New technologies and consumer preferences are turbocharging the speed of change in website design. If your website is five years old or older, the odds are good it’s starting to show its age. If you haven’t refreshed your website design in eight years or more, it’s about to look like a dinosaur.
A good website design does the heavy lifting of branding – telling visitors what you do, why you do it, and who you do it for – while helping them reach their own goals. They may be researching products, looking for answers to a question, or trying to solve a problem. Effective website design facilitates it all.
As websites age, they naturally get more distracting and difficult to navigate. Even if you’ve faithfully kept your website updated and patched with the latest software, for instance, browsers are always changing. A popular browser might render your older website in a way you don’t intend, robbing you of creative control.
That’s only one of many reasons a website refresh becomes necessary.
Often, problems creep up in the background and don’t become obvious until they affect your sales.
5 Big Signs You Need a Website Refresh to Start 2024 Off Right
A new year is the natural time to embrace change, and many companies are wondering whether they could get more value from their website by ringing in 2024 with a website refresh. An updated website design isn’t just about aesthetics, but how efficiently your website contributes to your bottom line.
Here are five signs now’s the time for a website refresh:
1. Your Website Isn’t Delivering Value for Your Business
A website isn’t just a fancy product brochure, even in retail. Like a race car, it has a number of related functions, with high-performance components all working together to make it happen. Your website could perform like a well-oiled F1 racer at first, only to end up like a jalopy after a few years.
Here are some areas where a website should offer concrete value:
- Understanding how users find your website and what they do once they arrive
- Giving first-time visitors opportunities to become social followers and email leads
- Providing ease of access to resources such as your help desk and FAQ database
- Using event-driven triggers to provide targeted limited-time offers for lead generation
To do all these things and more, your website needs the right features. In a service-based business using WordPress, that means software plugins that deliver functionality. Without them, your website is barely interactive, and it ceases to be the potent business asset you deserve.
2. Your Google Search Rankings Have Fallen Off a Cliff
Everyone knows Google rankings are important – but few people how to get there, or how to stay at a preferred position once you arrive. The truth is, your website design works hand in hand with search engine optimization, the scientific, data-driven approach to information design that maximizes your odds of high search positions.
Search engine optimization isn’t just for the search engine’s benefit. It also makes your website easier for real human beings to use. However, the rules of search engine optimization change frequently based on Google’s insights into how users behave. Often, your website needs to be built with SEO principles in mind from the beginning.
If your Google search rankings were once competitive, but now you’re stuck out in the badlands (on page 3 or beyond on desktop, or lost in the endless scroll on mobile), your website’s design may be at fault. If you’ve never been a contender for highly visible search positions, redesigning your website is even more urgent.
3. Your Website Isn’t Prepared to Capture Mobile Traffic
More than 55% of today’s website traffic comes from a mobile device. Smartphones are the most common, but not the only ones. Tablets are also popular, especially among business-class users. Evidence is good that mobile penetration has plateaued, but you still need to be mobile-friendly to reach half your audience.
A responsive website design is one that automatically adjusts graphics and navigation for ease of use when it detects a mobile device. Responsive websites deliver a seamless experience that will keep visitors tapping. That’s far superior to simply displaying the desktop version of your website, and Google rewards it.
4. You Aren’t Leveraging Modern Lead Capture Opportunities
Every visitor to your website leaves behind treasure troves of data to help you refine the user experience. Even though websites now need to conform to data privacy regulations like the California Consumer Privacy Act, you can still learn a great deal from the users who consent to cookies.
A modern website design provides all kinds of tools for an agile approach to meeting your visitors’ needs in real time, exactly the methods you need to foster trust. Rather than being intrusive, this demonstrates that you are interested in understanding the individual as a person and helping them reach their goals.
In the long run, your email list is one of your most powerful business assets. Nothing else enables you to book appointments or make sales with the click of a button, controlling the tempo of your schedule even in a down season. But your website design needs to support your efforts with seamless lead capture integration.
5. Your Website Is Slow, Confusing, or Not Secure
Data security is more visible than ever before, and it’s on the minds of many of your future customers. The way current generation browsers encourage you to “flee to safety!” if they notice any security oversights is anything but reassuring. A small misconfiguration in your security certificate can render your website useless.
But problems aren’t always quite that technical. Many companies that invested money on a “bold artistic vision” in their last website design now find people don’t want a jarringly unfamiliar experience – they want something that offers clear navigational clues they recognize from the millions of other websites they’ve seen.
You can have it all – a secure, functional, highly branded, and beautiful website that nonetheless meets your users’ expectations in all the right ways to keep them comfortable. And New York Ave can help you do it.
Kick Off the New Year with a Website Refresh from the Marketing Experts
How long does a website refresh take? It doesn’t necessarily mean you need to tear down your existing website design and start over. But every aspect of your design, functionality, and navigation should be interrogated with an overall plan in mind. That takes a while, but the results are well worth it.
The best way to start 2024 on the right foot is to connect with a trusted East Coast marketing agency today. At New York Ave, our process begins by learning about your business, goals, and vision. From there, we lay out a plan to upgrade your website design in a way that’s a revolution, not just an evolution.
Contact us today to find out more. We look forward to meeting you soon.