Your business website is one of the most important assets you have. You could have an excellent product or service and stellar reviews—but, if your website is out of date you will have a hard time creating new conversions. The problem is that many people don’t realize that their site is out of date until it is far too late. Often, people are running out-of-date sites that are difficult to update and make the visitor journey more difficult. Then, when it is time to update the site, the problems take longer to fix or an entirely new website build is required.
In order to avoid letting your site get too out of date, you should conduct an audit every few years. When you hire a custom website development company like Responsival you have access to our team of professionals who are experts in identifying out-of-date websites and either rebuilding or building completely new sites. So, if you have difficulty telling whether or not your site is out of date, you can always reach out to a member of our team for help with a user experience (UX) audit.
No matter your industry, you need to make sure your website is fulfilling its purpose and contributes to your company's mission. If your website is not directing visitors to your signature products or services, then you definitely need a site refresh. Company missions change all the time—the key is to remember to update your site accordingly.
If you need to change your list of services, list of products, or adjust your mission statement you have the option of updating your current site or completely rebuilding your site. Depending on how much has changed, your decision can differ. If you are completely changing your mission in addition to other aspects of your site, it is probably a good idea to contact a custom website development service to help you start with a brand new site design.
Another good way to determine whether your site matches your mission is to look at the data. If you are seeing decreasing site visitors coupled with high bounce rates, then your site definitely is in need of a refresh. After working with a custom website development team like Responsival, you can expect to see far better results from your site analytics. In general, the better your mission statement aligns with the content and design of your site, the more traffic and conversions you’ll see in your reports.
No matter what your company mission is, you need to be making conversions otherwise your site is ineffective. If you are seeing fewer conversions from your website each month, then you need to take a good look at your content and your UX. A conversion can be different things for different companies. For example, maybe your business designs custom homes. In that case, a conversion would be onboarding a new client. Your website should direct potential clients to a form to contact your development company. Once a client has signed on for a new home build, then you have a conversion. In contrast with companies selling items at a lower cost per purchase, you won’t need nearly as many conversions.
Luckily, when you contact a web development company like Responsival, our team will give you the tools you need to pinpoint where you are missing out on conversions. We use different tools like heatmaps to determine how users are navigating through your site and look for areas for improvement. We also audit your backend site architecture to make sure that your content is organized in a way that makes sense and is optimized for maximum SEO potential.
One of the easiest ways to miss out on potential conversion is to neglect optimizing your site for mobile. These days, you can expect over half of your site visitors to access your site from a mobile device. As you have probably encountered in your everyday life, there is nothing worse than a mobile site that doesn’t load or loads with errors.
If you haven’t previously created a mobile site for your company, then you may not know that the process is actually quite simple. Instead of creating two separate sites, web developers create what are called responsive websites. To put it simply, a responsive site is a site that is able to adapt to any size screen or device. This is actually how we got our namesake—Responsival! By using responsive design principles, it is easy to add content to a site without having to worry about creating separate pages for mobile. Responsive design also allows for simple site builds that can adapt to different types of layouts.
Before responsive design became the industry standard, site architecture was far more complicated and led to diminished SEO and slower loading times. Now that responsive design has become the default for many new website builds, it is easier than ever to create a site that works perfectly for desktop, mobile, tablets, and any other type of device. Additionally, your site will be prepared for the future in the event that we experience another change in screen sizes or in the devices we use every day.
When we are talking about your site load speed, we are talking about seconds—and even fractions of seconds. The average person will not wait more than 2-3 seconds for your site to load before they move on to another option. So, even if your site loads pretty quickly, there is almost always room for improvement.
A lot of your site load speed will have to do with your backend. This includes your site architecture and any plugins that your site needs to function properly. In general, it is best practice to make your site architecture as simple as possible while also limiting the number of plugins. Plugins—while they are handy—ultimately slow down your site over time. When you contact a custom website developer to audit your site, they’ll find ways to construct your site so you have everything you need to keep your website running while also making sure that your site runs as quickly as possible.
So far, we’ve made it to this point in the blog without addressing the visual “look” of your website. It can be tempting to get into SEO and your site’s backend as reasons your site may not be performing up to your standards. However—in some cases—your bounce rate could be due to the fact that your site is outdated and unappealing. When users see a site that looks like it hasn’t been updated since the Internet Explorer days, they are far more likely to find a more trustworthy-looking site. We’ve all stumbled upon a website that looks like it has been virtually abandoned—it is not a pretty sight and certainly does not inspire confidence in the brand.
When you choose to redesign your website with a developer like Responsival, we’ll work together and begin reevaluating your brand and coming up with new ideas for your website. Some businesses can benefit from a complete branding overhaul to bring their assets up to date. In some cases, it is only a matter of getting rid of a few outdated aspects of the site. At Responsival, we conduct in-depth market research to discover how your competitors' sites perform. From there, we begin to formulate a master plan to help companies with their website development and branding.
Though your site may be the most beautifully designed website on the internet, there are still aspects of the site that could give users issues. We previously discussed the importance of having a well-structured site architecture and a simple backend—this is where those principles come into play.
If you have a confusing site architecture including dead-end pages, 404s, and broken links, then you are in dire need of a website redesign. Often these types of errors occur over time as updates are made to the website and content is added and removed. During a complete site audit, your web development partner will identify areas of the site that need to be streamlined or removed altogether. Then, a site architecture will be created that places all your content in the correct place without any dead-ends.
During this process, content clusters will be created. A content cluster term refers to similar content being grouped together on a site for ease of use. For example, if you are a custom home development company, you may want to direct your site visitors toward FAQs about how to build a custom home. Any and all resources on the site related to information about building a custom home can then be grouped into a content cluster. By implementing these content clusters, you are able to give your site visitors a seamless informative experience and maximize your SEO potential.
At Responsival, we understand that a site is never truly complete. Just like no business remains completely stagnant for years, neither should your website. Even small changes like a change in your operating hours, shipping methods, or prices need to be easily accessible and changeable. If you are unable to properly update your site, your site becomes instantly out of date the second something changes within your company. Because of this, it is essential that your site is easy to update.
Not to mention, algorithms are more likely to recognize websites that are consistently updated with new content. If you have trouble putting new content on your site, then you are less likely to contribute blogs, case studies, and other types of content. The bottom line here is that if your website is giving you issues updating your content, then you should start looking for a website refresh.
The designers and developers at Responsival are experts in web design, UX, and branding and are able to help you refresh your website. We provide everything you need from SEO services to brand new site launches. Using our combined years of experience, Responsival has successfully refreshed hundreds of websites while fostering lasting relationships with our clients. If you are interested in a site refresh, then you can contact our team to get started!
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