Websites are becoming increasingly competitive, in every sense of the word. They’re no longer just a place to post staff photos, a ‘shop’ page, an ‘about us’ page and a ‘contact’ section.
Nowadays, they are a hub of relevant visuals (photos/infographics), easy-to-navigate video/blog content to inform/educate/upskill customers, concise descriptions about staff members and how they are able to help customers, and a purpose-driven message about why the company is important and needed in today’s world.
Clear, consistent branding is also a crucial element of web design.
Here are some red flags to watch out for when it comes to deciphering if your website is due an upgrade.
Your site is slow-loading
Did you know the average time a person is prepared to wait for a website to load is three seconds? Sometimes even less than that!
So, if your website is taking longer than three seconds to fully display onscreen, straight away this is a reason to fish through and find out what might be slowing it down.
Slow loading will also affect your rank in Google, which again will harm your traffic and turnover.
In addition, more and more people are using handheld devices to search for things online. Technology is always changing and is now focusing on finding ways to make sure these devices load pages as quickly as desktops and laptops.
This technology is called ‘Accelerated mobile pages’ – AMP. (If your website isn’t already mobile-friendly, have a good look at how you can change that!)
Your site is not a good resource & you’re not keeping up with competitors
The Average Joe will say he doesn’t like being sold to, but when you cover up the classic sales pitch through well-thought-out content that shows the customer you’re passionate about your expertise and field of work, they don’t realize this content is doing the selling for you!
It’s all good and well having multiple pages on your website with the necessary information customers need in order to understand who you are as a company, and how to buy your products, but beyond telling people what they need to do, something we should all be considering is how useful our website is beyond those standard necessities.
So, how can you build up that trustworthy, knowledgeable and helpful relationship with your customers? Companies all over the world are leveraging their expertise in the form of blog and video content, to educate, inform and upskill their clientele.
It’s an increasingly popular and successful way of showcasing who you are, what you know, and how you are the solution to your customers’ problems.
(What’s more, if your competitors have a blog or YouTube channel already, you should definitely get the ball rolling for your business.)
Things look cluttered
Over time, digital or not, everything changes. Think about it like this … If you walk into a newly built home and see nothing but antique furniture, you’ll wonder which decade you’ve stepped into and be confused about whether the real estate agent is familiar with 21st-century trends.
It’s no different with websites. Back in the day, lots of pictures, big chunks of text and wacky fonts were all-the-rage, but now modern designs have taken a slick, condensed, stand-out format wherein less is ALWAYS more.
Also, more and more people are searching on handheld devices which means your content needs to read nicely in more than one format – namely for smartphones or small tablets.
These days, customers are a lot savvier when it comes to knowing what they need and where to go to get it. Have a look at what your website is telling your customers, visually.
Are you conscious of their need to be given clear, well-structured messages and a strong sense of purpose from your brand?
Or, are you trying too hard to include absolutely everything there is to know and therefore making your customers feel a little bit dumb?
Cull, cut, chop – whatever you want to call it, take some time to consider what really needs to be on your website. Create clarity but at the same time, develop a sense of intrigue where those customers want to get in touch with you to find out more.
No clear color scheme
This sounds really obvious, but it’s surprisingly often overlooked in favor of just getting all the right images and text onto webpages.
Themes and outlays matter.
Think about it this way, if you walked into a store and found that the walls were painted random colors with odd paintings everywhere, the front door didn’t match the rest of the doors and the carpet clashed horribly with the displays, you’d probably wonder what you’d walked into, and assume the company didn’t care about presentation. This goes for websites as well.
Clarity is key. If you stick to clean colors and tones and make them consistent throughout the website, this will automatically level up your brand and show that you’ve thought about design, not just splashing all the sales information everywhere. You may well already have some pleasant colors in place with your logo crammed in the top corner, but think about whether those colors are a bit outdated now, or if you could jazz them up to reflect a more diverse audience.
You’re not adapting with your brand
A common mistake is not moving with your company’s own personal timeline. For example, if your business is changing direction or rebranding, it makes no sense for your website to remain the same.
Similarly, if your goals or products have changed/been developed/been taken off the market, your website should reflect those changes. If your company is trying to market to a new audience, a little research will show you how best to appeal to that audience.
All of these factors, if dismissed, will lead or have led to low conversion rates – and we are all aware this is not good for your business. When it comes to web design, businesses can sometimes underestimate the power of a good-looking site with relevant content and easy-navigable structures.
If any of these red flags have rung true to you, it’s about time you consider a website upgrade and see how you can turn things around.