How to Know if Your Website is Ready for a Refresh

How to Know if Your Website is Ready for a Refresh

Your website is a reflection of your company’s brand, so it should never go out of date. But when is the right time for a revamp?

Let’s say you built your website in 2014 and it has been working just fine since then.

You’ve kept up with updating the product or service listings. More importantly, there are people coming in and they indeed convert.

Everything seems fine, right?

The reality is that keeping your offer up to date isn’t enough to remain competitive.

Just think about it. As more people spend time online, the competition is getting fiercer. Brands and companies now go above and beyond to keep their websites fresh and attract even more potential clients.

This means to stay in the game, your website needs to look the part and offer great functionality. Simply put, your site needs to provide a straightforward UI (User Interface), respond quickly, and give visitors exactly what they’re looking for.

The way you achieve the above may depend on your niche and company goals. But let’s explore some of the most common signs that your website is aching for a makeover.

 

10 Signs It’s Time for an Upgrade

Sign #1 – The Bounce Rate Is High

Bounce rate is the number of people who leave your website without taking action or as soon as they land. The main question is – why do these people do that?

Often, they may leave because your website is too slow. You also might not have what they’re looking for. And this has to do with understanding and updating the pain points of your target avatar.

The pain points are whatever issues your potential clients are facing that your website should address. And since pain points may change, you have to keep your offer and posts in line with the new demand.

To get to the bottom of why your bounce rate is too high, you can conduct user onsite behaviour analysis. It’ll help pinpoint the problematic areas of your website and amend the pages accordingly.

Sign #2 – It’s Not Mobile-Friendly

Poor performance on mobile devices may annoy your visitors. Your website needs to automatically scale to smartphones and tablets – hardly anybody would bother to pinch just to read a piece of information.

Also, the UI and UX must be equally good on mobile and desktop versions. This means that the mobile version of your website needs to adapt to touch-based user interactions within a relatively small interface.

Simply put, visitors always need to be a tap or two away from taking action. They shouldn’t have to scroll endlessly on your site, except maybe if you run a media portal. Lengthy menus are often not needed, at least not when a visitor is looking for a specific product or service.

Sign #3 – The Layout Is Hard to Navigate

Imagine landing on a website, only to realise that you don’t know where to go next. Clicking on a menu doesn’t help because it leads to sub-menus without pointing you in a particular direction.

Then, when you choose to click on something, you’re sent to a page featuring many products that don’t interest you. And when you finally find what you’re looking for and click “Add to Cart”, you soon discover that it’s necessary to register to complete the purchase.

This is a more extreme example, but you get the point.

When creating the website layout, it’s necessary to prioritise your visitors and their experience. The idea is to understand their behaviour and ease the transition from browsing to conversion.

As a rule, visitors shouldn’t have to scratch their head thinking about what to do next. Instead, the option to take the next step has to be at their fingertips and is clearly indicated.

Sign #4 – The Design Is Outdated Compared to the Competition

Design trends change every few years and you will need to keep up with them. If your website looks like it’s 10-15 old, it may seem unsafe. Consequently, visitors will be reluctant to make a purchase.

The whole point of keeping the design fresh is to create an appealing environment to ease the shopping experience.

A beautifully designed website helps build trust, authority, and rapport with potential clients. Due to that, they’re more likely to shop and become recurring customers.

Truth be told, improving the website design is both art and science. But Automation Agency can assist you in creating a layout that resonates with your target avatar. From styling the opt-in forms to updating the WordPress website themes, we can do it all for you.

Sign #5 – Your Content Isn’t SEO Friendly

Keyword trends change, meaning the content you put up last year or a couple of years ago might no longer do the trick. This is why you need to keep an eye on the latest keyword trends and amend the content accordingly.

For example, “penguin update recovery” was topping keyword charts in 2012 in terms of volume. However, this term is way past its heyday, with very few people searching for it. And the same may apply to most keywords used in your old content.

So, you need to do some digging and uncover all keywords that are no longer relevant to your audience. While you’re at it, make sure to inspect the backlink profile of your blog posts.

Like keywords, backlinks may no longer work, affecting the relevance and ranking of the associated pages.

Sign #6 – The Website Doesn’t Offer Enough Functionality

Many websites wish to incorporate new functions but struggle to implement them. When that happens, it’s a signal that your platform isn’t up to date.

