The world of technology moves very fast. Anymore it seems like every time you turn around it is time for something new. But does that mean that your website needs to be rebuilt constantly?
There are many articles out there that recommend a site refresh every 2 to 3 years. Yet, this seems to be more of a random number. What you should look at is how your website is performing and if it is keeping up with the technology standards.
Let’s look at some of the key factors:
1. No longer producing results
When your website is no longer getting you the leads you need, it should be rebuilt. A website is a key item in driving your business forward, it needs to be working for you. Sites that don’t produce can happen for many reasons, including competition overshadowing.
Having clear action calls on home and landing pages is important to the performance of your site. It is also important to have up to date information, and photos. If the photos on your website feel like they traveled back in time, it is time for a refresh.
Remember that the most important factor of any website is conversions. Whether it leads to increase business, or eyeballs reading your content. People tend to be drawn to new and exciting. If your site looks and feels old, it is not converting like it should.
2. Not user-friendly
This is a huge point. Websites built in the past tend to use outdated technologies. In turn, they may not work on newer devices. Think of the full-page flash websites from the 2008-2012 era. Flash has been pretty much ruled out as a constant security risk. And many browsers need extra clicks to turn it on. Think of all those people you may now be missing out because of your outdated site.
Mobile is the direction of the world. If your site does not adapt to mobile devices, you are missing out. Sites that don’t scale, or match on mobile devices are hard to read and very hard to navigate. This trend is not going away, and you are missing out if your site does not support mobile users.
3. You want more than it offers
When your website was new, you may have had different processes and workflow. Did your business rely on hand booking each reservation? But now you have digital reservations. And odds are that could it can get integrated into your website and save you time.
There are many features out there and new features come and go all the time. Your website should offer you features that can save you time and effort. If not, then it is time to have the site redesigned to match your current business needs. The website should serve both you and your clients. If one of you is not served well, then it is time.
4. It has become ugly, plain or simple.
You may offer the best product in the world. But if your website is selling it in a fashion that does not make it shine, it is failing you. No one wants to buy products from sites that are clunky. If the product says, ‘I am formal’ but the site says, ‘I am funky’, your chance is over, and the sale is gone.
Sites that look old, or like they came from the 90’s are not impressive. What it instead shows is a general lack of concern on behalf of the owner. And if the owner does not care about the face of their business, do they care about their clients? An up to date site shows that you care how your business looks to the rest of the world.
5. You are not found anymore
Search engines are always evolving. And with the evolution comes changes to the criteria they use to rank sites. If your site has had the same pages, with the same content for years it will be easy to pass you by.
Pages that are fresh will do better in the rankings. A willingness to update your content shows the search engines that the site is active. It also helps prove that you continue to be an authority in the field. Times progress and things change. If your site is not giving the most current information, it will fall.
The right people may not be finding your site either. Over time each business evolves. We change how we do business and those that we do business with. If you want to target a new kind of clientele, your website will need to reflect that. Otherwise, it will be bringing in leads of those that you no longer want to work with.
6. Outdated business information
I touched on this some in the last paragraph. Your website should be full of the latest information. Not only about your field, but about your business. It could be time for an overhaul when enough of the information is plain wrong.
This could be things like outdated contact information, open hours or pricing. But it also includes new and updated photos on the About us page. What about ownership information? Think of everything that has changed since the last refresh. If enough information has changed, your site is letting you down and causing you more work if it is not updated.
You will notice, in all my points I never once mentioned a time frame. That is because the time matters not. I have seen sites that are many years old and still converting like they day they were first made. Could a new site do better in this case? It is possible but not necessary.
But I have also seen sites that are a few months old not doing their job. Sites with such a poor design and build that they have never functioned to their best at all. There is no set pattern for when and how often a site should get rebuilt.
In the end, the only one that can judge when a site needs a refresh is you, the business owner. If the site is not meeting your goals, it is time. If you feel it is doing a pretty darn good job, and you are swimming in leads, then don’t fix what is not already broken.