This is a question that most small business owners struggle with every 1-2 years. After all, a website redesign project is a big commitment, not only in dollars but also in time. Small business owners know that their website is an integral part of their business and reputation. An outdated website conveys many things to customers and prospects, usually none of them good.
Website technology and design move at breakneck speeds, so how do you know if it is time to upgrade your website?
Here are a few red flags that will signal you it's time to start your website redesign project.
1. Your website isn't mobile-friendly or mobile responsive
More and more people are using mobile devices to access the internet. Over half of searches are now done on mobile devices and Google will penalize your website's ranking on mobile searches if it isn't mobile friendly. More importantly, a mobile unfriendly website frustrates users who can't read or navigate your site.
Mobile-responsive website resize and shuffle your content so it is easily viewed on any sized device. To learn more about how this works read my blog on mobile-responsive web design.
2. Your website doesn't use a content management system or CMS.
Your business changes: employees come and go, products and services adapt to your customers' needs, you change your business address. Many of these minor or major changes need to be reflected on your website. Content Management Systems, like WordPress or Drupal, make it easy to change most of the content on your website. There's no need to understand or write code in order to make content edits or add new content.
3. Your website doesn't show up on search engines.
Sure, when you search for your company name on Google, it is the first result. (If not you really need a new website.) But how do you rank on the other 10 billion searches performed on Google each day. You want to have search ranking on the relevant keyword phrases for your business.
This, of course, doesn't come easily. It takes a well-designed and researched strategy: Who are your customers? What keywords or phrases are they searching for? What's missing from your current site? Good search engine rankings result from strong web development, well-planned strategy, on-going optimization and updated content (think blogs).
4. You don't know if your website is working for you.
Many CEOs think their website is nothing more than digital brochure. Without strong Calls-to-Action, forms and measurement tools built into the website, that is what it is just a video brochure. Tracking tools like Google Analytics measure the traffic on your website, which pages they visits, how long they stay. Other tools help you convert visitors to leads and ultimately customers, and track those interactions along the way.
5. Your content isn't relevant anymore or is all over the place.
"Nothing is constant but change." In order to be successful, your business must evolve. These changes in your business may reflect on your website in two different ways.
One is that it isn't shown on your website at all - You can't edit it yourself and you haven't contacted the web developer you haven't spoken to in years to make changes. Your business has moved forward but your website hasn't.
The second is that your site has grown without a plan. You just keep adding pages and pages until you've achieved site sprawl. Without a clear site map and easy navigation, visitors will become quickly confused and leave your site.
CharmLab is a New Hampshire based website development and inbound marketing agency. Contact us for a free assessment of your website, social media and online strategy.