10 Sure Signs its Time for a Website Redesign or Update

When was the last time you updated your website? How often should you?

Our clients often ask us how often they should update or redesign their website. The answer isn’t as straight forward as you might think. So to help people with this question I came up with 10 sure signs that it’s time to update your website.

Here are the 10 Sure Signs It’s Time For A Website Redesign or Website Update;

You have to pay for updates.

With today’s CMS (content management system) technology there is no reason, other than time or not wanting to mess with it, to be hunting down your web design company and paying them hourly to change simple things like product prices, photos in a gallery, adding testimonials or updating information about your services. You can update those things as easily as sending an email and we know how many of those you have to do every day! If can do it but aren’t because you don’t want to or don’t have the time we get that but if you aren’t doing it because your webmaster won’t let you… it’s time for a change.

Ask Yourself This – Can you make changes to your website on your own?

Your site doesn’t look good on smart phones.

We spend a ton of time these days on our phones. For most of the sites we manage people viewing them on smart phones makes up over half of their website traffic. Not only do you want to make sure people have a good experience when they visit your site on their phone or tablet you also want to do it because Google cares. They know how important a mobile/responsive ( meaning it works on a smart phone or tablet) website is and will penalize you if yours isn’t. This doesn’t mean Google will black list you or not show your website in the results but if it’s between you and someone with a mobile site, and everything else is equal, they’ll show up first.

Try This – Pull up your website on your phone. How does it look?

Your website looks out of date or old.

This one is a little harder to nail down specifics on but you can tell when a site looks like it was made on an Apple IIe. It will be super narrow, probably have a dark background and bright fonts, there will be lot’s of flashing text and images, maybe some toasters will fly by.. you get the idea.

Do This – Do a Google Search for “modern website design”. Click on images and check out some of the results. How does your site match up?

Sales or leads are going down.

Hopefully you have a good way of tracking how many leads or orders you get from your website. If not that’s a sign too. If you can track it and you see a trend of sales or leads going down, it’s time to figure out why and make a change.

Ask Yourself This- Are sales and leads from my website as strong as they have been in the past?

People don’t stay long.

Programs like Google Analytics will show you a lot about how people interact with your website. If you don’t have something like that we suggest you add it now and start watching these stats… Users, Sessions, Page Views, Time on Site and Bounce Rate. Users is how many people came to your website. Sessions is how many times they came to your site. Page views is how many pages they looked at while on your site. Bounce rate tell you how many people didn’t look at more than one page when they came to your site. If you are watching these numbers and see them going in the wrong direction then you know it’s time for something fresh and more effective. If you aren’t watching these numbers, get on it.

Do This – If you don’t have Google Analytics or something similar set it up now. If you do, looks at your stats for the last two years, month by month and figure out if they are getting worse or better.

Your company has made changes.

This one is pretty straight forward. If your marketing/graphic design person decided everything in your marketing needs to be blue now and your site is red, it’s time for an update. Also if your site lists services you no longer offer or doesn’t list ones you now do, it’s time to fix that.

Do This – Compare your website to that last brochure or flyer you had made.

You content is old.

If your site doesn’t get updated it’s bad all around. People don’t want to see the same old info and neither does Google. If you want to keep people interested and Google showing people your website then you need to keep your content fresh and current. If you can’t do that on your own, see #1, then let’s talk.

Ask Yourself This – When was the last time I added or updated info on my website?

People tell you it’s ugly.

If one person tells you that your website is ugly they might just feel like being mean, however, if you hear it a few times then you should start to listen.The flip side of that is this, when was the last time someone complimented you on your website and told you it looked good?

Ask Yourself This – Is my site ugly? Be honest with yourself now.

People can’t find you online.

If people are telling you that they can’t find you online it’s probably a combination of several of the above points. Either way it’s definitely a sign that you should look into updating your website.

Do This – Google your product or service and see if you come up.

Your site uses flash.

If you know what flash is your probably have it on your website. Fortunately you don’t see it as often as you used to. If you do have flash it’s a HUGE indicator that your site needs updating! Flash doesn’t load on all devices, requires people to install or update the flash plugin and in general is just a bad idea.

4 Steps to Finding the Best SEO Specialist for Your Business Needs

You have an awesome website, but not enough qualified visitors.

Is this a problem your business is experiencing?

Sadly, many entrepreneurs and small business owners don’t realize that once your fabulous website is built, potential clients simply won’t know it exists.

Not until it is properly search engine optimized that is.

So how do you get people to find your website on the first or second search results page of Google, Yahoo! or Bing?

The answer to that question can be very complex.

This is why most business owners invest in search engine optimization (SEO) agencies or specialists to increase their website search engine visibility that will generate more sales leads.

In working with many entrepreneurs and small business owners, the last thing they want to learn about is SEO! They would much prefer to focus on their own business and core competency than to learn someone else’s expertise.

So if your website suffers from low search engine rankings, and you don’t want to have to learn a whole new profession in order to boost those rankings, here are four steps to finding the best SEO consultant for your specific business needs:

Determine What You Want

Websites can be at varying search visibility stages and will have different SEO needs. For example, your website might only need to be ranked better on different search engines vs. needing everything from pay-per-click advertising, ongoing SEO maintenance, content creation SEM (Search Engine Marketing), Social Media Marketing and more.

So before you jump in and try typing the “Best SEO agency in X city” into Google, you first need to determine what you want out of an SEO campaign.

Ask yourself: “What results do I want an SEO expert to achieve?”

It could be as simple as increasing website traffic by five to ten percent within the next six to eight months. Or your objective might be to build your list of an additional 100 qualified leads over a certain time frame.

Having these specific key performance questions answered will help you measure the success of your campaign. But do keep in mind that SEO and SEM are relative where the results you seek can be in direct proportion to the money you are willing to invest.

Keeping your expectations realistic is important, especially when no legitimate SEO expert can promise results that are out of their control when it comes to how the search engines behave.

Shop Around

Once you’ve determined what you want to achieve, talk with multiple SEO experts to compare which ones are suitable for your specific business needs.

A good search engine optimization campaign is a process that can take from four months to a year to achieve your goals. A good SEO campaign first needs to implement website improvements and then will have a cumulative effect before seeing potential benefits.

If an SEO agency promises high search engine rankings in a fast amount of time, run the other way. No one has the secret to that kind of success unless they were part of the inner circle working at Google.

A good SEO expert should show interest in your business and what you want to achieve with his or her help. Have the expectation they are working as an extension of your current in-house team – someone who is readily available to answer your exploratory questions and provide regular status updates.

Check References & Past Performances

Past performances can accurately predict the future and what the SEO expert can do for your business. If they have had considerable successes helping similar industries to yours, then they will have no trouble helping you.

An ideal way to check on a potential SEO’s credentials is to ask their former and current clients directly. Find out how effectively the SEO campaign worked and what kind of guidance and suggestions he or she provided throughout.

A good SEO expert should not only solve long-term problems, but also be accessible to answer any questions you might have.

Ask About Their Story

Knowing the personal story of the SEO candidate can help you greatly with determining whether they will be a good fit for you and your business.

Ask them about how they became a Google partner or what their proudest achievement is. Even ask about their best or worst clients and how they handled difficult clients.

It’s much like hiring a potential employee – you need to decide from the “job” interview, not just from their impressive-looking sales page or the number of Facebook likes they have.

Hiring the right SEO help is crucial to your business’s success. Follow these guidelines to help you find the best person or agency that will help you achieve your goals.