Do I Need a New Website?
We’re another one of those web design agencies that constantly promotes the idea that businesses should invest in a new website. Is it just us trying to make money or is there a much more honest reason behind it? Do some businesses need to start investing in their online profile and improve their website?
We’re going to explore the main reasons why any business, tiny or giant, might need to invest in a new website and a renewed online presence.
What’s the point of the website?
During the early and mid-2000s, every existing business realised they needed to hop onto the web and get themselves a website. Now any new business knows one of the first things they need to get is a website. Why, though? What’s the point of that website?
Before social media the business website was everything. It was the only way a business could promote themselves, what they do or sell, online. It was the only way a business could share news or share the latest deals or offers.
Nowadays the majority of the dynamic, changeable aspects of a business are shared on social media. Customers find out about the latest product, deals or changes to opening times, etc on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the rest.
However, some business websites have not been adapted to match this change. Some websites are still bloated with unnecessary content.
Any website owner needs to stop and look at their website and ask themselves, “What is the point of my website?”
More often than not, a website is just a place for clarification. When does that cafe open? Oh, it says it’s open from 8 am on its website. What’s the phone number of the plumber? Oh, it’s on their website.
You don’t need a massive, bloated, all-consuming website. What’s the point of the website? Find it and do that, nothing more.
Oh yes, I know some readers will be rolling their eyes now. Why does my website need to look pretty?
The answer to any questions about the point of a lovely looking website is that it will make or break your business.
The credibility of a business is based 75% on their website. If you look at a website for a business and it seems out-dated and old-fashioned, consciously or subconsciously you’ll believe the rest of the business will be like that.
It only takes 0.05 seconds for a website visitor to make their mind up about a website and, therefore, a business. 88% of online visitors will not want to engage with your business if they have a bad experience online.
If you’re in any doubt about the look of your website, then it may well be time for a change. Once you’ve got a great website in place it will be easier to adapt and mould it as time passes and be able to keep it looking relevant for longer.
When it comes to a website, speed and size matters. The smaller the size of a web page, the faster it loads.
Speed really matters when visitors are trying to view a website on their phone whilst using mobile data. Until 5G becomes ubiquitous, bulky and slow websites will struggle to load for people on the go.
There’s plenty that can be done to improve and existing website. Moving to a better hosting company helps. Utilising a CDN like Cloudflare makes a big difference, too. If you’re running a WordPress website you can add on a great caching plugin and see an improvement as well.
However, none of these add-ons will have a significant impact if your website is already bloated and fundamentally problematic.
People will stay for 70% longer on your website if it takes less than 5 seconds to load. More than 5 seconds and they may not even wait for it to load. “How long does it take for my site to load?” Test it now.
We’ve twice rebuilt our website from the ground up in the past year to improve its speed. We knew there was no way changing a few plugins would make a difference compared to starting from a blank canvas and adding on exactly what we needed.
Sometimes you just need to knock it all down to get the dream site you require. Especially if you want your website to fly!
Poor lead generation
I find myself glazing over when I read about lead generation! It’s one of those over-used phrases than marketers try to use to bamboozle tech-unsavvy business owners.
Basically, when someone comes to your website you want them to do something. You need to be confident that you can convert them from a casual visitor into a regular customer.
There’s a whole marketing industry out there that says lead generation is hard and converting website visitors is difficult. It doesn’t need to be.
With some simple steps, you can encourage your visitors to take some sort of action that means they’ll have the chance to fall in love with your business.
Does your website have clear call-to-action (CTA) buttons (those ‘click here to find out more’ or ‘get in touch’ buttons)? Around 70% of businesses don’t have any CTA buttons.
A simple ‘get in touch’ button can make a big difference. Running competitions or latest deals are also great, but whatever you do you need to encourage customers to leave their contact details so you can follow up with them and get in touch.
If you’re a small independent cafe, for instance, you can gather people’s email addresses and add them to a free MailChimp account and email out latest offers or events at your cafe. Simple but effective!
Whatever sort of business you operate, at the heart of your website needs to be clear buttons, forms and lead generation. Marketing needs to be a primary priority on any modern website.
Inaccuracies and inconsistencies
Some of this comes under the banner of ‘visual appeal’, but your website needs to be consistent throughout and consistent with information outside of the website.
Things like consistent colours and font sizes matter, but, once again, are visual issues. However, incorrect or inaccurate details are fundamental and go beyond design.
Around 44% of visitors will leave a website if there’s no way of contacting you. Even more damaging is if your phone number or email address is wrong!
As a business grows, things change. It’s important, then, that the information displayed online is accurate. Opening hours, contact details, services or products you provide, everything needs to be correct.
Sometimes, though, it’s not that easy. A website that’s hard or impossible to edit can be a big barrier.
When we build websites we prioritise the business owner’s ease of use. We use the Elementor page builder, not because we’re lazy, but because it’s incredibly easy for anyone to use, especially the business owner. Once we hand over the website to a client we want to be certain that they can easily make changes.
In the past, web designers built websites than only they could change. This ensured they had a regular income, but affected their clients and their clients’ businesses.
We fully subscribe to the idea that every aspect of a client’s website needs to open for them to edit (whilst easy for them to undo mistakes!).
We fully accept that our cars need regular check-ups and servicing. A website should be no different. It also must be regularly checked, fixed and improved to avoid problems.
Audit your website today. What’s the point of it? Is it visually appealing to your clients? Is it loading in under 5 seconds? Is it consistent and easy to adapt?
If any of those questions provide an answer of ‘no’, get in touch today and we’ll help you get your website flying again!