When your printer finally gives up the ghost and refuses to make another copy, what do you do? If it’s beyond repair, you hand it over to your e-waste partner and purchase a newer and better piece of equipment to serve your needs now and moving into the future.
While it’s easy to tell when you have no choice but to replace outdated electronics, knowing when to update your website is not quite as clear-cut. However, it is a lot more important because your website acts as your interface with online customers and more and more often, it could serve as the first and only point of contact.
This means you need a website that is both technically approachable and aesthetically pleasing. The layout and navigation should facilitate ease of use while the appearance should impress visitors and compel them to complete desired actions. If it’s been several years since your last redesign, your website is hopelessly antiquated by this point, and it’s time for a reboot.
Shelling out the dough for a redesign is rough, but the longer you let your website languish, the more customers and money you stand to lose. If you need proof, here are just a few of the ways your website could be harming your business.
Lack of Mobile Optimization
Responsive design isn’t new at this point, but if you haven’t updated your website in recent memory, there’s a good chance your pages don’t adjust for optimal viewing on mobile devices. This is a problem, considering the amount of time people spend browsing via mobile devices is increasing year over year.
In fact, there’s been such a leap in mobile usage for online browsing that Google adopted a mobile-first indexing policy that ostensibly gives preferential ranking to sites that feature responsive design. In other words, competitors that have upgraded to mobile optimization are not only offering more attractive and functional websites, but they’re also beating you out for relevant searches on Google. Ouch.
As the technology used to create your website becomes outdated and obsolete, you’re going to notice an impact on connectivity and performance. In other words, pages are going to take longer to load, and this is a virtual death sentence. Statistics on attention span vary, but pundits generally agree that you only have about 6-7 seconds to grab attention if you want to keep visitors on landing pages. If a page takes 8 or more seconds to load, you’ve lost your opportunity.
If you walked into a retail store that featured shag carpeting, faux wood paneling, and drab earth tones straight out of the ‘70s, you’d probably be appalled. Now you know how customers feel when they encounter your outdated website.
To be honest, you should perform at least minor upgrades annually to stay on top of changing trends – things move fast in the virtual world. Plan for a major overhaul or complete redesign at least every few years. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, you probably update seasonally to stay relevant and keep consumers interested. Take the same tack with your website and you’re a lot more likely to gain and retain online customers.