Businesses should no longer need to rely on their outdated websites to correctly or reliably project their current brand and its image. Many consider putting up a website as simply ticking an online presence box rather than as the creation of an adaptive digital tool easily influenced to the ever-changing needs of their audience.

Consumers form perceptions on the first visit to a website. Hence, any obstacles or negative impressions that audiences may experience (thanks to poor or outdated web design) can hurt what the business was hoping to achieve. Therefore, it is vital that businesses take note of when their website starts to fall behind in web design trends and starts doing their brand harm rather than good.
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But how do you know when?

Here are 8 signs that your website needs a serious talking to:

1. Difficult navigation

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First impressions are what websites are made for. Businesses should try to envision what consumer’s first experience on the website will be, by asking, is it user-friendly? Websites should be easy to navigate. It can be a common misconception that more content and features will make a website more appealing. Scrolling through a cluttered website can be frustrating, and audiences would prefer a web design that requires minimal effort to find information.

2. Slow loading speed

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The entire world has become dependent on the internet as a tool that can be accessed instantly. Consumers want information, and they want it now. Several research studies point to a 3-second rule of loading time before users will leave a website. However, the general rule is: the faster, the better. For audiences that are younger and more demanding, you will need to check your loading times regularly to ensure that any recent changes haven’t affected the performance because this can impact conversion rates on your website.

3. Inconsistent Updates

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Depending on the nature of a business, content needs to be revisited to assess its relevance and usefulness to the potential audience. The first check should always be on your information and its accuracy. Informing the public of new products or services that the business now offers is also crucial in providing consumers an updated alternative to a physical business visit. Lastly, updating a project portfolio can brief potential clients on what the business has achieved recently.

4. High bounce rates

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A bounce rate refers to how quickly a user leaves a website after arriving. Monitoring bounce rates will provide your business with an accurate depiction of how your website is fairing with potential audiences, with every visit. If users accidentally made their way to a site, they will automatically leave. Users may also search for specific information on a website and if that need is not met, will swiftly leave. Users could even perceive the website as not useful to requirements if their experience online feels outdated.

5. Information disconnect

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These days consumers visit a website before making a purchasing decision. Consumers tend to want to “experience” a business before deciding on whether to spend their money on the product or service offered. If consumers require more information about a company, an internet search will be their first port of call to look for a website with that required information. Businesses should ensure that their web design caters to this need by allocating space to the requested information. Users will want that information quickly and searching through many pages, click after click, will instantly deter them. Allowing them to use the website as a search tool will be more beneficial in leading to conversions.

6.Lack of mobility

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It is crucial to the success of your online brand presence and reach, that your website is mobile-friendly. Businesses should always factor in that a potential user may be visiting their website from a mobile device. Older sites may have been designed only with desktop access in mind, nowadays consumers are more likely to access the internet from mobile devices – it’s become more critical than ever that your business ensures that your website is responsive on all fronts.

7. Conflicting branding

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It is only natural for businesses to adapt or enhance their brand image over time. More often than not, this is not translated to their digital strategy and more importantly, to their website. Web design should reflect the current nature, image, and brand. If the website is cluttered with content and the business now has a minimal look, there is a branding disconnect. It is just as crucial that the audience experiences the same brand online as they do physically.

8. Lack of conversion

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Primarily the goal of any business is to maximize their profit, converting leads into sales and rate of return. The advertising spend and budget, whether on traditional or digital strategies, should provide this rate of return to evaluate. Assessing a website to ensure that consumers are utilizing it in the way the business has intended, can indicate if they have been successful in achieving conversion. Businesses should follow the navigation through their website to confirm that consumers are motivated throughout their experience to pursue the CTA (Call-To-Action), such as to purchase a product or service.

Websites essentially are a marketing tool and need to support the overriding digital strategy. Adapting the web design to meet trends in the market will increase conversion and brand reach. Websites that are older than a year or two require more effort to stay on top of these trends, but it is also important that newer websites are designed with the future in mind.

This is a comprehensive list of signs of an ageing web design that need to be revisited to avoid the detrimental effect it will have on your overall marketing strategy, and ultimately your business. It is paramount that businesses improvise for future users rather than just the current audience. Online expectations change, and it is important that websites cater to these changes.

Businesses can choose to ignore these signs, hoping that it won’t affect their revenue. But digital is an ever-evolving space, and your website needs to keep up. Call DIT Canada (link phone number) today to gauge which areas of your website need redesign urgently.

As a business owner, inconsistencies across your business will project an image of incompetence rather than just a disconnect. Your website is the digital storefront of your business, recognizing the importance of web design is adjacent to your online success. Your website is an asset, and it is an investment that needs to be evaluated frequently to ensure it continues being a business strength.
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