If you think you need a new website, the answer is probably “yes.”
Why? Because the web is constantly changing. As fast as companies create new devices to consume content, the design trends, functionality, and content we use to communicate changes even faster.
However, you don’t want to blow your wad of cash (or more likely your small marketing budget) on a new website if you don’t have to, right? So if you can survive on what you have— surely something is better than nothing, right? Well…maybe.
Here are some signs that it may make sense to go ahead and pony up for a new website:
Your business needs change.
You’ve got to be able to service your clients’ needs through your website. But what if your business model has changed in the last several years? We see it happen all the time. For example, a company in my neighborhood recently decided to downsize because they no longer needed the giant warehouse they built five years ago. Since all of their products are now drop-shipped, it doesn’t make sense to have a huge building that houses just a few office workers. For them, creating a really nice online presence becomes essential since now they not only can drop-ship for ongoing clients—they can drop-ship anywhere.
As your needs change, so does the way you present yourself to potential new audiences searching the web for—hopefully—exactly what you’re providing. If you don’t provide the type of information architecture, content, and functionality that supports that, you’re missing out.
Your current site isn’t following recent trends.
Look around the web. Things are changing. Fast. This includes design, functionality, and much more. As I said before, this is always in flux—so how do you know if it’s a case of the bandwagon blues getting you down or if you really do need a new site? Well, for one, if you still think Flash is the hottest trend in web design, then you probably need a new website. No, you definitely need a new website. Flash is dead, people. But seriously, if you really want to know a good indicator, look at how people are consuming content, especially the type of content you would be serving.
If there are things you can do to show clients your content through innovative design and how your site functions, you should do them. For example: Does your site work just fine on all screen sizes—all smartphones, tablets, and laptops? If your site displays correctly on every type of screen, you may not need to worry about getting a new one as much.
Your site is all about you—not what you can do for your customer.
What is the purpose of your website? Does it tell your story? Is it something your customers would be interested in reading? If not, it’s time to reevaluate.
People want to know your story and how you contribute to the world. If you’re not posting relevant content to your site on an ongoing basis, and it’s because your site doesn’t allow you to, then it’s probably a great idea to step up your game with a new site.
Your site isn’t mobile-friendly.
Having a mobile-friendly site is a must these days. Our digital strategist, Abby Reckard, talked about that in an article she recently posted. Google has made it essential that you have a mobile-friendly version of your site. They’ve made it clear that to get to the top of the stack of search results, being mobile-friendly is critical.
Also, you’ve got to think about how your customers are consuming content. According to this article, 65% of people consume email from their mobile devices. If you or someone link to your website in an email, there are lots of customers that load your site from their device. If that person’s first impression of your site is, “wow, this site really looks bad on mobile,”, that’s probably not the first impression you want to convey. That’s why we build every one of our sites nowadays with responsive as a primary concern in the design phase.
Your site isn’t allowing you to reach new customers.
Do you have an ongoing content plan? Are you capturing leads? Do you have Google Analytics for your site? What are your visitors doing on the site? What content are they accessing on a regular basis—and is it really the content you want them to be accessing?
These are the types of questions you need to be asking. It’s key to drive your visitors to the sections of your site that provide them with information about the services they’re looking for (for more on that, check out this useful article). That’s what it’s all about.
So do you need a new website? Ultimately, that’s up to you. But one thing’s for sure: A new, up-to-date website will increase your exposure, which will help grow your business—and that’s good for everyone.