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Signs that you may need a new website

Pocket watchYou have 10 seconds…

9 seconds…

The Nielsen Norman Group suggest that you have 10 seconds to grab the attention of your user. To add to your troubles, this 10 second currency will likely only buy you a few extra minutes.

Does your website do enough in 10 seconds to grab the attention of your user?

It is a mistake to think of your website as anything other than a company representative. It is a tool for attracting new business to your organisation and the public face of your company.

With the advent of mobile technology most people will visit your website before they try your brand; don’t lose them to your competitors.

Here are my top 10 reasons to add some sparkle to your poster boy:

1) First impressions

We all know about first impressions. They are made very quickly and can often be hard to shake. Today, most people will form their first impression of your business through your website; you need to get this right.

2) Poor mobile experience

Who needs a responsive mobile friendly website when it looks great on your Windows PC or Mac, right?

It might surprise you to know that the majority of your users will come from mobile devices. There is a reason that us web developer types work mobile first, we cater to a majority audience. Even Google now indexes mobile first so all of your mobile friendly competitors will appear above you on Google searches; bummer.

If your website is unusable on mobile you are losing over 50% of your potential customer base. Time to start caring!

Mobile to desktop comparison

3) Your design is outdated and gives off the wrong impression

Let’s be honest for a minute… Your site probably looks terrible, you wouldn’t be here otherwise. Remember those first impressions? I’ll admit that retro can be better with some things… A website isn’t one of them.

Imagine inviting guests for dinner in your dusty shed at the bottom of the garden and then serving them bread and water, on the floor. An outdated website gives the impression that you don’t care.

4 aces4) Your competitors have better websites

Everybody has a website. I even know animals who have their own websites. Yours needs to stand out. If I’m looking for a new hairdresser then why would I choose the one with the worst website?

If your competitors are looking great and you aren’t then you’ve got a problem. You shouldn’t be gifting your competitors any edge and allowing them to have a better website than you is self defeating.

Your website isn’t a luxury.

5) Slow site speed

10…

9…

8…

7…

6…

… You get the point.

6) Poor Google ranking

My wife is 26, I’m 32 and my mother is 6… 29. We all turn to Google when we need to find something. There is a pattern here and if you can’t be found on Google then you can’t expect new customers to find you.

“Take Away tonight?”

“Sure, what are the choices?”

Coding

7) Semantics

Your website might look good on the surface but be rusty underneath. The code we write is based on semantic rules, and these rules change (or are more often ignored). I hate rocking up to a website and discovering multiple, or no, <h1> tags on a page, an ugly url structure, or a plethora of images with no alt text.

I hate this, Google ranking hates this, you should hate it, too.

Try putting your url into this tool, then look for red.

8) The website doesn’t reflect your brand

I am my brand, so my website reflects my personality. It isn’t to everybody’s taste, but it is what it is. I colour to my brand, I write in my style and I use big animated graphics. When you see my logo you know my brand and my website fits.

How well does your website speak for your brand?

Retro suit man9) You struggle to update content yourself

Content editing is as easy as it has ever been in 2018. Gone are the days when you have to alter html sheets to change your copy. WordPress ships with an easy to use editor and there are many plugins and themes to improve the usability further. Take this post for example, it was written by my 2 year old and uploaded by my cat.

10) Your website isn’t served over SSL (https)

This is easy and free, and so says Google. You don’t need a new website to secure over SSL but it makes the top 10 because you really should have this in 2018. Get it sorted! What are you waiting for?

Conclusion

It is hard to find reason not to keep your site modern. Relatively speaking it isn’t expensive to have a website built. Consider how much you would have to spend to advertise in a magazine or newspaper and now realise that you will reach a wider audience on the web, for considerably less dollar. If you treat it kindly, a website will be your cheapest and most loyal brand ambassador.

A good friend of mine once said to me that a website is like a car, not a table. You need to service it or it will stop working.

From my experience websites tend to have a 3 to 4 year life-span, max. If you have an aging site, or something that was built by a ‘cowboy’, then it really is time to consider an update. It costs you money not to, so don’t waste the opportunity.

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