is-it-time-for-a-website-makeover

8 Critical Reasons to Update Your Website

I’m sure you’ve been on the hunt for a specific product or service and have come across a website that looked old and stale.

What did you feel in your gut when you landed on it? What was your first impression?

I’m guessing it wasn’t good, and I’d also bet you didn’t buy anything.

Much like your wardrobe, websites need to be freshened up from time to time. That doesn’t mean that you need to completely overhaul everything, but many business owners don’t spend enough time keeping their most important marketing tool up to date.

Here are 8 reasons you may want to consider a website makeover:

#1: It doesn’t make a good first impression.

That starter online business you built a few years back may be out of date now or come across as unprofessional looking by today’s standards.

You only have a few seconds to impress your visitors, so having a site that is appealing, engaging and professional is a must.

Creating a fresh look and feel for your online business is a smart investment that will definitely pay off sooner rather than later. A more polished look can also help you attract and retain a higher level of clientele or reach a new target audience.

#2: Your competition looks much better.

You should have analyzed your competition as part of your business plan and should also be doing so on an ongoing basis as part of your marketing efforts.

When you take a look at your competitors, are you relieved because you know your site is amazing, or are you blown away by how much more professional theirs looks?

Your potential clients are comparison shopping. The Internet makes it so easy for people to compare before buying, putting the burden on you to keep your web pages inviting and easy to navigate.

Notice how we set up one of our client’s sites for easy navigation and incorporated their brand colour into the headings and buttons. When you land on genieseniorservices.ca, you’ll quickly find what you’re looking for, without having to scroll through pages of content or puzzle over menu items. We can’t say the same for their competitors!

Genie Senior Downsizing Services

#3: Your sales are suffering.

There are so many reasons you may be losing out on leads or sales, so you can’t automatically think it’s a visual issue if you’re not getting conversions.

That said, oftentimes a poor layout and content is what’s keeping you from converting visitors into loyal customers. A report by Stanford found that three-quarters of people judge a company by their web design.

People aren’t going to buy from you if they don’t trust you. How you present your business to the world matters.

#4: You haven’t updated your tech.

If your site was built in WordPress or using a different content management system (CMS), you have to upgrade to the latest version of the software.

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Similarly, if you have an old shopping cart system (open source or a purchased system) that isn’t maintained by a web developer, you’re opening up your site—and your reputation—to hackers.

By continuously installing the latest security patches, you can stop hackers from infiltrating your site and causing chaos.

The more secure you make your web pages, the better protected against data breaches you are. This safeguards not only your info, but your customers’ info. It also keeps cybercriminals from sending spam or installing viruses via your server.

#5: It’s not mobile-friendly.

According to Statista, mobile now accounts for approximately half of web traffic worldwide. If your site isn’t mobile friendly, it could be costing you leads and sales.

A website redesign can ensure your online business is smartphone- and tablet-friendly, with a responsive design that is a breeze to navigate no matter the size of the screen your visitor is on.

#6: You’ve changed your focus.

It’s natural for businesses to shift over time, as you develop new products and services, target new demographics or learn from your mistakes.

Your target market should be the driving force behind what your web pages look like, and it should also influence the kind of content you offer. Your website makeover may include a new look and feel to match your changing marketing plan.

Don’t forget things like incorporating updated credentials into your bio, adding new employee info or changing contact info after a move.

#7: It’s time to declutter.

Over time, sites can become complicated, jumbled and less effective.

Just like it’s a good idea to go through your closet and get rid of things you don’t wear anymore, it’s beneficial to keep your web pages lean and clean.

An improved site structure is great for SEO (search engine optimization). A website redesign can really improve your architecture, image and page names, content and meta tags so that everything is more SEO friendly.

Not only that, but your customers will appreciate the better user experience a simpler layout and navigation provides. They’ll more easily find what they’re looking for without being confused or distracted.

Check out how real estate platform Zillow seamlessly offers people four options on their homepage: enter info into the search box, buy, sell or rent. The navigation is eye-catching yet basic enough to keep visitors focused.

Zillow

#8: Social media functionality is lacking.

If your site was built a few years ago, you might not be optimally set up to connect with customers on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Adding social sharing buttons allows readers to share your content, which increases brand awareness and visibility plus SEO. Another benefit: you can instantly share offers and deals with customers who are ready to buy.

At eVision, we love our social sharing buttons! They pop up on the left-hand side of our blog articles as well as under the date to make it almost effortless for people to share valuable content.

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There are so many advantages to doing a website redesign. An improved look and feel is more likely to convert visitors into customers, Google loves freshly updated pages for SEO, hackers aren’t as likely to get into your server…the list goes on and on!

Don’t neglect your brand’s appearance online!

Putting the time and energy into properly maintaining your web pages does make a difference—to your business, brand and customers.

Originally published here.