Your company's website is your gateway to new leads. As more and more consumers make decisions based on their online experience, your website is more important than ever. It should establish your company, provide information on your products or services, and ultimately generate leads. As a core component of your marketing strategy, your website should be modified and optimized as industry standards evolve, trends shift or your personas change. However, a website that's not up to par or helping your company meet its goals doesn't necessarily require an entire redesign. Instead it might be time for a website refresh. Think of this as re-siding a house or buying a new outfit. The bones and structure of the website remain the same, but can benefit from a brand new look.
If you're on the fence about refreshing your website, or are having trouble convincing your boss that it's time, here are 6 reasons you can't wait another minute:
The Bounce Rate is High
Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page sessions where a visitor came and left without interacting on your site. You can find this metric on your site's Google Analytics dashboard. A high bounce rate is typically an indication that the visitor did not find what they we're looking for, became overwhelmed with the site, or didn't get a great first impression. The average website's bounce rate is 45%, but who wants an average website? Aim for under 40% by giving your website a refresh, paying close attention to the homepage. Ensure it is simple, easy to navigate, and only uses 2-3 complementing colors.
It's Not Responsive
You've probably heard how important it is to have a responsive site. It's a must in today's mobile-driven world. Responsive web design allows a site's layout and size to adapt to the type of device the visitor is browsing on. This means someone viewing on their iPhone won't need to pinch, zoom or scroll to read any text. Both of these factors majorly contribute to the user experience and ultimately their impression of your business. If there's one sign that you need a website refresh more important than the others, it's not having a responsive design.
It Uses Flash
Adobe Flash is a multimedia platform for creating vector graphics and animation. It was all the rage ten years ago and while it can still allow you to create some pretty amazing animations for your website, iPhones and iPads don't support it and now Mozilla Firefox blocks Flash as well. Websites built in Flash are not indexable by search engines, slows down page load speeds, and on top of that, presents countless security vulnerabilities.
Websites with slow page load speeds contribute to a high bounce rate and ultimately affect conversion rates. A slower website can be attributed to having unoptimized images, Flash, a large number of videos, and even an outdated bulky code. Best-in-class websites should load in under three seconds. A quick way to measure your site's page load speed is to use this Website Grader.
If the last time you did a website refresh was more than five years ago, it's time for a refresh. Design trends change over time and the longer you leave an outdated website, the harder it might be to change (just like the Adobe Flash example above). If you're attached to your company's stone age website and just can't bear to part with it, consider browsing through some of your competitor's sites to see the difference between a website developed five years ago and a more modern design.
You Hate It
Providing an unbiased evaluation of your website is often difficult because you know the ins and outs and have worked through past redesigns and updates. If you're not sure how you feel about your website, here are some symptoms that you do, in fact, hate it:
- You find yourself clenching your teeth when navigating your own website
- You cringe when you give out your URL to someone new
- You break out in a sweat when someone utters the words "I was on your website and..."
An unattractive website or one that's harder to navigate than a labyrinth, isn't doing your sales any favors. It's amazing what a website refresh can do for your business. It might just be the wake up call it needs to improve lead generation!