Website design trends and standards move at a dizzyingly fast pace. Because of the increasingly pervasive emphasis on usability and the rapid speed with which technologies evolve, what seemed innovative and cutting-edge a couple of years ago probably looks antiquated – and possibly a bit daggy – today.
Chances are, if your Website is more than two years old, it’s time for a drastic overhaul, if not a full-scale redesign. A dated, functionally limited Website will significantly detract from the credibility and appeal of your business and, ultimately, your brand.
This means your Customers will be bouncing off your Website faster than you can say, “I need a new Website!”
Unsure as to whether your Site or Online Store design has stood up to the test of time? We’ve compiled 10 reasons as to why it might be time to take the plunge and update your Online presence.
1. Your Website’s Purpose Is Not Clear
Your Website is the home base for your Online presence. It’s often the first (and last) form of interaction prospective Customers will have with you, so it needs to be quick and effective in driving home your desired message.
As soon as they’ve locked eyes onto your Website or Online Store layout design, you only have seconds to get your message across. It should be clear who you are, what you stand for, and what you offer. It is therefore vital that your Site not only makes a dazzlingly good first impression, but also succinctly and effectively communicates what your business actually does.
Try to look at your current Website through the perspective of a visitor who has no previous knowledge of your business.
What is your first impression upon a minute or so of looking around? Is the Site’s objective clear?
Do you get a quick and accurate idea of what kinds of products or services are offered?
Is the character or tone of the brand clearly communicated?
If you can’t answer these questions with any kind of certainty or confidence, you probably need a redesign.
This also applies if your site’s purpose has changed since it was originally designed. Your Website should reflect the current objectives and marketing campaign of your business, and change accordingly.
2. It Looks and Feels Outdated
If your Website looks like it’s stuck in 1999, prospective Customers are not going to have any choice but to assume that your business is, too.
Your Website is a direct, immediate reflection of you as a business. As such, it should be engaging, pleasing to the eye, and easy to navigate. A dated Website will make your business look unstable, untrustworthy, and ultimately obsolete. A fresh, up-to-date Site or Online Store Web design creates an immediate and lasting impression of confidence and integrity.
If you’re looking to impress with the best Web design, we’d recommend going with a custom design over a template option. Your Site will then be crafted to fit your brand’s identity and will speak volumes to your Customers. Don’t settle for mediocre! Impress your Customers, and gain back your business’ credibility.
3. The Web Pages Take Forever to Load
If your Website takes too long to load, people will leave out of sheer frustration. Potential Customers don’t have the patience for slow-loading Websites, and, as it happens, neither do Search Engines.
Google’s algorithm takes into account the loading time of your Site. Ultimately, this means that not only is your slow Website likely to be driving people to madness (and to leave your Site as quickly as possible), but that it’s also not ranking highly on Search Engines.
The features of your Website that may be affecting the loading time include image sizing and formatting, coding languages, and hosting services. If these areas of your eCommerce store or Site design are slowing it down, it’s time to look into a desperately needed Site update!
The latest Website and Online Store design software allows for your Site to run at a fast speed, so your Customers can navigate, and make any purchases, with ease.
4. You Can’t Find Your Site on Google
With Search Engines like Google regularly changing their search criteria, your Website needs to ensure it’s meeting all of the new standards. Otherwise your Search Engine ranking will plummet, and your Site will become unfindable.
That’s a whole lot of potential Customers you’re missing out on!
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is dependent on a whole range of variables that your old Site is probably not equipped to handle or provide – for example, Site speed, User Experience, and fresh, high-quality content.
The best remedy to this, is to work with a professional Web designer who understands SEO and will build strategies into the design to optimise your ranking.
5. It’s Not Mobile-Friendly or Responsive
If your Website doesn’t look and behave the same way in all Web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.) and on all devices (desktops, laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc.), it’s time for a redesign!
The average user isn’t shopping on their desktop alone these days, and you can imagine the loss of trust and credibility your business will receive if your Site isn’t responding or translating across to a Mobile Phone or other device.
By incorporating responsive design, not only will your brand look professional and experienced, but your overall reach will expand. And as Online users become increasingly demanding for a quality User Experience, keeping it as is will run the risk of alienating an entire generation of smartphone users.
