10 Signs you need a new Website Design
Guest Post by Sarah Wykes from Matter Solutions Brisbane
Do you think your company needs a new website? Find out what signs to look out for that will confirm your suspicions. These are the top 10 reasons you’ll know your website needs a new design.
1. Website is not responsive
Your website needs to be designed with the user in mind. These days, more people are using their mobile devices when browsing online. Therefore, it’s likely there will be a high percentage of people visiting your website from their mobiles. You need to make sure your website is appropriately optimised for mobile users. If your mobile website isn’t user-friendly, you will end up with a high bounce rate. Not only that but Google’s ‘mobilegeddon’ algorithm update targets websites that aren’t mobile-friendly. So you will not only lose customers, you will incur SEO penalties as well.
2. Slow loading time
No one wants to sit and stare at a white screen while a page slowly loads. People will simply leave and go to another website. There can be a few reasons your website has a slow load time. This includes:
- Extra large images: if your website is full of lots of images, or large images, it’s going to take longer to load. Consider condensing your images for a faster load time.
- Too many plugins: this is particularly common on WordPress websites. Look at what plugins are unnecessary and get delete them.
- Outdated CMS: you may see popups alerting you to update a new version of software. This can often fix issues that can cause low speed, so it’s best to keep your CMS up to date.
- Lots of traffic: if you’ve got a sudden influx of traffic, it can cause your website to crash or load significantly slower as the server tries to manage the traffic.
- Server location: if your server is located in another country to the visitor of your website, they will experience a slower load time.
3. Your website looks out of date
You want to make sure your website is a good representation of your business. That’s not going to happen if your website looks old and out of date. Would you want to spend lots of time on a website that looks old? Website design trends come and go, so make sure you keep up and spend some quality time redesigning your website.
4. The website doesn’t represent your brand
Does your website give the customer a clear idea of what your brand is about? Your website is a great way to sell your business and help gain new customers. Therefore, your website should include a unique value proposition, which will help make you stand out from the competition. If it’s not clear why your brand is unique, why will people choose you over the rest? Make sure your website is the best possible representation of your brand.
5. No call to action
You’re getting lots of traffic, but they’re not becoming conversions. Sometimes this can be because of your website design.
You need to ensure your website includes a clear call to action. This helps users to navigate through your website and helps them know what action they’re expected to take. Calls to action can take various forms, including buttons, signups, downloads, banners or images, to name a few.
If people aren’t converting, you need to assess your website design. Is it clear they should be taking the call to action? Are there too many distracting elements on the page, making the call to action unclear? Is it displayed on the wrong position on the page? Improving your webpage’s design to make it clear and distraction-free will help customers to complete a call to action.
6. Low rankings
If you’re relying on your website to make sales, you want to ensure you have a good ranking on search engines. After all, most people aren’t going to look on the second page of results.
If you’ve got low rankings, you need to reflect on your SEO habits. Are you using the right keywords? Have you optimised your URL, meta description, headings and alt tags? Ensuring your website is appropriately optimised for SEO will help boost your search engine rankings.
If your rankings have suddenly dramatically dropped, or you’re not ranking at all, you might have received a Google Penalty. This occurs when you intentionally or mistakenly manipulate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. If you don’t want to receive a penalty, you should avoid:
- Low quality, automatically generated and scraped content
- Link schemes
- Sneaky redirects
- Keyword stuffing
- Creating malicious pages
- Pages with no original content
If you have received a penalty, you can try and fix the problem, and then apply to Google for a reconsideration request. If you can’t fix the penalty and it’s damaging your brand, it may be worth considering creating a new domain altogether.
7. Your website isn’t being updated
When people visit your website, they expect to see the latest content. You are going to make a bad impression if your blog hasn’t been updated in six months or longer. It can even lead people to think your brand is out of business. Having old content not only makes the website look bad but can negatively affect your search engine rankings. Google likes to see fresh, original content. Therefore, the more frequently you post, the more your rankings will improve. It’s a good idea to put in a conscious effort to ensuring your content - your blog, as well as content on landing pages - is consistently updated.
8. Using a bad content management system
Often the reason why people don’t update their content is because of their content management system (CMS). Your CMS should allow you to have complete control of your website, and to easily be able to update content when you please. However, sometimes CMS’ are far too technical for the average person. It’s important that you choose a CMS that you know how to use, or consider hiring someone who can manage it for you. Consider using a CMS such as Squarespace or WordPress, which are widely used and popular CMS platforms.
9. Inconsistent branding
If you’ve had numerous web developers working on your website, chances are pages will end up looking different and you won’t have a consistent brand voice. This can send a confusing message to the customers and leaves them questioning what your brand is really about. Ensure that you use the same colour scheme, fonts, headings, navigational elements, logos, buttons and images throughout your website. This also extends to social media - make sure you use the same images and brand voice on your social media channels. This consistency will help sell your brand to potential customers.
10. Your website is built in Flash
Your website is outdated if it’s still in Flash. Unfortunately, devices such as iPhones and iPad’s do not support Flash, so all your customers won’t be able to access your website. Furthermore, search engines can’t read it, so you’ll be damaging your SEO efforts. Your website should be designed with the user in mind, and if they have to download a plugin to access your website, chances are they will just go to a competitor’s website that is more functional. If you’re still using Flash, it’s time to upgrade your website design.