The modern web moves very fast. What could be cutting edge one day, completely reinventing the wheel, could be old hat by the next. In an age where six second videos are the entertainment choice of many, attention spans have never been shorter and trends have never been and gone quicker.
That’s why it’s always important to make sure your website doesn’t get left behind.
An outdated website can lose you money. It’s a simple truth: people are less inclined to open their wallets on archaic websites that are less than pretty on the eye. A simple, functional website might have sufficed ten years ago when even Amazon were playing it safe, but in the modern world of eCommerce and selling your services online, it could be be harming your reputation in 2016.
If you’re reticent to change your website designs because you think it can still do the job, here are nine worrying signs that mean it could be time to change your mind.
1. Not mobile-friendly
If your visitors have to jump through hoops to navigate your website on mobile devices, it’s far less easy that they’re going to arrive at that crucial point in the customer journey: purchasing your products. Not only can a non-mobile friendly website turn away potential customers, it can also persuade them to seek out your competitors.
Not only can an unresponsive website damage your profits, but it can also see you getting penalised in mobile rankings in search engines. When the majority of search traffic comes from mobile devices, you’re effectively shooting yourself in the foot by not bringing your website up to modern standards.
2. Falling rankings
Although having an unresponsive website damaging your mobile rankings was just alluded to, having a poorly optimised design can also hamper your overall search efforts. Google have publicly said that sites with messy code will be looked at less favourably, so streamlining your design is key.
A drop in rankings can be the killing blow for most small businesses with traffic drying up as a result, creating less conversions and, ultimately what’s important, revenue. Contact web marketing professionals for an evaluation on why your website is suffering and how best to improve rankings once the redesign is in place.
3. High bounce rates
A bounce rate is a percentage based on how many people visit a page on your website without visiting others, hence “bouncing”. Although this could be a sign of visitors finding all the information they need on one page, it’s more than likely the case that they were dissatisfied with what they found.
The longer a visitor stays on your website, the better. Studies show that two-minute long sessions are enough for most visitors to make a decision on a purchase, show ensure that you hold their attention by having a website designed with ease of use in mind.
4. It’s slow
In the modern day when most people can have access to all the information they need in a matter of seconds, visitors are more impatient than ever when it comes to site speed. If your website takes longer than two seconds to initially load, there’s a high chance that they could exit without even having the chance to see what you have to offer.
Older websites with outdated code can be a real drag on load times, so if you find that you have a huge exit rate, you might need to talk to someone about getting a redesign. If you don’t want to wait around for a slow website to load, why would your customers?
5. Your competitors are racing ahead
If you had the choice between buying products from a business with a sleek, modern website or one that hardly inspires confidence, would you honestly opt for the latter? When people search for products online, they not only compare prices from different providers, but they also judge based on aesthetics. An outdated website can reflect badly on your public image.
With competition between businesses online now being fiercer than ever, don’t hamstring yourself by still operating with an outdated design. If you’re losing ground, check out what your competitors have done with their website and see if there’s any inspiration you can take from them.
6. It uses Flash
What was once the staple choice for many websites is now the thing that is pulling them down. Adobe Flash has been phased out slowly over the past five years or so, but there are still those that cling to it – don’t let your website be one of the many that are being damaged because of an outdated technology.
With the advent of HTML5, Flash is almost completely obsolete. Worse still, visitors being forced to install the latest version of it to even access your content is a detriment to the user experience, harming your retention rates and, most likely, potential revenue. Drop Flash as soon as you can and redesign to something contemporary.
7. It looks its age
Even if charmingly old and unfashionable design can work wonders for some businesses, it’s more than likely to keep you stuck in the past. To stay ahead of the game, you have to keep with the times. Just look at the likes of Facebook and Amazon: they are always incrementally changing their designs to adapt with trends.
If you look at your website and can honestly say that it looks contemporary, you might want to seek a second opinion – it can be too easy for us to take a blinkered view of something we are invested in. Those that can spot weaknesses in their websites and act on them are those that get ahead and stay ahead.
9. Updating it is a pain
Content management systems are so popular for modern publishers and business owners because they allow almost anyone to create content and update designs. Sure, it takes some time to learn the ins and outs, but it’s certainly a lot quicker than mastering CSS, HTML, JS, and so on.
Does it take you far longer than it should to make the most basic of changes on your website? It could be time to opt for a redesign and one that leans on the plus points of a CMS. WordPress is the undisputed king of content management systems, but you’re spoiled for choice if you’re in the market.
10. It’s a poor reflection on your business status
Claiming that your business is at the forefront of its industry while you have a website that looks like it belongs in 2002 is a quick way to earn ridicule. Your website might have been able to back up those claims when it was first made, but it’s going to do more harm than good for your reputation nowadays.
During periods of growth, many businesses make the decision to contemporise their website to match the success. If you want to see your website succeed, it’s essential that you upgrade it as the business progresses as a whole.