With the British economy slowly on the rise, it is a good time to look at your existing website with a critical eye to see whether it needs a refresh to take advantage of the improving climate.
Quite often a website becomes an afterthought once the site finally goes live. However, for prospective customers it is often the first thing that they’ll see representing your business, so it’ll be anything but an afterthought for them.
Here are 7 reasons why the time may be ripe for a site refresh in 2016
1. On-page time is low
A useful analytics package like Google Analytics can confirm how long each visitor stays on each page and on the site overall. This information can be illuminating because it provides insight into how effective both the design and the existing content are being currently.
When tracking a website over time, it’s possible to see if the picture is worsening with site visitors becomes less engaged with the website over time. This would show up as a gradually declining on-page and on-site time statistics on the analytics package.
A site redesign and new content can do wonders for the amount of interest it generates with new visitors who may then be more encouraged to place an order or get in touch to discuss what services you can offer.
2. High bounce rate
The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who arrive on a page and never bother to visit another page before leaving the website altogether. A high bounce rate indicates that the visitors are not feeling connected with the design of the site and its message, which leads them to not wish to explore the site.
A high bounce rate can also be caused by other factors, like slow web hosting, a site with too many non-optimised graphics which causes the website to load more slowly, or an old fashioned design that is a turn-off.
3. Uninspired or old fashioned design
Just like with magazines and book publications, designs change and modernise over time. It is very easy to spot an old design that hasn’t been updated in several years. A web design that looks like it is several years old makes it appear that the company behind the website doesn’t really care about looking their best, or worse still, that they’re gone out of business.
Web design techniques have changed enormously over the last 2-3 years. There are many exciting new ways to present information to an audience in a more digestible manner that can engage visitors and turn more of them into customers.
4. Site conversion rate is poor
A website’s conversion rate means the percentage of people who visit and buy something versus those people who visit and leave without becoming customers. Conversion rates in many cases are only a few percentage points, but huge strides can be made using modern techniques to make it easier for visitors to find the information they’re looking for and convert them into buyers.
A/B split testing can be performed to look at two different designs and determine which one persuades more visitors to become customers. With an older site, it is not even worth performing this type of site testing because quite often the site is so poor that the money is better spent first on replacing the existing site with something attractive and modern.
5. You seem uncertain when asked for your website address
One telltale sign that you know your website needs to be refreshed or completely replaced is when you are asked for your website address and this causes any degree of hesitation.
Your website should be a professional representation of your business and the products and/or services you can offer your customers. A website needs to be its own sales team where it’s able to convert visitors into buyers through smart design and effectively funnel visitors through the buying decision process to reach a satisfactory conclusion.
6. Your website is unreadable on smartphones or tablets
Over half of all visitors to a website now access it using their mobile devices. They may look at the website on their laptop when they get home later, but it is quite possible that they’ll take a quick look on their mobile device first.
Your website must have a responsive design which adjusts the layout of the site to look presentable and easily readable on any device, from a 4-inch smartphone right up to a massive iPad Pro.
7. The website is not showing up in search engines
Effective search engine optimisation methods are needed to help ensure that the content of every web page for your site can be found easily on the Google, Yahoo and Bing search engines.
With a refreshed website with improved content that includes search terms that prospective visitors are actually using to look for suitable websites, it is more likely that the site will show up in Google’s listings. It is very possible that an older design has been put together so poorly that it is making the website less prominent on the web because the pages cannot be indexed successfully. This would mean that some pages cannot even be read and added to Google’s vast index of web pages.
With a website refresh, it is possible to make better use of your online presence by connecting better with visitors, converting more visitors into buyers, and attracting first-time visitors back to the site several times. Off The Peg Design is here to help nervous clients who wish to refresh or replace their existing website but are unsure what to do next. Please get in touch!