A website is the center-point of digital marketing strategy and often the first-impression a new visitor will have on an organization. Unfortunately, simply having a web-presence is no longer enough. The average lifespan of a well-designed website is 3 to 7 years, however time alone should not be the only indicator that it is time for a website redesign. There are many other factors to consider. Here are 7 key symptoms of an aging website:
1. It Doesn’t Work Well on Mobile Devices.
If your website doesn’t look good on mobile, it’s not helping you. According to SimilarWeb’s State of Mobile Web US 2015 report, roughly 56 percent of consumer traffic to the leading US websites is now from mobile devices. The world has gone mobile, and you don’t want to lose potential visitors because you were slow to adapt to mobile browsing trends.
2. Your Website is Difficult To Navigate.
We live in a time of instant gratification. This means, if a website visitor lands on a site and cannot easily find what they are looking for, it is fairly certain they will quickly leave. A website’s navigation should be well organized, content clearly understandable and containing call-to-actions to help guide visitors.
Take a step-back and look at your website through your users eyes – what are your first impressions? Can you find what you are looking for? Do your pages include call-to-action buttons to keep visitors moving through the site? Make sure you haven’t created any dead-ends and are able to find the information you are looking for within a few clicks.
3. Outdated Design Elements.
A visitor likely will give a website a 2-3 second chance before deciding if they will stay or leave. One of the worst and most common mistakes companies make on websites are using blurry or “cheesy” photos. This screams “unprofessional” and usually deems a website as “untrustworthy”, causing visitors to quickly flee. In fact, according to a study by ResearchGate, 94% of people say that websites with good designs are more trustworthy.
Websites have evolved quite a bit over the last few years. Many organizations are moving toward a clean design with easy navigation. Some other outdated design elements to steer clear of include, scrolling text, animated gifs, narrow, templated websites, hard to read fonts, overuse of color on a dark background – any of these signs are a clear indication it is time for a website redesign.
4. Your Search Engine Rankings Are Low.
Did you know that 93% of online experiences start with a search engine? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an incredibly important factor in building a digital presence. It has become crucial web design firms consider SEO while redesigning websites.
There are many different ways Google rewards businesses by “following their rules” by creating optimized sites. For example, Google’s 2015 and 2016 algorithm updates now require websites to be mobile-friendly, so if a website is older, it might not support an easy transition to mobile. Organizations can also increase their ranking by using relevant keywords, updating website content, keeping page sizes reasonable and more. The list goes on, proving a website redesign is a great way to improve a website’s search ranking.
5. It’s Slow.
Speaking of SEO, page load speed is more important than ever. Google has officially said that it is a ranking factor, pushing the idea of “great user experience” and lists page load speed as one of the top factors. According to KISSmetrics, 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, and 40% of people will abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. Don’t let slow load times make you miss out on an opportunity to educate a new visitor.
6. You Don’t Have a Content Management System.
If you need to call a developer every time you need to make a simple text change or update to your website, it’s time for a website redesign. There are a lot of content management systems (CMS) on the market today to fit your organization’s needs. With a CMS, you’re in control. An updated CMS will allow your organization to easily access the backend of your website where you’re able to make content or image edits in a text editor, with little to no html knowledge.
7. Your Website Does Not Speak To Your Brand.
Organizations evolve over the years, which means messaging that may have worked on your website in previous years may no longer be relevant. Your website is one of your most important business assets. It is the center of your online marketing efforts and in many cases, where many first-time visitors will gain their first impression of your organization. If your website hasn’t been updated in over 5-6 months, it’s very possible your content could be outdated.