Online business moves at an incredible pace. Your shiny new website of just a few years ago may today be turning visitors away and dragging your profits down.
How can you tell if it's time to give your online presence a revamp? Here are eight warning signs you shouldn't ignore.
The first and most urgent sign of a problem is a sustained decline in conversion rates. If visitors are no longer wowed enough by your site to become customers, something needs to change.
If you can rule out any commercial or product-related reasons for a downturn in online business, it's time to look at potential website issues.
Your site shouldn't be a slave to fashion, but there are design trends you can't ignore if you want to maintain a credible online presence. If your design was cutting edge three years ago, the chances are it's by now looking a little tired and past its best.
A quick spruce up and a little attention to cosmetics could make a surprising difference to customer perceptions and conversion rates.
Company branding evolves over time, and it's essential that a website keeps pace with any changes. If your brand has had a recent refresh, does your site reflect this? The jarring effect of online and offline brand mismatches will hurt conversions badly.
Poor Device Compatibility
No modern website should fail to render on any modern device. If your site falls apart on a smartphone or tablet, you're throwing away half of all web traffic before you even start.
Added to that, Google is now prioritising the mobile experience in its algorithm. If good search rankings form any part of your business strategy, wide device compatibility is an absolute essential.
Slow Page Loading
Page speed is another factor that contributes strongly to Google rankings. But even more importantly, slow websites turn customers off at an exponential rate. It's estimated that every extra second's delay in load time pushes conversions down by ten percent.
Unfortunately, most websites slow down as they age, whether this is because of feature bloat, inefficient database coding, or any number of other factors. Get into the habit of regularly measuring your load times, and take action if they start to drop off.
Lack of Features
However, don't sacrifice user experience enhancements in the name of speed. A modern website should fit in with a customer's preferences and not the other way around. If your site lacks modern User Experience (UX) features, such as easy cookie control or customisable search, it's probably time for a rethink.
If making your site friendlier slows it down by an unacceptable amount, it may be time to review your web hosting options.
Ease of Updates
Today's websites should be friendly for the administrator as well as the customer. If adding a new feature, product, or section is becoming increasingly complicated, it may be time to improve the underlying framework.
With today's technology, a website owner shouldn't need to speak to their developer to action every little change.
All else being equal, your search rankings should improve over time as your site gains authority, links, and repeat traffic. If your SEO efforts are no longer having a positive effect, you could be suffering from behind-the-scenes technical issues, which are damaging your ranks.
Consider arranging a full technical SEO audit to rule out or repair any problems, and to bring your site into line with what Google expects from a modern online business.
Popular websites tend to expand over time. However, adding a fresh article here and a new section there can quickly make things unmanageable. If your site's navigation has started to become unwieldy, consider revisiting its information architecture so that it can handle future expansion more easily.
No website maintains its success for long if it ignores changes in the online landscape. This needn't mean an expensive ground-up redesign every few months, but being alive to the signs of problems will let you tackle them as they arise.
Often, a revamp addressing specific issues will make a vital difference to your conversions and profits. And it'll cost much less than a complete overhaul that's become long overdue.
Do you feel like your website may need a revamp? Give us a shout for a free consultation.