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Don’t Wait to Update Your Website

The-Ferry-Boat-Inn-Felixstowe

A lot of businesses defer updating or having a website redesign because they think it’s too costly or may take too long. In some cases they just don’t view a good website as being important enough as they are still clinging to the view that it’s all too new and modern and they are doing just fine without one thank you.

The truth is that failing to update your site will be more costly in a business sense the longer you leave it. Web Technologies change so quickly that a site that was brilliant 3 or 4 years ago is now very old fashioned and in some cases may not even work correctly on mobile devices.

An old unresponsive style site will be a frustrating and horrible experience for a client viewing it on a Smartphone or Tablet, with fingers scrolling left and right, up and down to get to the parts of the page they can’t see because it’s all off screen

As with a lot of customers that I talk to they are still clinging to the idea that technologies such as Adobe Flash are where it’s at on web design and they are very wrong. Flash is a dinosaur now and is probably going to be quietly retired in the near future.

If your site looks old and is hard to use, customers will visit and think “oh dear” and then quickly scoot off to find another site that is easy to use. We all do it when visiting a site for buying things online, how many of you have thought:

  • It’s taking ages to load.
  • Aaaagh! I can’t use this site on my phone!
  • I can’t see the site because I am waiting for this huge Adobe Flash thing to load.
  • Fed up of having to scroll the phone sideways as the text is off the side of the page.
  • This frustrates your customers the same as it frustrates you and they won’t stick around to be meted out more pain so will head off to the next link in the Google Search.
  • A site that looks old fashioned and outdated also gives the air of having nothing of value to offer as is the case with other things. Would you buy a 10 year old product for £500 when you could have a new one for £350? No you wouldn’t.

On average a customer will decide whether your website is worth sticking around on within three seconds and generally no longer than four. If you have an e-commerce site then this is clearly not good.

Now your website doesn’t have to be the best and most amazing website that was ever made but it does need to be easy to use, have a nice menu that works nicely, be relatively up to date, have an attractive look and be able to do what you want from it.

You would be surprised how many business owners have never even used or looked at their own websites and they usually cite that they are too busy. This is a dangerous practise and one that is doomed to fail. How do you expect a customer to take pride in your site if you haven’t even taken the time to do that yourself?

Updating a site because your business has evolved

If your business has changed or grown out of what it was a few years back, a website redesign is a great way to show customers those changes. Perhaps you have a new product line or you have moved your premises. Maybe you now wish to sell your products online in a shop or you need to have a blog added for communicating with your clients.

The best way to go about adding major changes such as these is to make the task easier by going for a redesign, especially if your site is more than about 36 months old. It’s far easier to build a new site with new tech than revamp an old one by adding new things on top of old.

If you add new things on top of old things it can look a bit out of place, a bit like adding 22 inch alloy wheels to a Land Rover. So think carefully before you add anything onto an older site.

Another danger is that your website is now too old for your business and is giving customers completely the wrong impression to that you are trying to convey to them.

Google and SEO

Having a wonderful web site with all the latest bells and whistles and is an amazing user experience is not enough to get you noticed in the online world. A website has to be properly optimised so that Search Engines such as Google understand it. Google likes websites that are useful to the people that are viewing them, sites that give up to date and relevant information.

Therefore sites have to be worked on after they are built to enhance their presence on the internet.

This can be difficult with an older site as they don’t always have the means to allow for these types of changes. For instance a newer version of Magento or WordPress is much friendlier to Search Engines than a version that is a year older.

A website redesign using new technology will automatically have more inbuilt optimisation when it comes to Search Engines. Having a site redesign also allows you to change images and text to a better layout, redesign navigation structure and move content about so it engages with an audience on a greater level.

You should also not wait until after your site is redesigned to think about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) as this can create problems when code has to be changed on the site to accommodate it. Its far better to purchase a site redesign with SEO services incorporated as the optimisation can then be built in at the design phase. This is why it does not pay to purchase a cheap site and then get frustrated when it doesn’t work like you thought it would. It’s better to pay for the site redesign and SEO work at the start so it can all be incorporated.

This can be cheaper too as an SEO Consultant can be very expensive depending on what you wish to achieve. I do offer SEO services but would always advise customers to pay that bit extra and have it done at the start of the project while in the design stage.

You should always liaise with your designer or consultant and give him all the information you have about your business:

  • You should discuss, provide or ask about SEO Friendly Content.
  • Have Images available that are of good quality and ready to be optimised.
  • Have in mind optimised page titles and the keywords you want to target.
  • Discuss SEO friendly Site Layout and Menus.
  • Perform some research on your competitors.
  • Have in mind what your end goal is for a new website.
  • Always discuss and ask questions and don’t worry about asking questions you think may be awkward. A good agency or consultant will be able to give answers to all your queries.

Also discuss about having a Social Media campaign set up which is also important to the wellbeing of your online presence. Think of it as free advertising. I hear a lot of business owners say “Not getting involved with that Facebook thing” which is a huge mistake as it can grow your customer base.

Things like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are absolutely important to growing your business presence which is why global corporations spend so much on having consultants do if for them. Social Media is also important for allowing sites like Google to gauge how important your site is and as you get more interaction with your audience the more weight a Search Engine will give to the importance of your site.

Get Customers on Mobile Devices

If your website is not what is known as responsive or at the very least designed with mobile users in mind you run the risk of throwing away potential customers and a lot of them at that. Due to the explosion in mobile phones people are constantly surfing while on the move. You need a site that can capture this ever growing audience.

Most mobile phone users will leave your site before it’s loaded if it isn’t mobile friendly. Using a Tablet or a Smartphone is 100% the future of the internet.

For instance did you know that the fastest growing sector for Smartphone users in 2014 is the over 55’s? Do you want to throw all those customers away? They are usually quite well off at that point in life and also purchase things online at a steadily increasing rate.

You can read my other posts on Mobile Web Design here for more information about mobile web design:

http://anodisedblue.com/what-is-responsive-web-design/

http://anodisedblue.com/should-our-website-be-mobile-friendly/

Get more sales

If you have a website where you sell products or services then a good site redesign will allow you to pull customers into buying products by carefully herding them round your site to an end goal.

Whether this is to have them call you, fill out a contact form, buy something in the shop or sign up for a newsletter including what is known as “call-to-action” on your site pages at key points will allow you to move people from just viewing into doing something that leads to you getting a sale.

Site Redesign Services

So after reading, if you think you need a site redesign and it’s strongly recommended you have one if your site is more than 3 years old, unfinished or under-performing, AnodisedBlue can redesign your site from the ground up to help you generate a wider audience and boost your leads and sales.

Call or email John to have a chat about your website and whether you need to have it upgraded or not.

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