We live in a highly digitalized world. Since the advent of the dot.com era, businesses have never before been as close to consumers than today. Nor has man been able to connect and communicate across miles, oceans and across geopolitical boundaries. The exponential growth of the number of Websites available today – numbering hundreds of millions if not billions – followed what has been perceived as the internet explosion.
Businesses of all manners, sizes and niches all have perceived the intrinsic value of the internet and the potential of harnessing that value by opening-up through the incorporation of an internet-based platform; the website. Websites nowadays plays a crucial rule by being an enterprise’s window to the internet world. A website is the digital storefront of an ecommerce, brand or enterprise. Simply put, a company’s website is its virtual head office – mirrored representation aside from the physical address or brick-and-mortar store or shop that it maintains.
The problem arises when those businesses, when they have their own website stops and sits idle waiting for the magic of the internet to happen. Having your website is just the baby steps. You still need to continuously change and embrace the changes that are happening on the digital frontier. There is truth in the old adage that the only thing constant in this world (and in the digital world) is change.
Part of the often-repeated mistake of sitting idly when one has a website already is the half-fact half-truth that a website is forever in the digital world. While that much is true, however, a lot has changed since the beginning of the internet age. Today, more than a billion websites reside in the ethereal world that we now know as the internet. And because a lot has changed, you should grow too with the changing tides of the internet age.
Enough with proselytizing. We know you get the message. So you’re in a business and you have your website built and maintained (in the best possible way you can given what you or your website administrator knows) for many years now. Have you ever thought of knowing your conversion rates lately? Or have you checked your website traffic? Have you ever known that you can check your website’s visitors (or traffics) by checking your site’s analytics? Ok, those might be too technical for mere mortals (pun intended) but on a basic level, have you lately checked the functionalities of your website such as links to your site, online forms, contact details, and other basic functions? If you haven’t, chances are your website is lagging behind or worst, left behind by your competitors!
When this happens, you are in need of revamping your website and fast!
Why The Need To Revamp Your Website?
When basic functionalities, links and plug-ins are not working according to its uses or when your website design are seemingly looks dry or dated then its time for your website for a makeover! As earlier told, your website is your mirror to your clients, customers and contacts – it says much as how you look with the digital consumers. For brands, a website is the online soul of your brand and given the permissive impact of the internet to our daily lives, you should never let your guard down. Hmmm, not to mention for thousand, if the hundreds of thousands of competitors vying for the attention of online consumers, it is a must to stay updated if not lead the online competition.
Why revamp, indeed? If you are entertaining that question or you are having doubts whether your website is updated and ready to face the future, then this article is for you.
Since the beginning of the digital era, website owners are pounded with the question of to revamp or not to revamp (alluding to the infamous words of the immortal Shakespeare in his tragedy work, Hamlet). While many brands and businesses across niches have created their own digital presence, few have given thought of the need to continually adopt changes, much less proactively manage and maintain their online presence to help deliver maximum results. This seemingly lack of interest or the time to update can potentially result in diminishing (or outward loss) of online visitors or traffic, low or zero leads conversion into actual sales and fundamentally, lost of reputation and trust to the target online audience.
As your brand or ecommerce’s digital head office or digital storefront, your website should be flawless as it gets, efficient, easy to use and easy to navigate. With the advent of customers experience and the high value search engines give to such sites that can provide the best user experience (much so with Google’s recent algorithmic change know as the Hummingbird), websites cannot afford to fail in providing the best user experience for digital users and online searchers. Bluntly, if your website fails to impress and provide the optimum user experience, online traffic falls and with that you would be missing out with potential clients or customers, missing out potential conversions and sales and potentially causing your business’s online failure.
Below are some signs that your website badly needs a revamp. While some of the signs here are rather obvious than others, you need think and analyze these signs and work with your website administrator. If neither you nor your site admin have the needs skills to know for sure, it’s time for you to seek answers from a reputable company that does website development and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to give you answers.
So, is it time to revamp your company’s website? Here are 10 signs that your website needs a much-needed revamp:
1. Your website’s homepage is overcrowded.
One of the very common misconceptions of website development is the perceived need to shove all the details about what you are, what you do, and what you offer to online users. Imagine a huge chunk of cake being shoved down to your throat. Not good right? Not to mention rather unsightly! A website’s homepage is how you welcome your online users to your website (that’s why some calls it a “Welcome page”). Many website owners are tempted to put as much information as possible in their homepage thinking that if they prominently display those information users would readily buy their product, subscribe to their newsletter, or check their services. Unfortunately, that does not hold water. The hard truth is that you have only a few seconds to get your website’s visitors’ attention. That said, what you say on your homepage – the content, if we may, must be brief and concise capture the interest of a website visitor.
Put yourself on a user’s shoes. Would you rather read anything and everything before seeing what you ready need to? Online searchers now are of an impatient nature. They don’t need you to put all the nuts and bolts just to introduce your brand or website. Your homepage should succinctly communicate your brand’s core values and subtle state what sets you apart from your competitors. Let the other landing pages of your website showcase supplementary details that an online user may find relevant to their searches.
2. Your website is not mobile-friendly.
The mobile era has invaded taking over desktop searches. People of today are more into using their mobile phones in a lot of ways other than texting and calling. Smartphones, tablets and phablets are becoming more and more powerful and people on the go are using these devices on a more arcane ways such as mobile banking, hotel bookings and reservations, searches, emailing and others that are not what it used to be. The growth of mobile users are phenomenal. In a study released by We Are Social, for January 2016 there are 3.790 billion unique mobile users world-wide.