That being said, it’s possible to include new functions to an outdated website. However, it’s going to be expensive and you run the risk of the functions not working after a while.

Even worse, muscling in functionality without a platform update may slow down your website. As mentioned, this will deter visitors and affect your authority and ranking.

But no worries, Automation Agency can run a WordPress update for you and add functions seamlessly.

For instance, you may want to integrate webinar registrations. No problem – your visitors will enjoy a professional registration experience. Plus, you’ll automatically get all their credentials in your CRM.

Sign #7 – Your Website Has Technical Debt

If you’ve been making changes to the website since it went live, know that those changes may accumulate technical debt.

Website development practices change with trends and market demands. So, your website might suffer from inconsistencies in the source code. This makes it hard to implement additional changes without hurting the site’s structure or stability.

If you fail to deal with technical debt continuously, you might have to rebuild the entire website later on. And this is an added cost that you’ll want to avoid.

It’s best to get your development team to address the debt regularly. This should be an essential element of website maintenance since it drives down ownership cost in the long run.

Not only that, but it might also become next to impossible to update the website. You could lose some of the website’s functionalities and disappoint your visitors.

Sign #8 – Plugins Galore

When you first set up your website, you might have thought that you needed a bunch of different marketing and analysis plugins added in. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Install too many plugins and website performance will suffer.

At first, it’ll only be running slower. But some website functions may soon become buggy and lead to a drop in conversion rates.

Luckily, it’s relatively easy to streamline plugins.

Go to the backend, inspect all installed plugins, and remove those that you don’t use or immediately recognise. Of course, you’ll have to do a platform update afterwards to maintain website speed and performance.

Now, there isn’t a set number of plugins you should have. But you should be able to manage just fine with 3-5 plugins. Also, avoid all-in-one plugins as they rarely do everything equally well.

Sign #9 – Your Website Isn’t In Line With Your Objectives

Let’s say you have the idea for a killer marketing campaign that you aim to get a decent ROI for. If so, there’s probably a lot of traffic coming your way.

But what if website visitors aren’t converting at the desired rate?

The actions to take may include:

● A code audit
● UX and UI analysis
● Accessibility standards compliance

You shouldn’t spend any more money on marketing until you get to the bottom of your poor conversions. If the website is underperforming, there’s no point attracting more people who will just bounce away.

Ideally, you’ll create a list of all your objectives and regularly compare them against website performance metrics. Make changes as soon as there’s a significant gap between the two.

Sign #10 – Failing to Meet Google’s Criteria

The latest Google update happened at the beginning of 2021. It included page experience criteria to further improve website rankings for search intention.

Basically, Google found a way to update rankings based on user experience, which your website needs to reflect. Pay attention to the following metrics:

● First Input Delay – it’s the time needed for your page to load and offer interactions. It should be under 100ms.
● Largest Content Paint – this is the time that it takes for your main content to load. The ideal number is 2.5sec or lower.
● Cumulative Layout Shift – this relates to the amount of unexpected visual page content shift. You should aim for less than 0.1 or a very low shift.

You should also continue to inspect other criteria like intrusive interstitial guidelines, safe browsing, mobile-friendliness, and HTTPS security.

 

Keeping Everything Nice and Updated

At the end of the day, you don’t want to wait until there’s a problem before you update your website. It’s best to create a regular maintenance schedule and keep an eye out for any unexpected changes in visitor or website behaviour.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean running updates every week.

Minor tweaks every few months can take you a long way if you’re constantly tracking trends, Google updates, and website performance. And you can introduce significant changes in the overall design every couple of years or so.

In doing so, you’ll significantly drive down the cost of website updates. More importantly, you’ll be securing a steady stream of happy recurring customers. But let’s not forget that this strategy will also keep your website ranking high.

If you want to start updating your website now, Automation Agency can help you with that. We’ll help remove unnecessary plugins, introduce new functionality, and create a UI that’s in tune with your customer avatar.

About The Author

Carl Taylor

Carl Taylor is the Founder & CEO of Automation Agency. For the past 10 years Carl has been building businesses and marketing them online through the use of Sales Funnels, Email Marketing Automation, Landing Pages, and Wordpress Websites. Carl is also a #1 author and highly sought after speaker and consultant whose work has impacted thousands of businesses across various industries worldwide.