So you have a website and you have been using it to promote your business or provide value for your customers for a while, great! Having a website in 2019 is a must, and has been for quite some time. They are extremely powerful platforms for both marketing, and building credibility to your brand.
Many people ask the question though, is my website still working? If it isn’t, what can I do to make my website work better for my clients and for my business?
In this article, I'm going to answer both those questions and give you some quick tips that can help revive your website from the hole that it's dug itself into.
Is my site still working for my business?
This is a very important question to ask yourself, a question that isn’t asked as often as it should be. Having a website is one thing, but continuing to make it work for you and your customers is something many people don't keep top of mind.
So how can you find out if your site is still working?
Well to start, let’s consider three key aspects of your website that can be used as benchmarks:
- Visual Design
- Mobile Responsive Design
Design is subjective, and can very often be up for debate. It relies heavily on personal taste and interest. However, just because we like the way our website looks doesn’t mean that our customers do or that it is up to current standards.
Just like any other industry, web design has its trends. In the early 2000’s websites were full of heavy Flash animation, lots of unorganized text, blurry photos, un-appealing fonts, the list goes on. At the time, this was the standard or the “Status Quo” so to speak. As the years have passed, many industries have had to undergo sometimes drastic changes to stay up to date and the standard of website design is no exception to this.
You can do doubt remember the good old days when websites looked like this:
Busy, text heavy and cluttered. Today, I think we can all agree that if we were searching for a flight and we visited this site we would all hit the back button faster than you could say “bahamas” in search of something that is more visually appealing and user friendly.
Now, what if this site actually had the best deals and the most amazing vacation packages? Would that help lengthen the amount of time that visitors spent on the site? Possibly, but highly unlikely. Perhaps a few individuals already know the site has the best deals, they may be willing to wade through the rat’s nest of navigation and messy text all in order to find the best deal. Their experience however, would be rather lacklustre.
For the average customer, however, one that is doing a quick Google search for “Cheap Flights to Mexico”... This site, although perhaps having the best deal, in 2019 stands to lose up to 85% of their paying customers. Why? According to Simple SEO Group:
“People don’t like going to websites that look like they haven’t been updated in years. This is probably the most common reason why people leave a website.”
Now, fortunately for Air Canada they understood this problem and have kept up with the trends over time to maintain their current and future customer bases. Looking at their site now, we see a much cleaner approach, one with clear calls to action that do not bombard users with overwhelming amounts of text and links. Bravo.
- Compare your website to other websites in your industry often
- Ask friends, family and co-workers to visit your site and ask them for feedback on the site’s design
- If your site is over 3years old, it may be time for a redesign to stay up to date and modern
Mobile Responsive Design
When I'm surfing the web, in search of information or shopping for a product, more often than not I am doing this from my phone.
Being able to find information no matter where you are using just your mobile device is the epitome of convenience. But, and i’m sure you’ll agree, that there is nothing more frustrating than going to a website and finding that it is not optimized for mobile use. Seriously. It's 2019. At this point in time it is essential that ALL websites be mobile friendly.
In early 2015, the percentage of users accessing the internet from a mobile device surpassed 30% of all traffic, with the remainder of traffic attributed to more traditional desktop devices. In July of 2019, according to GlobalStats, mobile traffic has increased by over 20% with mobile traffic now accounting for over 51% of all web searches and traffic.
These statistics are projected to continue to increase as time goes on, leading us to the conclusion that mobile is continually the way of the future.
Having a website that is not mobile optimized in 2019 could be leading to over half of your customers looking elsewhere for the services or products that you offer.
- Ensure your site works well on all mobile devices
- Test your site’s mobile performance with the Mobile Friendly Test provided by Google
When choosing to purchase a new phone, a new computer or even a new car there are many decisions and comparisons the average customer makes. They compare the design of each item, the overall cost, and more often than not they will compare the performance of each product as well.
The society we live in now, is centred around a "Need it Now" mentality. Everything has to be done quickly, efficiently and done with the utmost of polish. This is just as true when it comes to your website.
As technology around us continues to improve and get faster, our websites need to keep pace. Even waits above 5 seconds can feel like an eternity.
In a Google Webmaster video, Maile Ohye, states that “2 seconds is the threshold for e-commerce website acceptability. At Google, we aim for under a half second.”
On average, most sites in Canada are sitting at around 9-12 seconds to load. These slow load times are one of the biggest factors that contribute to customers leaving your website and going somewhere else.
So what can you do to help your website be a bit faster? The following resources are a great place to start.
- Check your website’s performance with PageSpeed Insights from Google
- Optimize your images for the web by following this article: 10 Must Know Image Optimization Tips
Ultimately, if any of these items discussed in this article describe your website or you feel that your site may be able to improve in these areas, it may be time to reconsider a website redesign. Need some help figuring out where to start? We’re here to help! Get in touch with us today to see how you can get your website operating at its fullest potential.