Do you want the bad news first? Having a good looking website and a strong online presence is no longer optional, it’s a necessity.
People are busy and we’re also suckers for pretty things which has resulted in our attention spans being shorter than the memory of a goldfish. This is particularly true when it comes to how people interact and make buying decisions online. If your website is slow, hard to get around and crumbling at the sides then you are doing yourself out of business.
The good news is, that all of these problems are fixable with a website refresh. Kind of like walking out of the salon with fresh, light, radiating hair that has bounce and turns heads and just has you feeling good all round. Investing in your website will bring similar results: you will not only feel great but your customers will notice and compliment you on it. Let’s call it boosting confidence and boosting sales!
Here are 7 telltale signs that it’s time to consider a website refresh:
It doesn’t match your brand
Brands evolve over time and that’s a good thing. It generally means they’ve figured out their ‘why’ and have adapted their business model to attract their ideal customers or adjusted to a shift in the market. The downfall is that — more often than not — their website doesn’t reflect the new them; it doesn’t appeal to their ideal customers; it doesn’t function how it should; it doesn’t have the right features. Simply put, it’s not doing it for your brand or for your customers and you’re losing out on potential cash money!
It’s difficult to navigate
If your website hard to navigate your customers will lose interest, real quick. Having a visually beautiful site is only one component, clear and concise navigation is a must. Your customers are essentially relying on you to tell them what their user journey should be and how to navigate your site. Having clear call-to-action prompts on each page for what to do next will make the user get to what they’re looking for quicker and make the overall experience seamless and easy. Chances are, even if they don’t purchase from you the first time around, they will come back to your website again because you’ve provided a solution to their problem and made their life easier.
It’s not easy to edit and update
Websites have come a long way in how they perform and how the backend is managed. In today’s business climate it’s really important to stay relevant and up to date, this applies to your website as well. If your content management system (CMS) is outdated, clunky and you have to hire a developer to simply replace a picture or update a bit of text, then you’re making your busy life so much harder than it needs to be. The good news is, that there’s a growing number of reliable platforms that make web design easier to approach, and when you have a site that operates on a modern CMS you have a lot more control. Your website will be on point and your customers will notice and love you for it too.
It’s not responsive
Ie. it doesn’t work on mobile devices. This is a HUGE factor! Put simply, we live in a fast-paced, need-it-now, consumerist society (whether we like it or not) and a huge chunk of the population do most of their research and buying online and on the run. If your website scrambles when viewed on smaller devices, then you are losing out on a significant amount of enquiries and sales. (You can read more about responsive websites over here and I go into even more depth in my free planning resource, the Creative Entrepreneur Toolkit which you can download here.)
Your competitors have better sites
I’m guessing you’ve got a pretty solid idea on your industry/niche and who your competitors are? I’m also guessing you’ve snooped their websites and that there’s a bit of a trend with the features and functionality? I’m not one to follow trends as such but if you’re looking around and having website envy, or are finding that customers have started favouring the other guy, then I think it’s time to reassess where you’d like to be positioned in your industry.
Search engines aren’t finding it
The old SEO dilemma. If your website is old or wasn’t developed properly in the first place (i.e. you gave DIY a try or your neighbour’s design student cousin created it) then chances are it wasn’t developed and optimised with search engines in mind, which is kind of a big deal when it comes to websites. Search engines (Hi Google!) change their algorithms quite a bit but there are number of core traits that remain the same. A good web designer/developer knows what to look out for and will implement your design with that in mind, setting you up with a solid foundation from the beginning.
You have website shame
Answer these 3 questions honestly:
- Do you cringe when someone says they visited your website?
- Do you find yourself repeatedly saying that your website isn’t a true representation of your brand?
- Does your jaw clench when you’re trying to navigate your own website?
If you didn’t say ‘yes’ to any of these, then congratulations, you’re on the right path to business success. If you did say ‘yes’, then perhaps it’s time to factor a website refresh into your marketing plan?
So, my creative and ambitious friend, how did you fair and what are you going to do about it? If you website relates to even one of these points, then it’s a telltale sign you should start looking around, doing a bit of research and getting a feel of how you’d like your brand to be positioned and perceived.
Your website is an investment into the future success of your business and should be thought of in that way. If you’re having hesitations, a lot of professional designers are more than happy to jump on a consult call and have a chat about your goals and needs, even if they don’t end up being the right person for the job.
One thing you can’t do, though, is keep pushing such an important element of your business to the side because it will only keep getting worse and you will continue to keep missing out on potential business.
What is the biggest thing you struggle with when it comes to how your website functions? What’s the one big thing holding you back from updating your website? I’d love to hear your answers in the comments below!
Who is Rabble Rouse Creative?
Hey! I’m Kate Carman, a qualified Digital Designer and the namesake behind this multidisciplinary freelance design studio. I founded Rabble Rouse Creative with a rebellious spirit and a simple objective: to create intelligible and minimalist design concepts that help small businesses create big brands.
I'm passionate about empowering fellow creative freedom seekers with the knowledge, resources and inspiration to realise and achieve their business goals and dreams. You got this!