Where before such mobile devices are just for the tech-savvy, now it has played a crucial role for people on the go and has mainstreamed penetrating a huge number of the world’s population.
Today, a significant percentage of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. Given this, website owners and webmasters must make sure that their website appears clean and can be navigated using different platforms. This much is true with the Google’s Mobile-friendly algorithm that gives preferential rank boost for those websites that are mobile-friendly. If you’ve missed out with this, you better check this article and this one too about mobile-friendliness. Simply put, mobile-friendly websites are in, not friendly are out!
3. Your website contain features that are idle.
Caught in the aftermath of the digital explosion, brands and companies hit it running when building their website. Then, building and launching websites were very common without necessarily knowing which features are essential and which are redundant or outright unnecessary. Quite commonly, brands just launch websites just so they present a workable website thus establishing their online presence. Truth is, certain pages in their websites are just redundancy. Certain webpages, features, and functions that may have been useful before might not be that important or needed now. When did you last review your website’s pages? Do find areas in your website that seems to be wasted areas? If that is the case, then this is the time opportune time for you need to remove and revamp your website.
4. Your website uses small, pixelated and disproportionately sized images.
A picture is worth a thousand words. It offers website owners the chance to convey thought, tell what a product is and what it does without necessarily telling a lot with mere words. But how would it conveniently tell those if the images you use are small, pixelated, blurred or not proportionate with the over-all design of your website. We humans are visually oriented. We process thoughts and ideas faster if we see imagery. Images might be a short video clip, graph, photo of product or anything in between.
Poor visuals tells your online viewer that you don’t give a thought of how you present yourself to your viewer. It tells of sloppiness and uncaring nature of your brand. You do not want this, right. In general, online viewers want to see genuine imagery that can show them what your product really looks like, how it is used, or how your services work.
Remember, the images of your brand are your way to communicate in a personal level and build your reputation digitally. Online viewers would rather opt to see how your office looks like, how you work in real life scenarios, or how your products look rather than an seeing a cold and abstract stock photo that other brands or companies world-wide may use.
5. Contacting you is not easy.
At first glance this may seem trivial to you but you’d be surprised to know that a lot of online customers and even searchers want to see your contact details prominently displayed. If you’re an ecommerce website or a service-oriented website, displaying your phone number is a must for your website. Remember, people nowadays are always on the go and they use mobile devices. Displaying your contact number prominently enables them to contact you directly when they need to. Aside from this, your potential clients and customers feel more secure when they see that there is a way for them to contact you when they did to ask questions, making a purchase, or speak if they need to speak to a your customer service representative regarding the product or service they’re interested with.
6. The use of your website has changed.
When you launched a website, your purpose might be different than what you intend to be now. A website’s features and functions necessarily adapt with the changing times. An example of this scenario might be your website’s purpose when it was launched was to simply tell your existence to the digital world and display information about your products or services. Now, you might need to evolve from an informative website into an ecommerce site. When this need arises, you need to revamp your website and at the same time rebrand to make an optimal use of your existing website.
7. Your website’s bounce rate is high.
The bounce rate of a website or page is the percentage of each web session (the amount of time spend on a website or page) or each page visits. The longer they stay on your website or website’s page the lower your bounce rate and the better your website (or site page) is. Google’s Analytics is an indispensable tool that you can use which calculates and reports your website’s or site’s pages bounce rate. A bounce rate of 75% or higher means that you have a problem and that you are not keeping the attention of your online viewers or searchers. A high bounce rate is a loud wake-up call for website owners and web admin. A simply way of knowing bounce rate is by checking with Google’s Analytics (it’s free!). When was the last time you’ve check your Analytics? If you haven’t, it’s a red flag and you need to address the potential issues causing your site’s high bounce rate.
8. Your website’s loading speed is slow.
Have experienced visiting a website and suddenly because it takes like forever to load the page you’re visiting? Annoying and frustrating, right? Page loading is actually a ranking factor for Google. A fast page load gives a better user experience hence Google favors those that provide excellent user experience by an increase on page ranks on SERPs.
Time and again we reiterate that people nowadays live in a fast paced world. People are always on the go and the attention span of people is going shorter and shorter each passing day. Every second is precious and you don’t want to annoy people visiting your site by a page loading for like forever! You must find and resolve all underlying issues why your website’s loading page is slow to take your website’s full potentials and increase your ROI.
9. Your website have broken links and hard to navigate.
While website speed is essential, it offers no solace if when your online users click a link and find themselves at a dead end. Worst, when online visitors visit your site, they cannot navigate freely and cannot see your pages. Your website pages should be constructed logically wherein visitors can easily see where the links would lead them and what it contains. It’ll be much helpful if a search feature is installed on a visit to better help online visitors navigate the pages of and content of your website. This much is true for websites that contain many information and details like an ecommerce website.
10. No update since launching.
Last but not the least is when you launched a website and totally forget about it. News you have uploaded in 2010 might not be relevant or important in 2016. Contact details, email address, telephone or physical address might have changed and it should be reflected on your website. Remember, a lot have changed and is continuously changing in the digital frontier. Your website should reflect the necessary changes it needs to have. Your overall design must appeal to the present, your layout should be fresh and updated, news and blogs new and updated regularly, images are new and reflective of the current times.
Revamping your website is a worthwhile investment that you need to undergo. Nothing can succinctly state the need for a website revamp than that.
Revamping your website is one of the most important and powerful things you can do future-proof your digital presence. In a nutshell, a website is an indispensable communication and marketing tool that can help you leverage the power of the internet towards your advantage.