of work from you in the long term. Ease of updating the site should be a key consideration when choosing a designer for your website.
Do your research and make sure the web designer clearly shows you they can make non-complex updates without the need for third party assistance. Look for a web designer who has done sites for businesses in your industry since they’ll be more likely to understand your expectations.
Also, go for a simple content management system such as WordPress web design Perth that makes it much easier to update the website even when you don’t have a background in IT.
Think of your website in the same way you think about your business’ physical location. As your business evolves you’ll have to make certain changes to your office or premises in order to make sure you are delivering the quality of service your customers expect. At times, that may mean moving to a completely new location.
Similarly, your website needs to be redesigned or completely overhauled every once in a while to keep up with market trends and customer demands.