How do business owners know when it is time to update their business website? Short answer: when the business website is no longer “trendy”.

When it comes to your business website being “on trend”, it has less to do with popular color palates or avant-garde design than one might think. Website design trends are often the offspring of marketing and consumer behavior data points.

Businesses would be wise not to ignore the trends of web design. Below are 11 sure signs it is time to update your business website.

#11: The Homepage Looks Like a Big Brick of Text

If your pages are copy heavy, meaning you have large bodies of text, it looks like a bore and people will pass. Strive for quality of content over quantity. Use headers, short paragraphs, and larger size font to improve readability.

Above all, remember that people want to find the information they need quickly and aren’t willing to scroll through a lengthy introduction to find what they’re looking for.

#10: There are too Many Pages

Not every business needs a massive website. Some business owners think that the more pages they have, the better they will rank in search. As a result, they created a page for every single service they offer. If you’re going to add a page, make sure you have enough substance to fill the page.

Even if your website seems organized, too many pages might lead people to feel overwhelmed or frustrated. Focus on your home, services, and contact pages.

#9: The Homepage is Missing a Button

You don’t have to have a button linked to your social media pages, but at the very least you should be providing mention that you’re on social media. 45% of online shoppers said social media influenced their shopping decisions. (Source PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2015)

There is, however, one exception to providing links your social media pages…

#8: It Looks Like a Ghost Town

What was once the central station to your bustling social media pages is now an abandoned ghost town. Now when your customers go to find you on Facebook they are met with a disappointing post of “Wishing you a Happy 2015”. Even worse is having an inactive social media feed on your website itself. If you have no intention of keeping your social media accounts active, it’s better to remove the links from your website altogether.

Just imagine if you kept the lights off in your store with the closed sign displayed. If your website doesn’t look like you’re open for business, you’re hurting your sales.

#7: Your Business Website Reflects You and You Alone

There is no question that as a small business owner you pour your heart and soul into your business. As a result, you designed your website to be your favorite color. You may have even written a lengthy biography for your landing page about who you are and why you’re in business. Unless you’re in business to buy from yourself, you might consider redesigning your site.

Expressing what sets you apart from all the competition is Business 101. However, your website should not only be attractive to potential customers but attracting them! You might be unintentionally alienating some of your clients because of how you’ve branded your company.

#6: Your Customers are Telling You They’re Confused

If there is one sign that could fall from the binary heavens and hit you on the head it’s this one. If your customers are calling in telling you they couldn’t figure out something on your website that’s a problem. Additionally, if they’re asking you what services you do (or do not) provide, then the content on your website is incomplete.

Redesign your site to make it user-friendly and update your content to clarify the things your customers need to know. Then, have both loyal customers and total strangers give you feedback on your website.

#5: You’ve Recently Redefined Your Company Goals or Re-Branded Yourself

If you’ve changed your logo or branding in any way, your website needs to be consistent with this.

The same also holds true if you’ve shifted your goals. If you’re expanding to include a new service area, or a new target audience, make sure your website is attractive to your potential new clients.

#4: You’ve Lost Your Competitive Edge

Keeping content current is particularly imperative for the service industry. If your last blog post was from 2 years ago, or if your website is still promoting outdated products, customers may have a hard time seeing you as the leading expert in your area.

Also, consider opening your website and your competitor’s website in a side-by-side comparison. Pay close attention to if your competitor’s website looks more inviting or credible than yours.

#3: Your Website Analytics Raise an Eyebrow

A high bounce rate on your homepage could mean that potential customers didn’t find what they were looking for in the 15 seconds they were willing to give you. Or, they were in some other way put off. Another cautionary sign is if your bounce rate is steadily increasing over time, regardless of if it’s comparatively low.

#2: It Violates the 3-Second Rule

Various statistics show that people will potentially abandon your site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Google’s John Mueller tweeted last November that websites should aim for less than 3 seconds.

The number one reason to update your site is…

#1: It’s not Mobile Friendly

If you didn’t know that business searches via smart phones continue to be on the rise then you’ve been hiding under that payphone for far too long. Google recommends using responsive web design. As if that wasn’t enough, 30% of users said they would stop engaging if the content didn’t display well on their device (Source: Adobe, 2015). It’s annoying trying to push tiny links with big fingers and to zoom in to read a site’s nano-sized text.

Your website shouldn’t give off a negative customer experience. Navigate through your website from your phone and see how user-friendly it is.
Do you have more questions about this article or how to update a business website? Contact a Catalyst Tech Solutions expert.