Why your outdated website is costing you business!
Your website is your company’s digital business card
Indeed, your website helps your potential customers discover you and introduces your offerings to increase sales. In a nutshell, it is often the very first impression a potential client would have of your company. As we all know, first impressions matter. Merely having a website is no longer enough. If it doesn’t look good, doesn’t present the information in a clear or structured manner, or if it’s not accessible to your target audience, it might repel rather than attract potential customers.
For many business owners, a website is a one-and-done deal. But in reality, to maintain your competitive edge and ensure your website does what it’s supposed to—bring your target audience to your business, introduce and impress them with your offerings, and guide them down your sales funnel—you need to update it on a regular basis.
But why do I need to update my website?
A survey from 2014 found that only around a third of all small and medium businesses in the UK had redesigned their website. We get it: getting a website is a costly, often time-consuming, and frustrating experience, and now you have to do it again? Many business owners underestimate the importance of a website redesign because they can’t justify the cost or don’t see the benefits. After all, if your business is mostly based on referrals, do you really need a website redesign?
The short answer is: yes, absolutely. An outdated, old, or under-performing website doesn’t make a neutral impression on your customers but actively harms the perception of your company and your sales. If your customers can’t find you, they won’t schedule a call with your team; if they don’t know about your website, they are not going to purchase your product or service; if they can’t use your website or it takes them too long to navigate it, they will simply go to your competitor.
There are many signs that your website might be outdated and costing you business. Let’s take a look at how they impact your company and how you can fix that.
Lack of mobile optimisation
Is your website mobile-friendly? One easy way to tell is to pull up your site on your smartphone’s browser. If the text is too small to read, if you constantly need to zoom in to see anything, if the links are hard to select with your fingers, or if your images don’t show up correctly, then your site is definitely not responsive.
Why does a modern website need to be mobile-friendly? According to Google, over half of all traffic comes from mobile devices. In the UK alone, 47.27% of all web traffic to various pages came from mobile phones. Not offering your customers a responsive experience means losing a huge chunk of your potential target base. Getting your website redesigned and updated can help capture more potential customers by offering them a mobile-friendly experience.
Slow performance and loading times
A slow website hurts your business. According to a Google study, 53% of mobile customers abandon a page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. One way to check is to use Google’s PageSpeed, or GTmetrix Tool: type in your website’s URL and the tool will automatically analyse your site’s speed and performance. If your site’s web vitals do not score within the green zones, you definitely should consider upating and/or reconfiguring content. The better your score the better your site will be able to deliver (what Google calls) a delightful experience to your visitors.
Slow loading times don’t only frustrate your customers, leading to skyrocketing abandonment rates. Search engines like Google tend to prioritise the “best” websites when they show results matching a customer’s search—and best means fast and responsive. Older websites tend to be too slow, which hurts your sales and discovery rates.
Bad first impression
One of the biggest issues an outdated website presents is that it leaves a bad first impression. You can’t quite measure this with a tool (you could, of course, always ask a trusted friend to give you their impression when they first see your website), but generally, the less frequently you update the look of your website, the more outdated it will look. Redesigns improve the performance of your website, but they also ensure your website’s look is aligned with the current design trends. Some signs of an outdated website can include poorly designed navigation, lack of structure and organisation, broken links, or unoptimised images. The latter can specifically contribute to slower loading times, as unoptimised images are large and use up a lot of bandwidth. As a rule of thumb, to ensure you stay competitive, you should aim to update your website’s design every 2 years.
Expired SSL certificate
Last, but certainly not least, an outdated website would most likely have an expired SSL certificate. SSL is a protocol for encrypting Internet traffic and verifying identity, and your website’s SSL certificate ensures visitors’ data is kept secure when they browse and use your website. SSL is actually mandatory for all websites, and those with expired certificates are penalised (meaning, search engines such as Google won’t show your website to potential customers). If your website was created ages ago and hasn’t been updated since, it might not have a working SSL certificate.
Conclusion & Solution
Here we covered some of the main reasons why an outdated website impacts your business, as well as why you should consider a redesign. Generally, the older your website is, the more expensive and time-consuming the update might be, but just as you should update your site’s content to reflect your business evolution, getting a regular site redesign is essential. A handy solution could be a service such as DataDolphin Website Services, a comprehensive service that takes care of all your site management, including the hosting and design (as well as regular updates). This ensures your website is up to date and ready to impress your customers while freeing up your time to focus on what matters most: running your business.