Just like your wardrobe, living space, or garden, it is important to give your website a regular 'spring clean’ to ensure it is performing well and in a way that reflects your company. There is no time like the present to review your website, channel Marie Kondo and ask ‘does this bring me joy?’
The online world is ever-changing. A digital faux-pas can dramatically affect your website’s user experience, searchability and ultimately reflect poorly on your business as a whole. Chances are your website is how many people will first encounter your company. So, how do you know whether it's time for a refresh?
The signs it is time for a website refresh
The best thing you can do, regularly, is to go onto your website as the intended user. Perhaps get someone who is not familiar with the site to do it and feedback – how was it? Was the site easy to use? Could you find what you wanted? Did you want to stay and find out more? A cluttered or messy user journey is going to affect engagement, Google rankings, and can reduce enquiry levels.
A big sign that your website needs a spring clean is if it is slow. Long loading times for pages and images are an instant deterrent to the user and may even cause frustration – not the emotion you might wish people to associate with you. It also dramatically affects your Google ranking. Google wants people to be happy with the results it gives them. Waiting 14 seconds to find out whether the site even offers what they need does not equate to an enjoyable user journey.
Perhaps your website is not getting the results you want. Time to remind yourself of your website goals and look at whether they are being met. Does it generate business? Is conversion steady? Is it a regular and accurate search find? Do you get repeat users? If the answers to any of these are negative, it is time to revamp.
Why websites need work
A website is an investment, where you get out what you put in. It needs to be looked after and managed correctly – and if it is, it brings you great rewards. You may have heard the phrase ‘Content is king’. Content is how you engage visitors, how you give back and show you are an authority and expert in your area. Content needs to be managed to give the correct impression and move with the times. Just imagine if you never updated your Facebook profile and people were led to believe the current version of you is your 2006 self. A horrific thought.
Aside from content, technology is forever evolving. The site may have incorrect foundations for what it, or indeed your business, has evolved into. This will dramatically affect its performance. There are factors external to your site that need to be checked and updated in site, such as general technological changes (such as Plugin updates) and new requirements, predominantly from Google, that affect visibility. The technology ‘back-end’ needs to be up to date for the front-end to do its job effectively.
So, how far do you go?
This all depends on the impact you want (the more you do, the bigger the impact should be) and how long it has been since your site was last given some real TLC. In order to know where to start, you will need to have an in-depth review and audit of your current website. Look at both the front and back end and see what works, on a technical, visual and business level. The key is to think long-term, research and plan. Take baby steps, it won’t happen overnight. If time or finances are tight, prioritise what needs to be done to get the site to a place that functions correctly against your key web goals. Traffic? Target your user experience and keywords. Conversion? Get that content up to date with a call to action.
Practising what we preach
Of course, we are not just here to tell you what to do – it applies to us just as much! When it came to giving our website a spring clean, we went all the way and built a new site. Our platform needed a core update and from audit and review, we realised the foundations needed updating to accommodate what we need now and in the future. We went right back to the drawing board and opted for a new design, new approach and a new offering, focusing on improved user journeys and lots of lovely content to keep visitors enthused and updated. Already it is generating enquiries, which shows we made the right decision.
So if you think your website no longer reflects your business, and it might be time for a site refresh, get in touch for a chat. We'll be happy to help.