Just like almost every person has a car, almost every business has a website. And when done correctly, your website makes your business easily accessible to everyone online. Having an attractive and current website allows customers to get better acquainted with you if they know you, and find you if they don’t! If you can succinctly implement a good design, marketing, usability and time, you can turn your website into the convenient side-of-the-road garage that most people will want to stop at. There are a lot of things to consider when updating your website and we know it can be daunting! We have pinned down 14 key reasons why this will in the short, and most importantly the long term, be beneficial for you and can help bring travelers’ business repeatedly into your garage! Here are 14 reasons to update your website.
1. Visual Appeal
When a potential customer visits your site they are looking for two things. Number one: What can you do for them? And number two: Are you a good company to work with? If you have a well-designed professional site, you will be viewed as someone with authority and as an expert. On the other hand, if your site is poorly designed or out-of-date, a similar assumption will be taken regarding your company. (Don’t let your business sign hang on one hinge, it looks tacky and the threat will push people away from doing business with you!)
Does your content (including blog posts, events, etc.) have dates on it? It makes sense to remove or update old content. As websites mature and grow, it often becomes apparent that certain parts just aren’t working well anymore and are becoming outdated.
2. Responsive & Mobile Friendly
We live in a smartphone society. Phones have become computers we can fit in our pockets. Your website needs to be able to keep up with the excessive phone use and be just as appealing on a small screen as a full sized computer. Just like a go-kart is designed for all sizes of people, your website needs to be formatted to fit all sorts of appliances and screens. It is common practice to make a website mobile friendly, meaning it has a responsive design.
Another thing to consider is what your average customer prefers. If you are targeting a younger generation that is more likely to use a mobile device, you should design your site to be mobile friendly first. Once you have that done, you can move on to working out other viewing options. Sometimes if you get the sports car first you’ll get the target market you are after, and then get the heavy duty truck.
3. Technique & Coding
Is your website compatible with all browsers? Is your code valid (HTML and CSS)? Are basic web standards being met? Is the programming language outdated? Just like building a car, all the parts need to match and be up to date. If you have one piece that is not working the whole car won’t run perfectly. Making sure your website’s parts are the best they can be is vital.
Web standards are constantly changing and the techniques to build websites are advancing every day. Not staying up to date with web standards can negatively affect your Google search ranking. For example, if you have an old site there is probably extra HTML code slowing your site down which will influence your Google results. Taking the time to update your website could change the garage location from backroad to downtown freeway exit.
4. Effective use of calls to actions
A call-to-action is you telling your customer to do something. In a race, it is telling the drivers to go! It might be to buy your product, subscribe to your blog, or simply get on an email list; this is one of the hardest things to do. You are declaring what your company goal is and hoping they want a part of it. Make sure that your call-to-action is clear on every landing page and that it is interesting enough to convince your guest to complete the action you want.
5. Measuring Effectiveness
Google analytics is a free tool that will help you measure your website’s effectiveness. This is a very useful tool but can be hard to manage. Luckily, there are free trainings you can view to see how to get the best of your data.
Does the Ferrari or the Datsun catch your eye? Which one catches your customer’s eye? The design of a car is the first thing you see, just like the layout of your website is your customer’s first impression. And when a guest visits your site they are looking for useful information about what you have to offer them. It often will come down to speed, the speed your website loads and the speed a guest can find the information they need.
Content is the most important thing because it helps your effectiveness and helps keeps your customers informed. It also helps with your Google results so it is something to keep up on and think about regularly.
7. SEO & Website Update
Just like keeping your content fresh will help with your SEO, so does keeping your digital marketing fresh. Other people are more likely to link to your website if it is new and easily findable. Just like sponsors on a race car, links to your site will help bring business and bring up your overall google score.
Google sends out spiders to crawl your website and if the content hasn’t been updated recently, Google might not consider it relevant, even if it is.
Redesigning your website also gives you the opportunity to reevaluate your keyword targeting. The way people search in Google changes with each generation and keeping up-to-date can save your business. Get that oil change every 5,000 miles!
8. Provide easy navigation
User experience is more than just how your site looks but how easy it is to use, the speed in which it loads, and how fast a user can find the information they are looking for. Navigation should help push the right guest towards the taking action on the call-to-action. AB testing user experience is a good way to see if you’re doing what is best for your business and your customers. Updating your website can help redesign your navigation so this isn’t as big of an issue in the future.
9. Is your bounce rate favorable?
Bounce rate is the percentage of people who make it to your website and then leave without going to a second page. The only time a high bounce rate is acceptable is when it is 100% and your site is only one page (this is very uncommon). If you have a high bounce rate and your site is more than one page there are a plethora of reasons people will be moving on without investigating further. It could be that your website is outdated, performing poorly, the information wasn’t displayed well and the guest couldn’t quickly find what they were looking for, or it was unattractive in their eyes.
Seeing how your site compares to industry standards is very helpful. You can get information from Kissmetric to see where you stand.
You can monitor bounce rate on your website through Google Analytics. We recommend looking at bounce rate in the following areas:
If you are a local company than a high bounce rate from people outside of your target geographic area can be expected and not worried about. Paying attention to who is staying on your website can also help you define your target demographics.
Having a high mobile bounce rate is pretty normal. Usually, a mobile user is just looking for an answer to a question and now browsing the web.
New vs Returning
A new user is more likely to leave quicker than a returning user. They have two different intents of coming to your site. New users are less familiar with your site meaning they don’t know where to look while returning visitors should have a better idea.
Hopefully, you have more than one way for people to find your site. They could come as a referral, email, social media, etc. Each medium is going to bring people with different goals causing different bounce rates. If you have a high number of bounce rates from your Google Ads you may need to rethink the wording of your ad so people have a better idea of what they are clicking on.
10. Website Speed
Does your website do 0 to 60 in 1.8 seconds? Just like a race car has to be fast to win, your website needs to be fast to make money. The average user will only wait up to 4 seconds for a website to load and stay happy. If your site takes longer than 8 seconds, a third of these people will leave and never come back. Your bounce rate might give this away if you don’t know where else to look. Google analytics tells you how long each of your pages takes to load on average. If your site takes more than 4 seconds to load, you need to rethink your theme and images.
11. Quick and Easy Updates
Being able to update your website yourself makes it easier to stay on top of minor changes that need to take place. Using a program like WordPress makes it easy and you don’t need to know how to code. It is a great idea to have someone that can always assist with the website, but having the freedom to do it yourself allows for speedier updates. (Learn to change your oil yourself! You won’t regret it!)
12. You’ll reduce your risk of getting hacked.
Having an updated website reduces your odds of getting hacked. Current code means a hacker will need up to date skills instead of the old ones that have worked so long. Getting an SSL or sitesecure.me can also help greatly with this issue.
13. Website Integration
It is standard these days to allow your customers to be able to do everything they need on your website, including login and online chat. More and more customers are expecting these options, and it can frustrate them if you do not provide these options online. Take the approach that your website gives your customers access to their own personal pit crew, provided by you. Get the whole thing working together and looking uniform and professional and your customers will appreciate it!
These 14 reasons will certainly help get you on the fast track to having a better website. If you would like advice on your current website, are still feeling unsure what you need to do, or just interested in learning more please feel free to reach out to our NetHosting Web Solutions Team! Our team of friendly Dedicated Experts is available to help you with any of your website needs.