8 Signs It's Time to Rebuild Your Website
With the fast-moving pace of technology for website design, changes in consumer expectations, and evolving requirements from search engines, no website can last forever in its initial form.
As businesses grow and adapt, so must their websites, or risk losing out to other online competition. Your website is a critical business asset which should always be working as efficiently as possible to help increase brand awareness, create a great user experience and drive sales and revenue. With consumers and businesses shifting more and more to digital your website needs to be built in a way that can stand the test of time and deliver results.
Over time websites get stale, and can no longer perform optimally. But how do you know when it’s time to rebuild your website?
Why Rebuild Your Website?
Sites which have been optimised for organic traffic in the past may find that changes in requirements from search engines mean they rank poorly, and in severe cases may receive a penalty and be removed from indexing.
Plugins and extensions used on older sites may become defunct, resulting in a poor user experience and broken elements which can driver users away.
Sluggish older sites can quickly and easily lose traffic to faster, more accessible websites offering the same products and services, ultimately resulting in a loss of sales and revenue.
Here we look at eight signs that your website is ready for a rebuild.
Slow Website Speed
Site speed is a critical factor for both users and search engines.
Your potential customers expect the sites they visit to react quickly to their requests, and most will leave after just three seconds if your site has not loaded and rendered in that time. Users experiencing slower site speed tend to view less pages, spend less time on those sites, and are less likely to convert.
Search engines know that poor site speed provides a poorer user experience, and take this into account when ranking websites in search results. They can also see if users leave your site more quickly and spend less time engaging with it which are other ranking factors. If your site is likely to provide a poor user experience, search engines will not rank them as highly as those that do. Site speed is an important part of this decision-making process.
If your competitors offer a faster loading time that you, they have the advantage with both customers and search engines.
Not Mobile Friendly
Mobile internet use overtook desktop back in 2015. These days around half of all internet usage comes from mobile, and both users and search engines expect your site to be optimised for mobile.
If your site is not usable on a mobile device, you stand to lose a large proportion of your online audience. Sites which are not mobile friendly provide a poor user experience, and your customers are likely to leave and visit a competitor site within a few seconds. If it is difficult, or impossible for people who visit the site to use it, they are unlikely to return.
If you are a local business, this impacts you too. A large share of mobile search is based in local intent, and mobile users searching for local services tend to visit a physical location within a day or two. With a poor user experience on mobile devices, your potential customers will look elsewhere.
The rise of mobile internet use in recent years means search engines also have a preference for mobile friendly sites. In fact, Google operate largely on mobile-first indexing, meaning the mobile version of your site is considered to be the primary one. If your site is not optimised for mobile use, you are unlikely to rank well and will miss out on potential business.
If your site is not optimised for mobile you are missing out on potential visits and sales from a significant percentage of your audience.
Hasn’t Evolved with Your Brand
Is your site having an identity crisis? As brands evolve, sometimes due to time and budget constraints they neglect to take the website with them.
Updating the website to reflect your brand as it stands today is an item often added to ‘to-do’ lists then lost in the annals of time.
When users visit your website they make a decision about your brand based on first impressions. How they feel about your products and services can be heavily influenced by this experience, positively or negatively. A poorly designed site, irrelevant messaging, slow load time, confusing navigation, and hard to use forms can all influence the way your potential customers perceive you and the decisions they make.
A disjointed or dated website can have a negative impact on perception of your brand and decrease trust from new users.
Content management systems have moved along in leaps and bounds over the years, and older versions can quickly fall behind, becoming clunky and hard to use as support and third-party applications diminish. Not only does this cause problems from a marketing and sales perspective, but a poor CMS can lead to disengaged employees and lower productivity levels that all have an effect on your bottom line.
Equally, your business may have outgrown your current CMS, leaving you in need of new features to help manage your growing business.
Either way, a poor CMS can throttle the ability of your site to grow and evolve, limiting your capabilities and now allowing your site to perform at it’s best. A good CMS will include all the features you need to manage your site and keep it performing optimally.
Poor Performance & Results
As older sites being to get tired and underperform, they will see a less traffic, fewer users, and inevitably a decrease in sales and the bottom line.
Every visit lost due to poor website performance is a lost potential sale, and stemming these kinds of loss is critical to a successful business plan. If your site is seeing a reduction in visits and sales, and isn’t performing well against competitors, it’s time for a change.
Your Services or Products Have Changed
Keeping your website up-to-date with changing stock and new services can be complex and time consuming and as a result can end up on the ‘to do’ list for quite some time before it gets actioned.
While the gravity of the effect of this varies from business to business, every business who doesn’t keep their products and services up to date will experience a negative impact on user experience, conversions and revenue.
Not adding new products and services to your site can only result in lost sales and potentially lost repeat business, not only for that customer but numerous friends, family and colleagues who they may have told of their positive experience with your company.
Equally, websites which do not update discontinued products and services stand to frustrate and disappoint the end user, providing a poor user experience. These users also tend to share their experiences with friends, family and colleagues. By not updating discontinued or out of stock items you stand to create a website user who did not become a customer, and who may have a negative impact on your brand by sharing their frustration with others, both online and face to face.
Your Business is Growing
Maybe your website and CMS did a great job at the start, but now you have outgrown them and need an easy to use, fast and intuitive website package to handle your growing business needs. It could be that your current CMS is lacking certain features you need to help get the best from your website, or maybe the website was never quite fit for purpose but you didn’t know where to start looking for a new one.
If your business is growing and your current website or CMS is holding you back, now is the time to fix it.
Get an Umbraco Health Check with Carbon Six Digital
Your website is your store front to the world, and a primary driver of brand awareness, brand engagement, sales and revenue. Ensuring your site has the capabilities and features you need, and provides a great user experience is essential for business success.
At Carbon Six Digital our team specialise in Umbraco website development and apps, and can carry out Umbraco health checks to assess your current site and identify opportunities to improve your website performance. As an Umbraco Gold Partner, you can rest assured you are working with the best.
If you are not currently using Umbraco or if in fact you know you want Umbraco re-build, speak to our friendly Umbraco specialists to find out how we can help you get the most from your online presence.