New Year, New Website

New Year, New Website

by Jamie Czajkowski, December 27, 2017

 

A new year is all about resolutions. Go to the gym more, call your friends you haven’t seen in years, and a million other things you may, or may not, actually get around to doing. However, when it comes to setting New Year’s Resolutions for your business, there’s one resolution you shouldn’t let go—redesign your website for your changing market.

When sitting down to think about your budget for the upcoming year, as well as what needs to be improved within your business, ask yourself, “How long has it been since our website has been redesigned?” Digital tools are constantly evolving and this evolution of technology—especially your mobile presence—certainly effects your website presence and how your market finds you through search engines. Chances are, if your website hasn’t been updated in at LEAST 5 years, it’s out-of-date.

The Internet is the main way that consumers and potential clients search for businesses. So, if your website is out-of-date, it’s ultimately not performing, and therefore, not doing its job. We’ve outlined 8 main reasons why you should seriously consider rebuilding, or simply redesigning your current website.

1. Your current website is not mobile responsive.

If customers pull up your current website on their mobile device, can they only see certain parts of it unless they ‘pinch’ their way through your pages to read? This is a clear sign of a poor user experience and you will lose business as a result. Your website should, with no exceptions be mobile responsive. This means that the site is built so that the architecture, content, and images appear the same on any device. A recent report issued by Smart Insights points out that over 20 percent of Google searches and more than half of all local searches are performed on a mobile device. Though it started in 2017, in 2018 your websites rankability on Google will be judged on your mobile implementation primarily for the first time in history. If your mobile experience isn’t already at least on par with your desktop experience, you still have time to prepare, but you need to act fast. In terms of eCommerce websites specifically, your mobile responsiveness is particularly important because recent data has also shown that 67% of smartphone shoppers will switch to a competitor’s website if their eCommerce checkout process is faster. Consumers want everything to be as easy and secure as possible, research proves that a responsive website is necessary for a user-friendly experience.

2. You have received negative customer feedback regarding your website.

When people come to your website, they want to be able to quickly find what they’re looking for, regardless if it’s a photo album, blog, or they are shopping for something. Having too many pages of content, or poor content structure can bury valuable information that users are searching for, and scare off potential customers. Slow load times will also annoy visitors quickly. All of these factors can contribute to a poor user experience and a lower ranking by Google. Not only will it be cause for complaint, but it will also drive traffic away from your website and onto competitors sites. You only get one chance to make a first impression, and these days your website is your very first impression. Nothing will make someone click the back button faster than arriving at your site only to be met with something that looks like the Space Jam homepage (Yes, this is the original site—no you can’t play the games, you’d need Shockwave). Speaking of outdated software, your site should not rely on Flash, which was phased out of most popular browsers in spring of 2015. If your site relies heavily on Flash animation, it’s a good time to embrace a redesign, before your search engine rankings are affected by optimization and usability goes completely out the window.

Another aspect of a website which can cause users to complain or leave your website is an overload of information. The design needs to be sleek, well organized, and not overwhelm the visitor. Featured information and a site menu that is easy to navigate will be the most beneficial for your site. If it looks like ten pounds of potatoes in a five-pound bag, your site definitely needs an overhaul.

3. No one in your current staff knows how to work the Content Management System (CMS) your website is built with?

Being able to easily modify your site content on-the-fly is essential. Many Content Management Systems that are available today empower users with a basic skill set to easily update site content on an as-needed basis. If you are still relying on programmers to make easy changes and updates, consider rebuilding your site on a more updated and user-friendly CMS such as WordPress.

4. Has your company changed its branding, products, or services to reflect differently than what is on your current website?

If you’ve made changes in your company’s branding, messaging, services, or products, this usually requires a new website—a digital facelift. If you’ve created a corporate identity update or changed the direction of your brand, you’ll almost certainly need a new website. A brand is not simply a logo and a tagline, it is your overall corporate personality and your website is your online digital ambassador. Growing companies can also expand far beyond the original aspects of their website, and need to add more functionality or specific content. Your business goals will also change over time, and your website should reflect your brand’s vision. A lot of users do not feel they can trust a company that isn’t in control of their own marketing identity.

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the issues we listed, it’s time to give your site a digital makeover. Not sure where to start? Liquified Creative can provide solutions to meet your expectations and fit within your budget. Contact us at 443-949-9284 today and let’s start making your new 2018 website a reality.