12 signs your business desperately needs a new website?
It’s 2017 and if your companies website looks like it was designed by an IBM engineer in the late 90’s its pretty obvious that the time has come for a new website. But your website doesn’t have to look like it was created on a Commodore 64 for it to be costing you customers. The problem is most companies don’t know how much their sub-par website is costing them because its revenue they have never realized. That unknown potential profit is what an effective website that engages customers can create. Here at the top 10 signs that your website is hurting your business.
1. Not Mobile Friendly - If its not responsive then your site is totally obsolete. Having separate mobile and tablet versions went the way of the dodo in 2014. Today the tables have turned when it comes to desktop vs. mobile websites. Before 2017 as long as your website was responsive the mobile search rankings inherited the desktop rankings. Simply stated, if your website ranked highly when you searched on a desktop/laptop then the tablet/smartphone rankings would be the same. Now the desktop inherits your mobile rankings.
2. Brand Disconnect – The company website is almost always a new customers first experience with your brand. If the online representation of your brand isn’t cohesive with brand guidelines and traditional marketing communication it creates confusion. A brand is much more than just a logo; it’s made up of so much more from how employees interact with customers to they way your office or storefront looks. Brand equity is incredibly valuable. Don’t loose out on revenue because of a disconnection with your website.
3. You have one of the last websites using Flash – Seriously… I can’t believe it’s still required to list this as one of the top reasons but this is still an issue. To be crystal clear, Steve Jobs killed Adobe’s Flash with the first iPhone by not supporting it. If you have anything flash on your website its pretty obvious its not been touched in the better part of a decade or the person managing it is more disconnected from current trends then the dad in High Fidelity that Jack Black rips into for trying to buy “I just called to say I love you” for his daughter.
4. Lacking clear CTAs (calls to actions) – Not only is it critical to have clear calls to action for what you want people to do when interacting with your website, its actually proven that repeating the same CTA multiple times increases conversion by 84%. Once you have the CTAs in place its possible to A/B test different copy to see what offers generate the most sales.
5. Bounce rate is over 70% - To be clear, having a bounce rate under 70% this is an absurdly low bar. That means that only 3 of every 10 people that visit the homepage of your website go beyond that point. If someone isn’t intrigued enough by their first impression to dig any deeper that’s a failed opportunity. It costs a lot to drive traffic to a website. It can be ongoing cost for SEO, paid search or retargeted campaigns where you pay-per-click or the unquantifiable cost of creating brand awareness that results in direct traffic. Once the hard work of driving potential clients to your site is accomplished, don’t make the second biggest blunder of all time by failing to engage them (everyone knows the biggest blunder is “never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.”)
7. Duplicate Content – Its fundamental that the content on your website is unique. I’m not referring to using the same stock photo as your competition (that’s point 8). The copy throughout your website needs to be unique. It doesn’t work to Google a similar company in another state or country and copy/paste/find/replace. Any time content is duplicated across the web it reduces the authority of both sites. This goes not just for the home page copy but everything down to page titles, meta descriptions and H1s.
6. No blog – Now you know that unique content is vital, to make it even more complicated is how fundamental having content that is constantly updated. By having a good blog that provides thought leader content in your area of expertise is going to drive up your organic search rankings, which will increase traffic. You can also pull content from the blog throughout the website to be consistently updating more than just the single blog post.
* A critical piece of the puzzle with the blog is consistent and quality content. If the content is crap or its infrequently updated a blog can have an undesirable result.
8. Stock image syndrome – Not just the words on the site but also the photographs and videos should be unique. Today’s consumers want to buy from brands that are authentic. Some stock imagery is quality and can work well but how genuine does it look when multiple orthodontists have the same stock photo of an attractive person smiling? Use professional photographs whenever possible.
9. Poor or nonexistent search engine rankings – Getting good organic search rankings takes time and in most cases money but the first step is a website with the correct content structure that is well built. Not all sites are developed the same. It’s paramount to have a website build search engine friendly. You should be able to easily modify not just the content but also all the factors in organic search rankings like page titles, H1s, and more.
10. Lack of analytics – I believe in data driven decisions. One of my favorite sayings is “if we have facts we’ll use facts but if we only have opinions we’ll just use mine.” It is quintessential to know how customers are interacting with your website. If you don’t have Google Analytics or another tool in place to monitor performance the person in charge of your website is hiding poor results or incompetent.
11. Low conversion – Have you determined what a successful interaction with your website is? It could be purchasing a product, downloading an eBook or filling out a contact form. Once you have established business goals then its possible to monitor the traffic that convert. By tracking conversion you can definitively determine how effective a website is its existing state. Increases in conversion can be as simple as changing the text on a button or as significant as requiring a significant website overhaul.
12. Lack of or proprietary CMS (Content Management System) – Not all CMS are built the same. There are some great tools in the market today that provide intuitive and easy-to-use interfaces that empower non-developers to manage a website. With a good CMS you have more than just the ability to add content, images and video. Its important to be able to scale the website which includes adding blogs, standard pages and the ability to spin up landing pages for different promotions. With affordable and powerful tools like Squarespace and Wordpress companies aren’t dependent on proprietary software that locks you to one agency (what happens if they go out of business?) and even worse a single shop developing new features and versions of the CMS vs. thousands of developers contributing on a monthly basis.
Even if your business is almost all referral based, 9/10 potential customers will check out your website out before calling or visiting your business. Imagine how much revenue has been lost to those referrals loosing confidence in a product or service. Now imagine the exponential profit for a business that was dependent on referrals that now drives business from buyers searching the web to fill a need. Open up your website on a phone and laptop side by side and make sure that you aren’t desperately in need of a website overhaul.