JOURNAL

JOURNAL

Seven tell-take signs that your business needs a new website

Written by Mark Williams

 
 Laptop, Tablet & Phone with 3D Design
 

How good is your website? Does it bring you new buyers and enable you to sell to existing customers? Does it reflect your values as a business? What are the telltale signs that your website is past its “sell-by” date?

1 Your website looks like something from the early 1990s…

This is when the first websites were launched. The very first went live in 1991 and was created by Tim Berners-Lee to explain his the World Wide Web project. For the next couple of decades, most websites were pretty basic – including Google, Facebook and Apple. Technologically, things have moved on massively and having a website that looks like it’s stuck in the past will have people believing your business is, too.

2 Your website takes forever to load…

OK, “forever” is maybe overstating it, but we all hate slow-loading websites. They’re frustrating and we’ve got better things to do. Usually, if a page hasn’t loaded after a few seconds, we click back or to a bookmarked page to explore other options. According to research, 53 per cent of people will leave a mobile web page if it takes longer than three seconds to load, while slow page-loading times also affect your search engine rankings.

3 Your website isn’t mobile responsive…

In 2015 smart phones overtook laptops as UK internet users’ number one device. With so many of us now using our mobile phones to search for information online, you really need to make sure that your website looks good whatever size screen size it’s viewed on. “Responsive web design” provides the solution. If your website looks terrible or it’s difficult to read on a mobile phone, many visitors will immediately go off and search for one that doesn’t.

4 Your website isn’t generating enough leads or sales…

Your website should be a powerful marketing tool for your business – even if you don’t sell online. It should help you to attract and retain customers. With many of us now checking out businesses online before we contact them or buy from them, whether offline or online, if your website isn’t producing enough leads or sales, ask yourself why.

5 Your website has a “high bounce rate”

Your website might be attracting a reasonable number of visitors, but that’s no use if most leave immediately without looking at any other pages. There can be many reasons for high bounce rate, but having a poorly designed site or one that’s difficult to navigate are right up there. Visitors must be able to find what they’re looking for within eight seconds, according to many experts.

6 You can’t easily update your website…

Whether it’s investing in new equipment, launching a new product, winning new customers or welcoming new people to your team, things change in business. These are all developments that should be communicated via your website, but if that’s difficult or expensive to do, you may seldom if ever update your website. You should be able to update it yourself for free when you want. Getting a newer, easier and cheaper-to-update website will enable you to more regularly engage customers and attract new visitors with new content. 

7 You’re embarrassed to tell people about your website…

What more telling proof could there be that you need a new business website? But if the navigation, design, wording or imagery of your existing website is terrible, understandably, you’ll be coy about encouraging visitors, which could be costing you sales. You should have a website that looks great; one you’re embarrassingly proud of and take every opportunity to encourage people to visit. Choosing to get a new website for 2018 could prove to be one of your shrewdest recent business decisions.

• Take a look at some of the Squarespace websites we’ve created for small businesses or find out about the Squarespace packages we offer.


 Mark Williams

Mark Williams is a freelance editorial consultant, writer and SME content specialist with over 25 years' experience.  He contributes to The Guardian Small Business Network and planned and wrote the Start Up Donut website.  As well as award-winning magazines and websites, his writing has featured in national newspapers and Sunday supplements. 

You can find out more about Mark's work on his website: www.markiwilliams.com