Has your website passed its Best Before date?

Is your website getting a bit wrinkly? How to spot the early signs.

Your website, in today’s digital world, is your shop window. Its function is to grab the attention of customers and encourage them to find out more about the products and services you offer. That means the look has to be attractive, the feel has to be welcoming and it must make it easy for people to come inside, look around, and discover what you can do for them. 

When your website was first designed it probably ticked all those boxes. But fashion, times and technology are changing faster than ever before – and that means you should update it regularly to avoid it appearing dated and make sure everything is working properly. 

Perception is everything and customers are super busy. If you don’t make a great first impression those people are gone in a click. How much is that costing you?  A scary amount! So, take this quick test to see if your website is in urgent need of a design refresh.  

Is the bounce rate too high?

Bounce rate is the percentage of people who leave your site after only visiting one page. If you have 100 visitors and 75 of them leave without accessing another page, then your bounce rate is 75%. You can find this metric on your site’s Google Analytics dashboard. Average bounce rate (for a site that has more than one page) is about 45%, so if your figure is higher it’s an indication there are some issues that need addressing. 

Is it slow to load?

People are very impatient these days.  Even a one-second delay can drastically reduce the number of visitors you get and discourage them from opening further pages. And another thing – Google takes the speed of your site into account, so if it is slow this will push you down the search rankings. Ouch! The quickest websites load in under three seconds. Check your site’s page load speed using the free Website Grader. 

Is it responsive?

Responsive, in Tech-speak, means “is it designed in such a way that it adapts its shape and size to fit the device that it is being viewed on”. For instance, if someone views your site on their iPhone, will they have to pinch, zoom or scroll to read the text. If it’s not responsive it’s a pain – and that’s not how you want people to feel about your business!  Getting it sorted, like yesterday, is urgent.

Is the look up to the minute – or so last year?

Society is incredibly fashion conscious, and those fashions are changing ever more rapidly. Hairstyles, clothes, shoes, watches, make-up, interior design, cars, food and drink – the trends are constantly moving on and what was cool, chic and contemporary last week is suddenly passé the next. People are incredibly sensitive to these subtle developments and very quick to sense when something is not quite a la mode. Like it or not, this goes for everything – including your website. Website design is evolving very rapidly and if yours looks dated visitors are less likely to hang around, less inclined to explore your offering further and less excited about letting you into their life. People choose products and services largely on emotion, on how those things make them feel. So, the look and feel of your website is incredibly important. It needs to be cool, chic and contemporary – and if you haven’t refreshed it for a few years the chances are that it’s not!

Have your main competitors recently had their sites redesigned?

Your website may be adequate – it kind of ticks all the above boxes and there’s nothing glaringly wrong with it. You might decide it’s “good enough”. But if your closest competitors have recently upped their game with a new website that’s really kicking then “good enough” probably isn’t good enough. Potential clients will compare you against them…and guess who is going to lose out?  

Is your site easy for people to navigate?

As we said earlier, people are impatient. And if they find your site confusing, if the information they want is not easy to locate, if it doesn’t immediately address their questions and provide the answers they want, then they go elsewhere. 

How did you do – is it time for a review? If your site gets the thumbs up to every one of these questions then it’s high fives all round. But if you feel there’s room for improvement then it’s probably time to get an expert second opinion. We’d be delighted to give your site the once-over and discuss any issues with you. If you then decide some action is required then we can help you with anything from a quick refresh to a complete rebuild.