Your website needs work.
There. We said it. Somebody had to.
But here’s the thing: So does every website. Even Amazon. Even LinkedIn.
Yep, even ours.
Now, some websites need more work than others, unless we’re talking about spacejam.com.
The question is: How much work is needed?
Sometimes a little revamp is in order. Other times, it’s best to just redo it all from scratch.
Let’s talk about which makes more sense for your website.
1. Your Site Is (Or Isn’t) Responsive
Hopefully, you peered into your crystal ball a few years ago, foresaw the importance of mobile-friendly design and acted accordingly because the average American spends an astonishing 87 hours on mobile browsing every month.
If your site isn’t responsive, not only will you be serving up a poor user experience for a wide swath of your web traffic, you’re also harming your search engine optimization (SEO) – especially when considering more than half of searches happen on smartphones.
Even if your website is responsive, there are some things you could do to make it even better from a mobile perspective.
Verdict: Redo immediately if your site isn’t built for mobile traffic.
2. Is it Flashy?
We’re not talking about whether it’s aesthetically pleasing: We’re talking about whether your site’s built in Flash.
Hopefully, it’s not.
There was a time when Flash sites were all the rage: Right around when Bad Boys II was released and Limp Bizkit was selling “music.”
But this isn’t 2003 anymore and your website – and design – needs to get modern.
There’s a long list why, aside from Adobe’s recent announcement they will phase out the software by 2020:
- It doesn’t play well with mobile phones. At all.
- It’s not supported by Google’s Android devices. And if Google doesn’t like something, it’s probably best to take note.
- Security flaws so serious Firefox blocked it at one point.
Brass tacks: No site should use flash as part of any core site functionality.
This is an instance where new – and significantly better – technology has come along in the form of HTML5, which offers all the perks of Flash without the inherent flaws.
Verdict: Rebuild right away if your site is in Flash.
3. It Doesn’t Follow the Law
Unknowingly, your website might be illegal. Not because it’s on the dark web, but because it’s not ADA-compliant.
Buildings are required to have ramps. There are designated handicapped parking sports. Certain organizations are even required to have special lockers for those with disabilities.
So, it stands websites should be accessible to those with serious vision impairments and other ailments.
The situation is so serious that online retailers can be taken to court for failure to provide an accessible website to visually impaired users.
So, what can you do to
avoid getting sued make sure your site is compliant?
Follow this handy checklist from the Americans with Disabilities Act as a starting point.
Verdict: A slight revamp is possible without a complete redesign. Note that many of the items on the checklist are SEO best practices anyway, which is a bonus.
4. Long Load Times
There’s only one time when you want your site to load slowly: When there are so many people visiting it at once, the server can’t keep up.
If your site is taking a long time to load – and it’s not constantly bombarded with thousands of visitors all at once – it’s probably design-related.
Verdict: Minify as much code as possible. Delete or upgrade plug-ins as needed. Compress image sizes. If that doesn’t help, moving to a more dedicated server or different hosting provider might be in order. And if that still doesn’t work, a complete rebuild is most likely advised.
5. You Aren’t Hitting Your Goals
You’ve got the perfect design. It’s ADA-compliant. Loads in a blink. You stare at its awesomeness on your smartphone just for fun.
Only you aren’t getting calls. Or leads. Or sales.
That’s really the question, isn’t it?
Here are some potential answers:
- Your site lacks a clear value proposition. A concise benefit you provide. It could be something as easy as adding the word “Easy” in front of whatever you offer.
- You keep the same calls to action (CTAs) – or don’t have any at all. There are any number of things you can test on your landing pages.
- Your form or purchase buttons are placed in the wrong spot.
- Your visitors have questions before committing to a purchase or service, but they prefer to chat instead of calling or filling out a contact page.
- People love your products or services, but there are no testimonials or reviews anywhere to be found.
You know the saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Well, the opposite is true, too – if not more so.
Verdict: Go with a revamp first. A few tweaks here and there could make all the difference. If the needle still doesn’t move after testing, a complete rebuild is probably in order.
6. You Can’t Make Changes Yourself
Maintaining your site and keeping it fresh is critical for new and repeat customers alike, no matter if your website was designed in-house or by a creative agency.
But for some reason, some companies are willing to waste hundreds or thousands of dollars a month to have someone else do the updates.
The ability to update your website whenever and wherever you want shouldn’t be underestimated: In fact, adding or editing content is yet another ranking signal of Google’s. A website that’s constantly changing, whether it be in content, offers or layout is desirable from a SEO perspective.
Verdict: If you can’t make even the simplest change yourself, rebuild your site. Right away.
What Will You Do?
We hope this website inspires you to do something. Whether it’s a minor tweak and test or thinking about whether your website speaks to your brand in general, there’s something you can update.
Not sure where to start? We can weigh in with a completely free audit of your website and marketing in general.
Your website is always open for business. Make sure it’s doing the best job it can.