7 Signs That You Need a New Business Website

Does your website look like it was built in the Land Before Time? Do customers complain about a baffling user experience, outdated content, or too many 404 errors? Have your online leads all but dried up? Sounds like it’s time for a new business website.

Whether you’re an owner, sales rep, or marketer, your company website should be your strongest digital tool for promoting products and services, driving sales or conversions, and telling your story. A clunky website tells the tale of a business that doesn’t take care of the details — or worse, it doesn’t help people understand anything about you at all.

We’ve been doing web design and development here in sunny, tropical Vancouver for almost a decade, and we’ve heard countless factors that prompted clients to contact us about a company website redesign.

Here are our biggest indicators that your site’s time has come.

illustration showing cave drawing of dinosaur using a laptop

Web design for failing marketing and SEO

1. Your site isn’t fast enough

Google has acknowledged that speed is a ranking factor for searches on all devices, with a 2018 Speed Update that placed more weight on speed for mobile searches.

Whether your audience is on a desktop or smartphone, they aren’t going to wait 30 seconds for your content to load. They’ll bounce back to the search results and choose a different option, and that’s bad for business.

You can look at your Google Analytics page timings data, or test your site with tools like Google’s own PageSpeed Insights. If a handful of pages are performing poorly, these can be fixed with speed optimizations like these tips from Moz. If most of your website is suffering from slow load times, it might be time to address the bigger picture.

2. Your site isn’t mobile-friendly

As mentioned above, Google favours sites that deliver a speedy experience for mobile visitors — who make up around 57% of organic searchers in the US and similar numbers in other countries including Canada, Japan, and the UK.

Google’s algorithm pairs mobile-friendly sites with proximity to the searcher (among its many ranking factors) when displaying local results, such as “where” and “when” searches that typically relate to shopping, food, or entertainment.

If you check your site on a mobile device and the content falls apart, or becomes broken, trying to fit onto a mobile screen — that’s a poor user experience, and Google will notice. You can also look at your Google Analytics data for deeper views of mobile visits.

A redesign of your site is often needed to address a poor mobile experience. Learn more about mobile web design in our post comparing mobile and responsive practices.

3. Your site isn’t getting organic traffic

Traffic = opportunities for conversions.

Visitors to your site create new chances to engage, showcase your capabilities, and share your story. If no one is visiting your site, they can’t make those clicks to purchase, sign up for newsletters, or learn about your company to make a decision.

We could climb up on a soapbox and speak for hours about how much organic traffic matters, but we already published our insights on how to grow organic traffic.

What you need to know is that if you’ve seen a steady drop in organic search traffic, simple content updates might not do the trick. There might be multiple underlying technical SEO and design issues that can be resolved with a new business website.

Not sure where your website is at in its lifecycle? Read Website Redesign vs. Refresh: Which Do You Need.

Web design for floundering business development

4. Your site is ancient

Old web designs are fun to look at — seriously, check out these old sites that are still kicking! — but only in a nostalgic, “kids today don’t know what dial-up was like” kind of way. For most companies, an outdated site is a big negative.

Here are 6 major reasons an old website can hurt your business:

    • Weak impression of your company’s personality and skill
    • Outdated security hurts SEO
    • Lack of fresh content also hurts SEO
    • High likelihood of mobile incompatibility
    • Reduced accessibility and usability = terrible UX
    • It looks like you don’t care (or you might not still be around)

If your site doesn’t deliver the same level of customer experience that someone would get speaking with you in person or over the phone, it’s definitely time for a new business website.

5. Your site doesn’t represent your offerings

You might have gone through a rebrand (or two) since your site was built. It might be missing new products, services, and team members because the web development and design were handled by a person or agency you no longer work with, and you have no idea how to update it.

Remember, your website should be a tool that your sales team, marketing department, and anyone else involved in the company can use to explain who you are and what you do to prospective clients. It might even be the only place people can learn about you, or buy your products.

If it doesn’t showcase your current capabilities, or if it contains outdated content that poorly represents your brand, you probably already know you need a new website.

6. Your site has a terrible user experience

User experience, or UX design, is critical to the success of moving a new visitor through your website quickly and effortlessly, giving them what they need to solve their problem.

UX design covers everything from your site’s navigation and architecture to how and where content is delivered during the visitor’s journey. With global Internet usage rising every year, audiences have a strong understanding of what websites should be able to do — and high expectations for usability.

If it’s a matter of cleaning up your navigation blunders and you have the capability to fix it, do it! If your site has multiple major UX issues with structure and content, a redesign is definitely needed.

7. Your site doesn’t convert

Sales. Leads. Email subscribers. Brand ambassadors. These are all things we hope to earn through our websites. And these are all things our websites should be able to deliver.

A referral business website needs to immediately communicate your capabilities, and showcase your trust and credibility content (case studies, testimonials, partnerships or clients). Through this convincing content, it should drive leads — contact form submissions, email or phone call clicks, downloads, and requests for demos.

An inbound marketing website is geared toward business growth and awareness, attracting traffic and building relationships. It should be generating email sign-ups, social media engagement, downloads, and content engagement.

If your site isn’t hitting those goals, you might be able to address it through changes to the design and copy to emphasize conversion content. But it might be something bigger, like a combination of weak UX, poor SEO, and technical problems with the site development itself.

Ready for a rebuild? Read How to Prepare for a Website Redesign in 2019 and call us in the morning! Did you know that Forge and Smith is recognized as a Top Website Design Company on DesignRush? We’re thankful to all the clients who have trusted us with their websites since 2010.