5 Reasons Your Organization Needs a New Website
You may have seen ads for Squarespace, or received an e-mail from an agency telling you just how great their web design prices are, which will probably leave you with one key question: do I really need a new website?
Your organization may have a website that you're utterly satisfied with, or with one some minor grievances. Ultimately, though, the need for a website depends on many different factors ranging from performance to available resources.
Here are five key reasons why you or your organization should consider revamping your presence on the web. These are especially crucial in the age of COVID-19, when your appearance on the internet is just as important (if not more) than any other aspect of your business.
1. Your Website Hasn't Been Updated in a Few Years
This may be the most obvious and well known reason to refresh your website. We’re not suggesting you should create a new site just because it's a few years old. However, if your website hasn't been updated in a few years, chances are it's not going to meet many of the standards of today's web landscape. This is because the needs and expectations of both users and search engines are constantly evolving, and if your site fails to meet those expectations, you'll find yourself falling behind your competition.
2. Your Website Doesn't Perform on Mobile Devices
By 2021, Google will be switching to Mobile First Indexing for all websites. In other words, all websites will be ranked based on how well they perform on mobile. As mentioned in the first point, this means that your site needs to be up to speed (literally) to meet the ever changing requirements of search engines.
Beyond the needs of a search engine, however, are the needs of your users. A majority of users nowadays access the web from a mobile device, and if your website is frustrating to use, potential customers are more likely to leave and look for a solution elsewhere.
3. Your Website is Slow
This is another common reason to update a website, and site speed can be brought down by many different factors. A slow website isn't just one that takes minutes to load. On the web, even a second can be the difference between losing or gaining a customer.
For this reason, website speed is one of the most important factors for the performance of your website. To a user, a slow website is cumbersome. In an era of instant gratification, a slow site often means you will lose potential customers who would rather go to a faster competing website. To a search engine (i.e. Google) a slow site is one that is frustrating and not valuable to their users, which will cause your site to drop in rankings.
Site speed can be affected by many different elements of your website, but some major ones are:
- The platform your site is built on (Wordpress, Squarespace, WIX, Webflow, etc.)
Without getting too technical, the platform your website is built on can have a significant impact on the speed of your website. Different platforms use different, often inefficient methods to help you or your web designer built sites without needing to develop and code the site from the ground up.
- How well optimized your site is
Your site may be designed in a less than optimal way — you may have all your explainer videos on your home page, along with your blog posts, and more. The way your site is laid out is going to play a major role in how fast it loads and reacts. Many sites are also bursting at the seams with unnecessary plugins and code that could easily be removed to speed up your site.
- How well optimized your content is
Large images, large videos, and massive files could be slowing down your website significantly. You website most likely doesn't need a high-resolution image for each of your blog posts, and even compressing your files by a little bit could speed your site up by a serious margin.
Digital Marketing & Communications Specialist
Samuel Associates Inc.
4. Your Website No Longer Reflects Your Brand
Your website may have been a perfect reflection of your brand when it was originally built, or it may have just been a good-enough placeholder to inform your customers. However, brands and organizations change, and your website should evolve to adapt. We're not just talking about your logo and your colours here (although those are important and often change too).
More so than your visual identity, what matters is that your website communicates to users and customers in a way that matches you brand (check out how and why Busara carried out their re-brand). For an organization that sells military vehicles, the tone, wording, and look of the website and messaging should be very different than that of a company that sells professional staffing services to other businesses.
5. You're Not Getting the Results You're Looking For
At its core, your website is a business tool. As such, it should always serve your business goals and objectives. If your goal is to get clients to fill out a contact form to gather leads, your website should be designed to do just that. One of the first questions we tackle when we are approached by clients is: does your website get you the results you want?
Often times poorly designed user experiences and slow performing websites work actively against your business goals. This can range from your call-to-action being tucked away at the bottom of your page to an overwhelming amount of information.
Crafting a positive and goal driven user experience is a balance of art and science, and although it doesn't always call for a whole new website, sometimes that is the way to go.
Bonus - Your Site is Difficult for YOU to Use
We focused a lot on the user in this article, but there is another user to consider — you.
A website that is hard for you or your team to use is costly and unproductive work in your marketing efforts. If your technical or marketing team has to spend days fixing minor issues, or you have to contract a freelancer every time you need to add a blog page, you've got a problem.
Modern websites (and the ones we build for our clients) are designed to make your life as easy as possible. Your website is a reflection of your company and your brand, and it should be easy for you to modify, control and promote.