6. It’s Difficult to Navigate
Navigation doesn’t have to be flashy or complex. What it should be able to satisfy, however, is accessibility, clarity and simplicity, making your Site as easy to use as possible.
Consider the User Experience as objectively as you can:
- How easy is it to find information on your Website, and how long does it take to find that information?
- Does your Customer immediately understand your brand personality, what it is you do, and know where to go/click on when visiting your Site’s homepage?
- How does the architecture of your Website contribute to its overall usefulness and relevance? Each clickable tab or bar should be of use to visitors. Is there a search bar?
- Is the layout logically organised and easy to traverse? Do all links correctly lead to the right page? If you have an Online Store, is the buying process simple for Customers to use?
If it’s not clear how to move around, you have broken links, and the action a visitor to your Site should take is not spelled out clearly through User Experience, a new Website design should be on the cards.
7. You Aren’t Getting Great Results
At its core, your Website exists to build your Customer base, and your data should reflect a movement towards that goal. Ultimately, your results are a direct upshot of how you attract, engage, convert, measure and optimise your Website. If you’re not happy with the results you’re getting, a redesign is in order. Have a look at your conversion rates.
- Does your Call to Action convert visitors into leads and Customers?
- Is your Site extremely text-heavy?
- Is it rife with technical or corporate jargon?
- Is the look and feel of your Site compatible with your company’s voice?
- Does it speak directly to your target audience?
If you think areas such as the copy on your Site are subpar, it could also be worth hiring a professional copywriter to assist you during the Website development stage, so you can save time while getting optimised content for your Site to attract and encourage Customers.
8. Your Competitors' Websites Look so Much Better!
While maintaining an edge isn’t everything, your Website should be at least as good as those of your competitors (although having an identical Website to your competition isn’t a great idea either).
Have a look around at similar businesses in the same general area.
- What are they doing that’s different to you, if anything?
- Does their Website more effectively meet your goals than your own Site does?
- How do they compare in terms of the Search Engine rankings?
If yours is the only Site that hasn’t been recently redesigned, consider this a red flag.
In a saturated, competitive market, it’s imperative for your Website to be unique. Your Website should establish your point of difference – that which separates you from your competitors.
If your Website was designed using a pre-designed template, consider a redesign customised to your individual business needs and audience. Generic might be easy and safe, but it’s not going to distinguish you from everyone else.
Website design companies are a fantastic choice to assist in getting your Site from zero to hero. A custom Web design allows your business to provide the ‘wow’ factor and impress your Customers and beat out your competitors.
9. Your Business and/or Brand Has Evolved
Maybe your business goals and overall plan have changed since your Website was originally designed. Perhaps your Website caters for an audience that you’ve decided to no longer target, or maybe your target audience has broadened in scope. Maybe the tone of your Website is no longer compatible with the character of your brand.
All businesses change, and your Website should reflect its shifting objectives. Regardless of the particular shape your business has taken since your Site was built, it’s important for your Website to be aligned with your current business direction and plan.
Web design for Small Business is extremely important, and if yours isn’t hitting the nail on the head, then you might be in trouble. Reflecting and evoking your brand, all of the Web page design on your Site is key to connecting with your audience. If your business has gone through any big changes, now would be the right time to create a Website that is a true representation of your brand.
10. You Don’t Have the Support of a Professional Web Design Company
It might feel like a great idea to go off on your own and build a Website, but when push comes to shove, you can really be missing out on huge benefits that comes with designing a Site with a company.
Not only will you receive the option of receiving custom Website development (say goodbye to boring templates!) but you’ll also have the support of expert guidance on industry trends, ensuring your Site is always optimised and on-trend. The assistance of professional designers and developers also doesn’t go astray, helping you create visually appealing and user-friendly design to increase conversions and engagement.
And if you ever have any issues… you can call them! They’ll give you assistance with any problems and maintenance requests, which is a huge bonus if you’re left scratching your head on how to make any changes.
It really can be a game-changer for your online presence, helping you to create a Website that gets you Small Business Success. Take it from us, we are the best Web Design agency in Australia after all *wink wink*.
If any of these reasons are setting off alarm bells, chances are you should be considering building a new Website! Going with a Web design company is your best bet to getting a tailored, custom-built Site with all the bells and whistles. Don’t settle for anything less than perfect, improve your business’ Online presence and rein in those sales!