Once upon a time, just having a website was enough to give your business credibility and represent your brand online. The times are a changin’, and if you aren’t keeping up with a modern website, unfortunately, it represents your business in a negative and outdated light.
How do you feel when searching for a business or service online, and stumble onto a very outdated and unintuitive website? If you’re like most people, you move on to the next one – their competition, who might have a more modern website, and therefore more current business standards, strategies, products, and services. Investing in a new or updated website is an investment in the credibility of your brand.
So how old is too old? If your website is more than a couple years old, you just might be missing out on a huge potential upgrade for 2017! As web design is advancing dramatically every year, your customers online are looking for something modern, and easy to use. Fumbling around on an old, slow, and cumbersome website is not something potential customers are typically willing to do.
But how do you know if it’s time to reassess what you have? Let’s take a look at 7 questions to ask yourself to find out how your current website ranks:
1. How does your website look on a mobile device?
If your current website is not accessible (or is glitchy) from a phone, tablet, or other mobile device, you are missing out on a major share of the market! Did you know:
80% of internet users access it on a smartphone (Smart Insights)
Google says 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile website they had trouble accessing and 40% will visit a competitor’s site instead. (MicKinsey & Company)
57% of internet users say they won’t recommend a company with a poorly designed mobile site. (CMS Report)
It’s time to face the facts. In 2017 your business website must be mobile friendly. If your website looks bad or functions poorly on a device – you’re handing your business to the competitors!
2. What’s the user navigation experience like?
Modern websites strive to keep navigations clean and simple. If you’ve got sidebars, banners, and pop-ups, without clear calls to action within your website you’re likely outdated. Having your main navigation menu items on the top of your pages, and removing any clutter, helps a user to find their way around your website in an easy to use fashion, and keeps them shopping there longer.
Your navigation bar should be a concise roadmap that guides the user through the rest of your website, without any bumps in the road.
Can the user easily read your navigation menu at the top of your page? Is it made very clear how they are to get around the site and find other pages that they are trying to reach? Keep it simple, keep it clean, and keep it user friendly.
A good web designer will spend a lot of time and attention on creating a navigation that is easy for the end user to find their way around a website. The look should be designed with a purpose.
3. Is the branding on your website consistent with your current look?
If you are like most businesses, you are experiencing a constant evolution within your company. Every year you’re improving your products, your services, your capabilities and technologies should be advancing. Your brand, and the image of your business may also be improving. Your website should be changing right along with all of these other aspects within your business. This is your online digital brochure, and it should absolutely represent who you are. If your website does not represent your business, it’s time for a redesign.
4. Does your website use Flash?
One of the most common, and obvious, signs that your website is in need of some serious renovation, is the use of flash. This is the old Blockbuster Video of websites, if you will. Most mobile devices will not support flash, and it’s terrible for search engines to scan.
Basically, if you still have a flash website, (I’m just gonna say it)… It’s time. You need a new one. If you like your animations, don’t worry – There are modern website techniques for animations that are both desktop and mobile friendly, and they will display much better in the end.
5. Does your website just look & feel old?
If the images on your site remind you of 90’s clip art, it’s likely time to re-evaluate how this represents your business. If the font is difficult to read or the colors and branding seem dated. How does that fit in with the rest of your business? Remember that often times, your website will be the first thing potential customers see for your company – if it’s old and clunky feeling, that will impact their decision to do business with you.
Older websites often have very busy and cluttered home pages. If this is the first thing people see for your company, they’ll often quickly click away. Decisions are made rapidly while online, so make sure that your website has an instant ‘wow’ factor, that can only be found with a modern look and feel.
6. Can you easily update your content?
Most websites today are being built using Content Management Systems such as WordPress. It is now possible to create a site that the owner can manage themselves. If you don’t have access to your website to make your own updates as needed, or you need to use special code that only a developer would understand, then your technology is likely outdated.
As a business owner, it is nice to have the power to control the experience your potential customers are having when they find your business online. You should be able to easily upload regularly to blogs, update promotions and events, and post newsletters and photos. This is something that many business owners desire with the building of new websites in 2017, and it most likely wasn’t available to you on your first website five years ago.
Having the ability to constantly update your website keeps you current. This gives potential customers up to date information on your products and services, and gives them a good feeling that you are a trustworthy provider that they want to do business with.
Side note: Anchor Websites offers ongoing support packages for our clients, giving busy business owners the opportunity for our team to manage all your monthly updates for you!
7. Is your current website working for you?
Ultimately, this is the end goal and what’s most important. Are you targeting the customers you want to target? Are you getting a response from your website? Perhaps you have a call to action on your page. Are people clicking it for more information, to set up a meeting, or purchase your product?
Nowadays, websites come equipped with the necessary tools that will help measure how effective your online presence is. It’s important to size up what works and what doesn’t within your website. These capabilities typically only work with a modern site.
The web design industry is making huge strides in technical improvements each year. If your website is outdated, it is possibly causing more harm than good to your business (in the eyes of potential customers).
If your current website is just not cutting it in the competitive online world of shopping, it’s time to consider a new design. Your website should be captivating enough for the end user to click and shop, and stay for a while. You should be able to track the statistics of your site, and translate visits to your page with new business.
Don’t let clients’ perception of your business be based on that old website that no longer represents you. Give Anchor Websites a chance to build you a modern site that you can be proud of.
See Anchor Websites’ portfolio for a sample of our modern web design styles here:
All of our websites are current, hip, and mobile friendly! Give us a call today!
Meet the Author
Laura is an expert on style, technology and getting things done. With her background as a Financial Advisor and mother of 4, she has both smarts and a practical sense that brings value to everything she touches. Her most recent adventure is as an entrepreneur at Anchor Websites. Call her today to see if Anchor Websites should create your next website! 715-600-1950 or firstname.lastname@example.org