If you’re like the average smartphone user, you probably replace yours every few years. Isn’t it amazing how quickly they can become obsolete? Unfortunately, the same can be said about most websites.
There are a lot of signs that your company needs a new website. We’re not just talking about how your website looks, although that’s an obvious clue. The performance and functionality of your site are equally important.
See if you recognize any of the 10 signs it’s time for a redesign:
A high bounce rate
Slow page load speeds
Your site doesn’t reflect your brand
Your site looks old
It’s been at least 3 years since you updated your site
You can’t update content yourself
Confusing website navigation
Poor lead conversion rates
Your site isn’t mobile-friendly or responsive
You aren’t using inbound marketing
1. You have a high bounce rate
Google Analytics defines “bounce rate” as the percentage of single-page visitors to your site. In other words, it’s the percentage of people who come to your site and only visit the first page they land on. Rather than clicking through to another page, visitors that bounce either didn’t find what they were looking for, weren’t interested in learning more, or found your webpage too slow or difficult to use.
A fresh redesign can help solve some of these issues, and can help convince readers to stick around longer. If your bounce rate is consistently over 70-90% throughout your site, it’s safe to say a new website should be in consideration (or at the very least, a new copy and content update).
One of the biggest issues we find with older sites is how slowly the pages load. If your prospects are like most of us, they’ve become accustomed to having what they want when they want it. That means they won’t hang around for those cool graphics to load or, worse yet, interrupt the reader when those images finally do decide to pop up and rearrange your text.
Excessive load times will contribute to higher bounce rates. Not only that, Google prioritizes load speeds when determining a website's search ranking. This is significant since 94% of organic search traffic comes from Google.
3. Your website doesn’t reflect your brand
Your brand, products and messaging evolve over time, but has your website evolved along with them? The first impressions visitors have can often be the difference in earning a potential customer and yet another bounce. Make sure you’re remembered for having a well-designed site that aligns with your message, your brand and speaks to your customer’s pain points as they are today, not as they were a few years ago.
If your company claims to be on the leading edge, yet your website is anything but, it creates a major disconnect. If that’s the case, it’s time for a new one or, at minimum, a launchpad site to get started.
Straight to the point: if you haven’t updated your website design in the last decade, it’s way past due. Those flashing graphics and text, dozens of font styles and a color scheme that screams “taste the rainbow” are tarnishing your reputation. We hate to call anyone out specifically, but a simple Google search of the worst websites will reveal a host of cringe-worthy examples.
Okay, so maybe your website isn’t quite “that bad,” but there’s a good chance it still falls short of current website standards and trends. An easy way to assess your web design is to check out your competition’s websites. Be honest; how does yours compare to the top competitors in your industry?
5. You haven’t updated your site in more than 3 years
Consider how quickly fashion trends change or electronic gadgets get updated; websites need to keep pace. Here at Weidert Group, we completely overhauled our website twice in the last 5 years. Of course, we’re constantly tweaking to make sure things stay current with the latest design trends and user experience improvements.
Aside from its appearance, there are many behind-the-scenes reasons to update your site. Does it have a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate, for example? If your URL doesn’t have a little padlock icon in front of it when displayed in a web browser, it’s not considered secure. An SSL certificate is a major factor in how well your website is ranked in search.
6. You can’t update content yourself
If you have to rely on a web developer to make changes every time you want to edit content, add a blog or perform other simple tasks, it’s likely costing you time and money.
Content management system (CMS) platforms like HubSpot make it easy for marketers to take charge of their website without having to learn code or be a web designer. Drag and drop templates and forms let you easily add new landing pages, CTAs, blogs and other pages to your website. When compared to the HubSpot CMS platform, others can make those tasks seem like pulling teeth.
7. You have confusing website navigation
We see it a lot: a dozen menu options in the navigation bar and an architecture with about as many sections as a Rubik’s Cube (and about as hard to figure out, too). Some people believe that they need to provide as many options as possible for users, but doing so overwhelms visitors and creates a negative user experience.
Plain and simple, if you aren’t getting enough leads or conversions from your site, it’s likely time for an upgrade. All the reasons we’ve outlined on this list can contribute to poor conversion rates and, if more than one problem looks familiar, you owe it to yourself and your bottom line to update your business website.
Mobile website traffic makes up more than half of web visits around the globe. If your site isn’t compatible with mobile devices, you’re missing out on all those potential visitors. Even if you consider your website to be mobile friendly because it’s responsive when viewed on multiple devices, that isn’t enough for some companies these days.
Mobile-first websites load faster, and search engines gauge their search results from a mobile standpoint not desktop. If you’re starting fresh, consider mobile-first web design since user engagement on these devices will only increase in the future.
10. You aren’t using inbound marketing
Just because a company has a website doesn’t mean that it’s optimized for inbound. If your site is primarily informational but doesn’t help educate and inform your audience to build trust and guide them toward a purchase decision, it’s not going to help you reach your business growth goals. A true inbound site will have content that attracts, engages and delights visitors, with multiple lead conversion opportunities throughout that assist the lead nurturing process.
Are you asking, “Do I need a new website?” If so, there’s a good chance you know the answer. If you recognize any of these major flaws on your site and you're looking to start an inbound program, you're better off starting fresh with a launchpad site and taking a Growth-Driven Design (GDD) approach to continuously optimize it. Taking a GDD approach can help you make those improvements over time and is often much more cost effective than the traditional web design approach.
Learn more about how you can create a launchpad site and get started with GDD. Visit our GDD pillar page and download our GDD checklist below!
This article was originally published in 2018 and then updated in 2020 for current data and best practices.
Posted by Justin Harrison Justin Harrison is a Creative Director at Weidert Group. His wide-ranging experience in graphic and web design helps clients establish and leverage effective inbound marketing tools across several digital platforms.