Your website should be an effective digital storefront that helps you get leads and customers.  Many websites, however, don’t make the best impression on visitors. There are quite a few problems that can turn a website into a drawback rather than an asset. Take an honest look at your own website and see if you recognize any of the signs that it’s time for a redesign or complete overhaul.

  1. Your Traffic Bounces

Ultimately, it’s not you but your visitors and customers who get to decide how good your website is. The user experience (UX) of your site has a lot to do with how much time visitors spend there. A high bounce rate is a sure sign that your UX is lacking. The bounce rate simply refers to the number of visitors who land on your site and leave without taking any action. Here are a few reasons that people aren’t spending more time browsing your site and responding to your offers:

  • Your content is stale. If the first thing people see when they land on your site is a post from 6 months ago, they just might head elsewhere for more current material.
  • Navigation issues. Make sure your menus are easy to use and that page titles are accurately named.
  • Outdated or just plain ugly design. If your site looks like it was designed back in the 90s, visitors will instinctively want to leave and find a more up-to-date site.
  1. Your Website Isn’t Mobile-Friendly

You’ve probably noticed that mobile devices are taking over. Chances are good that the majority of your customers and prospects are logging onto your site with a smartphone or tablet. If they’re not having a good experience, they can find a more responsive competitor in seconds. Symptoms may include:

  • Font sizes are hard to read on small screens.
  • Pages are slow to load because of images, videos, and other elements with large file sizes.
  • Crucial features such as opt-in forms and checkout pages don’t work properly.
  • When you test your website using different devices (something you should be doing regularly, btw), pages and features look wonky on smartphones.
  1. Your Visitors Don’t Convert to Customers

Sure, it’s important that your website looks good and that visitors have a positive impression of it. However, there’s a more basic question to ponder. Is your site helping you get more leads and sales? If not, it’s not serving it’s not doing your business much good. You may have issues such as:

  • Your pages don’t have a clear call-to-action.
  • Too many distractions. Cluttered pages can lower your conversions.
  • Your opt-in page needs work. You may need to redesign your forms or rethink your offer. For example, your lead magnet may not be appealing to your audience.
  1. You Don’t Rank Well

One thing that hasn’t change much in the last decade is that the majority of people looking for anything online use Google or another search engine to find it. If you’re not ranking on the first page, you may as well be invisible. You simply must rank for important keywords that your customers are searching for. Otherwise, your competitors will grab all of your prospects. Here are a few signs that your SEO strategy desperately needs updating:

  • You check Google for some of your most important keywords and find your site on page 15.
  • Your SEO strategy might be outdated. Do you have posts that are overstuffed with keywords? Google penalizes this and it also turns off your visitors who notice your content doesn’t sound natural.
  • Your business isn’t optimized for local SEO. If you have a brick and mortar business or provide a local service, people will be searching using your city, neighborhood, local landmarks, and region, as in “Central Austin lawyer” or “Middletown auto repair.”
  1. Your Website Doesn’t Reflect Your Current Business Model

Does your website reflect your current business model? Perhaps you started out selling archery equipment but now you’ve rebranded as a pet grooming service. You probably didn’t make quite such a drastic change but you may have updated your products and perhaps your branding over the last few years. Your website needs to portray your business as it is today, not how it was 3 years ago. Does any of this apply to you?

  • You have products/services listed on your site that you no longer carry.
  • You don’t have recent product/service additions listed on your site.
  • Your target audience has changed but the tone and style of your content haven’t.

What Are Your Options?

If you recognize one or more of the above symptoms, you have several choices.

  • Completely overhaul your website. You should think carefully before changing your domain, however, as this can undermine your SEO efforts. There are ways to make your SEO carry over from one domain to another, but it takes extra work.
  • Make design and UX improvements. In most cases, you can address essential issues on your website without redoing the whole site. You might, for example, switch to a responsive theme, or make the menus more intuitive. Design changes may include fonts, colors, and layout.
  • Hire a web designer. If you outsource web design to an individual or agency, make sure you do your research. Choose someone with a track record of quality work and reliability. Furthermore, make sure you and the designer are on the same page on every aspect of the project.

It’s hard to overestimate how critical your website is for marketing, generating leads, and building your brand’s credibility. People instantly form an impression of you and your business the second they land on your site. If you need to make improvements, don’t put it off.