By the time you begin to notice problems or your website visitors start complaining, you’re already losing money. It’s imperative that you spot any decline in performance and address it before it is reflected in your bottom line.
The internet, like anything powered by a tech engine, is in a perpetual state of evolution. As it changes, our business functionality, processes and practices must be adjusted to ensure ongoing profitability.
7 Signs it’s Time to Revamp Your Website
Some updates can be made along the way, but eventually you’ll have to give your online business a major overhaul. Following are some strong indicators that a website revamp is in order, but be sure to backup your site before making any changes!
1. Your Website Design is Outdated
Two stores selling the same merchandise are side by side on a street. One is a clean, modern store and the other is a grungy shack. Which one would you trust?
Your website is your storefront and shoppers judge it in a split second. It should be clean, professional, simple to navigate and of course, error-free. Check every single navigation link, and try searching your site to ensure relevant content is showing up in results.
When was your website designed? If it was more than five years ago, it’s time to consider updating. Website design is much easier than it used to be, even for the average novice. If you don’t want to tackle it yourself, find a reputable designer to help.
2. You Haven’t Housecleaned in Awhile
Many people write their marketing copy, blog post or other content and then forget about it. If your site is full of broken links, irrelevant content, outdated information, expired offers, stale inventory, or other virtual dust bunnies, you have to get it cleaned up.
A lot of this kind of work can be done inexpensively by the average virtual assistant or a student. Anything they can’t address can be noted for you to deal with or hire a professional for.
3. Inconsistent Traffic From Search Engines
Keeping up with the latest demands from search engines can be overwhelming, but it’s a necessary task for any online business. It’s a good idea to continuously test campaigns and analyze organic results.
Keep an eye out for signs that you’re attracting the wrong visitors, such as traffic that’s searching for keywords unrelated to your site or coming from odd sources. Check your bounce rate for visitors who are arriving on your site, only to leave immediately (presumably because they didn’t find what they were searching for). Watch your most popular posts for drops in traffic (gradual or sudden).
When you find patterns or another indication something is wrong, dive in to figure out what is causing the issue. It could be a new search algorithm, stale content, a change within your target market, or something else entirely.
4. The Market Has Changed
Whether it’s your industry, supply chain or target market/audience, you have to keep up with status changes and demand fluctuations. Update your customer avatar to ensure you’re still trying to engage the same people, and what today’s version of your target market is looking for.
Do ongoing competitive intelligence to analyze market saturation. Touch base with consumers to find out if they’re looking for something different and keep an eye on the news for related trends.
5. Your Tech is Outdated
Software, templates, plugins, cloud services, payment solutions, and other tech has to be kept updated for many reasons, but most notably for security, functionality, efficiency, marketing and compatibility.
Even your website hosting can become outdated. If the host isn’t able to provide easy access to the latest tech, security and the best loading speed, it’s time to consider a new website host. If you’re still in doubt, here are 9 Signs You Should Switch Website Hosts.
6. Shrinking Profits
It’s a good bet that losing money is one of the first warning signs you noticed. A full website revamp is almost guaranteed to help rectify that.
While you’re addressing issues like website traffic, you can also look into how much you’re paying for software, services, subscriptions and so on. There could be better options that will not only save money off the top, but also improve something else that increases profitability.
For example, you’ll probably find some savings with good ecommerce software that comes with marketing functionality, payment processing, and shipping discounts (all of which is why Shopify Canada is so popular). Check out our Canadian Guide to the Best Ecommerce Platform Software for further guidance.
7. You’re Not Where They Are
Make sure you have a presence where your target market is online. If there’s a newer social network (like TikTok) that your target market loves, you need to get yourself on it. If you’re getting less traffic and engagement from another social network, drop it so you can focus on what serves you best.
There has been massive improvements in how websites communicate and integrate with social media and other forms of digital marketing. You can also use plugins, software or solutions provided by your website host or ecommerce platform.
Stay On It
Get better at spotting the signs earlier by tracking Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), such as website visitors, online sales and product data. You’ll notice a dip right away and can immediately take steps to address any issues.
Do you plan to do a complete overhaul of your website soon? Please post your questions and ideas in the comments below, or join us in the Online Business Canada Facebook group.
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Marie has an M.Sc. in Marketing and a certificate from the Ryerson Digital Media program. She's enrolled in one course or another most of the time and is always in the middle of a new business book (or three). Marie enjoys writing, traveling and volunteering at local events & trade shows.