1) Age ain’t nothing but a number. Except when it comes to websites…
“My website’s only three years old” What the majority of business owners don’t understand is that websites tend to age more like dogs than humans. Compare it to your favourite clothing store. If you were to walk into an unchanged store three years after first falling in love with it, the clothing range would seem extremely dated. In the same way that your company and its services remain relevant and tailored, so should your website. It is, after all, your chief brand ambassador in the digital realm and its design, functionality and offerings need to evolve in conjunction with the company. Add to this that technology is changing fast and furiously in the way that we view and share online content and you’ve probably got yourself a site that at the very least needs a refresh.
If you don’t know what this word means relative to digital design, then you’ve come to the right place. Websites of old were created for browsers, on desktop computers. Over time, devices such as that smart phone in your pocket evolved and became a vital part of your digital presence. ‘Responsive design’ is basically web jargon meaning ‘your website’s ability to adapt to different devices and screen sizes’. This has gone from a ‘nice to have’ to a major priority because mobile web traffic now makes up 36% of e-commerce sales. So you’re potentially eliminating over 1/3 of your market if your site has a nervous breakdown on anything smaller than a 13-inch laptop.
Need a quick tool to check the responsiveness of your website?
3) Takes up half the screen
Continuing with the responsive design theme, if your website only takes up half your computer screen (sitting most likely in the top left corner) then you’re in desperate need of a new one. As a sign that your website is older than the interweb itself, this will never support any professional industry credibility and comes with a 99% chance that your products or services haven’t been updated since you started out some time ago. Another giveaway is needing a magnifying device to read a website’s size 9 font. If this sounds like you – not only is your site crying out to be updated design-wise, but you are paying for digital space which is essentially just going to waste.
4) So much text and a stock photograph
55% of visitors spend a ridiculous 15 seconds on a website before leaving – so snappy, attention-grabbing content is key. You need great design, intuitive navigation, links that beg to be clicked on and words that create the impression you want in seconds. If your customer has to read through reams of text he will get bored. If he can’t instantly see why you’re better than the competition he will check out the competition. It’s a tricky balance and one that most business owners struggle with. We can recommend a writer to you should you need help in that area.
But it’s not just about the words. Think about images, videos and other visually stimulating ways to represent your brand. We have a blog about visual data to help you. If you have to use ‘stock’ photography make sure you and your designer choose the images carefully. In some cases they can give a company a ‘fictitious feel’. Really? Those models in suits high-fiving near a window overlooking the New York skyline? That’s your high street office?
5) Google doesn’t know who I am
If you’re unable to find your company website on Google, how will anybody else? Occupying page 4 in a rather specific “Brixton Pet Shop and Vets” search isn’t going to get you a lot of traffic. If your customer spends 15 seconds on each site listed, it will take them 7.5 minutes to reach you on page 4, by which time their budgie has dropped dead from asphyxiation. Search engines play a vital role in bringing you new clientele as it’s how we search for products and services. Google optimization is arguably better than any referral or word of mouth. When we update your website, we’ll use the latest techniques and methods to ensure that Google notices your business.
6) Social media
Social media is an incredible way to build a relationship with your target market. It creates two-way communication where you get to know your customers, understand what they want from you and deliver. It will strengthen your brand and can add to your Google optimisation. Social media has become so important to consumers that if businesses don’t exist on it, it’s almost as if they don’t exist at all. So any credible website needs links back and forth to its social media channels, as well as feeds so that customers can share all your great content.
7) I like my competitor’s site better
Well that’s it then. You need a new website. Your understandable bias toward your own company has been over-ruled because your competitor’s website has effectively done its job. Which is to win you over. So if that’s what it does for you, imagine what it’s doing for your potential customers. Keep calm and read on…
We love taking old sites and making them sparkle again. So whether you need a full rebrand and new site, better optimisation, help with images and content or advice on social media just give us a call on 0208 530 1500 – we’d love to hear from you.