Most small business owners don’t even think about updating their website until something goes terribly wrong.
A lot of people just treat their website like a digital business card and don’t really consider how much it impacts their digital marketing. To them, redesigning a website will seem like a frivolous exercise that will cost a lot of money. But if you haven’t realized yet how important your website is to your business, that may mean that it’s not really doing its job properly.
Most designers recommend revamping websites every 2 to 3 years. That might be a good idea if you want to keep your site looking fresh and modern. But to say it’s necessary would be an exaggeration. After the 5-year mark though, it may start looking dated as new design trends become more popular.
These are all rough estimates though. If you want some clearer signs that your site needs to be updated, check out this list:
- Site traffic is dropping
- You’re having trouble ranking pages
- You’re not consistently generating leads
- It looks dated and not as slick as your competitors’ sites
- It doesn’t look great on smartphones and tablets
- The site takes forever to load
- Website security is an issue
- You plan on revamping your brand image
- Your branding and messaging has already changed considerably
- Your business is changing direction
- It was created using a website builder that’s hard to customize
If you pay a lot of attention to how your website performs, you can take the lessons you’ve learned from your existing website and use it to improve your next one.
Your website is the foundation of your online presence and where all your digital marketing efforts will point to. If it doesn’t leave a good impression on your visitors and prospects, you’ll lose a lot of great business opportunities. This means you should always be looking for ways to improve it to maximize its potential.
You should also get as much feedback from different people as possible. Listen to what people are saying about your business and your site. Use the data from your analytics to better understand how people feel about your site. Ask your team members and business associates what they think about your site.
If you’re still not sure whether or not you should update your site, let’s take a look at some key benefits a complete site overhaul can give you.
Improved SEO performance
A website redesign gives you the opportunity to implement all the SEO best practices you’ve learned so far all in one go. Search engines are always evolving and many of the SEO strategies you’re using on your current site are probably negatively affecting your search rankings if it hasn’t been updated in the last couple of years.
With a redesigned website, you can:
- Fix all the broken links
- Update all your metadata
- Get rid of low quality backlinks
- Optimize your content strategy using your top performing pages
- Remove duplicate content
- Improve the user interface
- Optimize the URL structure
- Integrate more third party SEO tools
You won’t have to settle for workarounds or incrementally improve SEO by implementing changes piece by piece. As long as you have a good site migration plan that prioritizes SEO, your rankings will only go up with a redesign.
Faster Loading Times
Improving site speed is crucial if you want to deliver a great user experience. If you can deliver your content instantly even if your users are using spotty mobile Internet or older devices that can’t render pages quickly, you’re going to see an increase in the average time users spend on your site and lower bounce rates. All this affects your search rankings since search engines will see that your site is providing valuable information as more and more visitors stay on your site.
Aside from updating your website visuals, a redesign will allow you to streamline your code and get rid of unnecessary or buggy scripts and plugins that are bogging down your site’s performance.
Websites that haven’t been updated in a long while and still use older frameworks and plugins are more vulnerable to cyber attacks. Hackers already know all the vulnerabilities of older technology and can easily exploit them whenever they want.
When you update your website, you can build it up using the latest frameworks and web development best practices, or the latest version of your preferred CMS (Content Management System). You’ll also be able to get rid of outdated plugins and themes that are no longer supported, and are more vulnerable targets for hackers.
Get a Modern Look and Improve Your User Interface
For every slick, modern, and cutting edge website you find on the internet, there are hundreds of outdated sites that are ignored by both the owners and the general public.
Technology moves quickly, particularly in the world of web design, and it’s important to be on top of modern design principles to keep your financial services site competitive. If you’ve grown to love your site’s current design, making you resistant to the idea of change, there are always ways to make it look more up to date while keeping the elements that you love.
If your website looks like it was made more than a decade ago, people might get the impression that your business is not really a thriving success.
Even older people are becoming more tech savvy and can tell whether your website is up to date just by comparing it to the popular websites and apps they visit daily. Millennials and younger generations are even more sensitive to how good different software and digital platforms look and feel. So when it comes to your digital storefront, you shouldn’t leave anything to chance. You have to make sure you’re not inadvertently losing potential clients and customers just because it looks old and clunky.
Better Mobile Compatibility
Redesigning an outdated website to make it more mobile friendly will make a huge difference on its traffic and conversion rate. Let’s face it – most people spend more time looking at their phones than they do at each other. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile browsers, you’re missing out on a big chunk of business.
Even Google has switched to mobile-first indexing and prioritizes mobile-friendly pages for its search rankings.
If you’ve already made efforts in the past to make sure your website works well on mobile devices, its mobile user experience might still leave a lot to be desired. Adopting a mobile-first design philosophy will make sure your navigation and call-to-action buttons are very effective no matter whether your site is being viewed on mobile or desktops. In most cases, it’s much easier to scale up and adapt a mobile design for a larger screen, than doing it the other way around.
Strengthens Your Brand Image
Your brand reflects who you are as a company. You might have a flashy logo, but how well thought out is the design of your website to reflect that? All too often, businesses give little thought to color schemes, the way the pages are structured and organized, and how important images and photographs are to their brand image.
A properly planned website redesign is more than just slapping on a new coat of paint. It’s a complete overhaul that will move your business closer to its goals. It shows your target audience that you’re constantly moving forward and that you care about the service that you provide. Most importantly, it also makes sure your brand is instantly recognizable and leaves a positive impression on whoever sees it.