Stop for a moment and think: when was the last time your business website was updated? Better yet, when was the last time you even looked at your site? Was GeoCites a thing when you designed your site?
When the Internet was first taking off in the 90’s, simply having a business website put you ahead of the curve. Nowadays, it’s not enough. A good website is accessible on any device, easy to navigate and keeps the consumer’s attention from the first moment he or she lands on the home page.
There’s no doubt that designing a business website is a massive project to take on, but once it’s finished, many business owners upload it and forget about it, especially if the site isn’t set up for e-commerce. What they don’t realise is that their website is their first line of digital marketing, and if people don’t know about or want to visit your business website, they probably won’t visit your store either.
But why go so far as to redesign the whole thing? Read on if you need a little extra convincing.
The design is not responsive
In recent years, online activity has dramatically shifted from the traditional browser on a PC or Mac to the app of mobile browser. New technology, such as smartphones and tablets, have made it easier for web surfers to simply open an app, do a quick search and find what they’re looking for. Unfortunately, not all sites can be viewed on one of these mobile devices.
So what is a responsive design? Basically, it’s the certain coding and styling of a website so that it is accessible across all media platforms. That means one business website is designed for browsers on laptops, phones, tablets, and any other device, rather than creating different websites for each device.
Google tends to prefer these sites because they only need to be catalogued once, so the search engine pushes them further up in the results. With responsive design, your site will have a search engine optimisation (SEO) advantage over its competitors who haven’t quite gotten on board yet.
Not Optimised for SEO
Take a moment and Google your company’s name or “business type, city it’s in” (i.e. shoe stores, Sydney). Does your business website pop up within the first few search results? If not, then your site is definitely not SEO-friendly. If you don’t think that matters, remember that about 70 percent of people do not click past the first page, and an estimated 33 percent of search results traffic goes straight to the first site listed.
SEO incorporates several different aspects of web design geared towards pushing a site to the top of search results. With a combination of responsive web design, a healthy link profile and frequent updates to the site (such as a blog post every week), your site will slowly climb its way higher and higher in search results.
It all starts with a well-designed business website.
It’s impossible to navigate
When was the last time you really tried to navigate around your business website? Do you know how to find your contact information or your store hours? How long is the checkout process and does it flow well?
One of the biggest turn-offs for users is a site that is impossible to navigate. If consumers can’t find what they’re looking for, they will take their business to a website that is easier to use. Ask your family and friends to visit your site and click around. You can also find free downloadable programs and websites that will allow you to upload pages of your site and get real feedback from consumers.
The business website looks dated
Like fashion and architecture, some fads go out of style. Does your site still have background music that plays whenever someone lands on the home page? Are you using Flash instead of HTML 5? Consumers can certainly notice when your site looks like it was designed ten years ago, and that’s enough to make customers second-guess themselves before buying from you.
The fact is that an out-of-date business website hurts your credibility. If consumers think you’re website looks questionable and out-of-date, they’ll take their business elsewhere and find someone with a trustworthy website.
It needs a little more functionality
If you’re not interacting with your business website on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis, your customers probably aren’t either. Give them a reason to keep coming back by adding new functional features to your site.
[twittee tweet=”A blog is a great way to get people to visit your site often #digitalmarketing #contentmarketing @geetztweetz” content=”A blog is a great way to get people to visit your site often” balloon=”Click link to tweet!” position=”topMiddle” theme=”light” id=”sg01″ ], and forums allow for conversation among consumers. With both features, you get the chance to interact with them and show yourself as an expert in the field. Adding an e-commerce feature also gives consumers a reason to visit your business website again and again.
All three features will require a massive redesign and should be handled by an expert, who will also ensure the site is still easy to navigate even with the new design. After all, if you’re really committed to these changes, then you might as well get them done right the first time.
Your bounce rate is high
A bounce rate is the number of people who click into your site and then almost immediately click out. They might have closed the browser entirely or perhaps they realized your site does not offer what they needed.
Sometimes you can’t help this. Maybe that user had to leave for work or they decided to go to bed. [twittee tweet=”#Blogging and updating your #content are the best ways to try and combat a high bounce rate. #marketing @geetztweetz” content=”Blogging and updating your content are the best ways to try and combat a high bounce rate.” balloon=”Click link to tweet!” position=”topMiddle” theme=”light” id=”sg02″ ] You at least stand the chance of keeping your audience engaged so there’s another reason to redesign your site for a blog.
A little change is good for you
Take one last look at your site and think back to what your company was like when it was first designed. Maybe you were in a smaller location with only one other employee and now you’ve got a larger store and double the amount of employees.
[twittee tweet=”Your site needs to reflect your growth and the changes of your company #webdesign @geetztweetz” content=”Your site needs to reflect your growth and the changes of your company” balloon=”Click link to tweet!” position=”topMiddle” theme=”light” id=”sg03″ ]. Is your copyright date still 2009? Is the address even correct? These details might look minor to you, but your customers are definitely going to notice. If they can’t find updated information on you, they probably won’t waste their time and instead go right to a competitor.