5 Tell-Tale Signs You Need to Update Your Website
Understandably, updating your website is not a whole lot of fun especially if your site requires a total redesign. The entire process can be time-consuming and expensive, but if online sales have been slipping, or they are on the verge of slipping, it is a good idea to periodically and objectively evaluate your website or e-commerce site and make the necessary updates.
So what are the signs that your site needs an upgrade or a major overhaul? Let’s take a look at the top 5 signs and try to find ways how you can make the necessary updates without spending a lot of time and money.
1. Your Traffic is Not Converting Into Sales
If your web traffic is not converting into sales, try starting with usability testing and searching in Google Analytics statistics to pinpoint the exact problem areas to figure out exactly where in the conversion funnel the majority visitors are dropping off. Once you figured out the problem areas you can formulate design or content solutions to fix them and be sure to use A/B testing to validate the changes you made.
Also, evaluate the content on all of you pages. Stale content might be a reason why you are not doing so well on products that you have carried for a long time. In addition to boosting sales, fresh content can help your site rank high in Google searches. Refreshing your content can be as simple as rephrasing certain content and adding relevant keywords that perform better in organic search results.
2. Your Bounce Rate is Sky High
If your bounce rate is consistently high, particularly on your homepage, this is definitely a sign that you need a redesign. A high bounce rate indicates that your prospective customers are either getting a negative first impression of your site or they are unable to quickly find what they are looking for. By redesigning a particular page or your entire website you can address both branding and usability issues at the same time.
If you are short on both time and money, identify and develop website pages that matter most and redesigning them. This includes your homepage which drives sales. Since people rarely buy from the “Contact Us” or “About Us” pages, focus your design efforts on the product listings and your homepage.
3. It Takes Your Site Forever to Load
Nobody wants to wait 3 minutes for your site to fully load. If it takes your site forever to load, the customer will happily take their business elsewhere. It is best for your site to load in less than 7 seconds to keep the convenience factor in play for your customers. If it takes your site longer to load, try shrinking the image files, optimizing content and browser caching to increase the speed of your site.
4. Your Website is Not Mobile Friendly
The next time you open up Google Analytics, be sure to check just how much traffic is coming from smartphones and tablets. Even if it is more than just a few percent, you need to ensure that your site is mobile friendly. Updating your website to a more responsive or adaptive design, maybe even with a mobile-specific design, can be affordable and, most importantly, it will allow you to reach your customers whenever and wherever they shop.
5. No Way to Opt-in to Receive News and Updates
Would you like to capture every lead that visits your website? Then you should have some kind of opt-in button in the upper fold of your website to capture visitor e-mails if they would like to stay in touch with you. In today’s densely populated online world, visitors might have stumbled upon your website by accident and may not be able to find you again. By giving them a place where they can enter their e-mail to receive some valuable content from you will not only help them find a way back to your site, but it also increases the chances of making a sale in the future.
Also keep in mind that the opt-in button, as well as any other call to action button, should have a modern style, high-impact color scheme. Consider also including some visual cues to guide users to actually perform the action that you are gently nudging them to do.
Given the five tips mentioned above, be sure to always be on the lookout for glaring errors such as broken links. Every once in a while, try assembling a group of people who are unfamiliar with your product or website and observe how they find and purchase product on your website. Create a list of items from various categories and have them click all the way through, starting with the initial search and ending with a final delivery confirmation. It may be tedious and time-consuming, but you might be surprised to find out just how many routes people take and the dead ends they encounter. Such an exercise can reveal navigation and design flaws. Finally remember: if you find out that there is a problem you need to address, or many problems, do not panic.
As we mentioned above, upgrading your website does not have to be painful, expensive and time-consuming. If you are experiencing the problems listed above, try doing an audit of your site, pinpoint the problem and act accordingly. The sooner you fix the issues on your site, faster you will start seeing improvements in your bottom line.