How You Know It's Time For A New Website

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In today's world, your company's website is its most important tool and even more than that; it is your most valuable marketing channel. Acting as a shop front, a brand guardian, a company brochure; your site is an appreciating asset where the more you invest, the more value you receive.

However, many businesses' websites are not as good as they could be as many business owners see building a website as a one-off project that they can just build and then update it every few years. However, you want your website to be seen and people to visit it, you want people to know about your business and to buy from you and where is the first place people now go when they are looking for a company, product or service? It is Google's algorithm that decides where your website is shown on the search results in relation to your competitors on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Google attracts almost 70% of all internet searches, so if you do want visitors to your website then you have to listen to what Google has to say when it comes to website development, website design and best practice 

Can you find your website via a Search Engine?

If you can't find your website on the first page via a quick Google search, then it's probably time to do something about it. You ideally want to appear several times on the first results page when you type in your company's name. This is what most customers or potential customers will type into the search bar when looking for your company rather than trying to remember your exact website address, so if it's not there they may end up going elsewhere, or they might think you have gone out of business. If you can't find you, then what chance have people got who don't know who you are yet?

How long does it take to load?

If your website takes a long time to load, it is incredibly frustrating for users. You may not be aware of the page speed yourself, because your computer helpfully caches sites you visit regularly. If your potential customers are made to wait to view your website, they are very likely to leave and go somewhere else, resulting in a missed sale. Google is penalising sites with poor page speed – the slower the site, the harsher the penalty. You should do checks on your website to make sure that it's not running slow and make sure you're not losing customers.

Can you update it yourself?

Can you update your website yourself or do you have to contact a website developer every time you want to change some information, add a blog or update a page? Search engines such as Google reward websites that are updated regularly, and if you don't do this, then this will affect your site's visibility. It makes life so much easier if you can edit it yourself too as it's quick and you get it just how you want when you want. If it's just the knowledge and skills you need, then learn how to do it.

Is your website suitable for people on the move?

People largely surf the internet while they are on the move on their mobile phones, so your website needs to work well on all mobile devices. A responsive website will change how it looks depending on if visitors search via a desktop PC, tablet or mobile phone. Having a responsive website means it is easier for mobile and tablet users to navigate your content, offers and services. If your website doesn't adapt for mobile, you will be penalised by the search engines and given lower visibility compared with mobile responsive competitor websites.

Can your visitors find what they want?

Overcomplicated websites that do not highlight what they offer can be very frustrating. The best websites have a distinct purpose, and visitors just know where to go, what to click, and what to do to get the information they are looking for. Your website needs to have the fewest clicks possible to get to the essential content to make it as user-friendly as possible. 

Do you like other sites more?

If you find yourself looking around other people's websites and wishing you had what they had then it is definitely time to do something about it. If theirs looks more appealing or offers a better experience, then take note of all the things you like about other sites, make a wish list and see a professional web developer to discuss your options.

Alison Morgan