This is the year for a new website

June 2018

New website

When is it time for a new website? When is your website officially too old? At what age is a site 'too old'?

Are you worried that your website is out of date? Have you been thinking that it’s time but not sure if there is still life in the old dog yet? Perhaps your competitors recently updated their website and you think you should too? Perhaps you feel your site is underperforming and you are seeing sales or visitors reducing? Is it sill delivering the best results for your business?

As one of your biggest sales tools, your on-line shop window, it’s important that you feel confident and proud to show it off. When is it time to make the leap? We spoke to a few of our clients and these are the main reasons they decided to make the investment:

1. Our website is a bit of a dinosaur! It was really cool a few years ago, now I’m less sure

The digital landscape moves at an alarming rate. It changes and improves on an almost daily basis and that includes website design and development. 3-5 years ago a website was only expected to look nice and present your products and services in an engaging way. Now, your website can do a lot more to support and guide your customer towards getting in touch with you. Functionality has improved, making it easier for customers to enquire, purchase or stay in touch with your offers. Today good web design and development can encourage visitors to take an action, watch a video, download an article for example; to take another step to learn more about your brand which will lead to increased enquiries and business.

Critically your website needs to move fast too. If it doesn’t load quickly, present well on tablets and mobiles, or if any links are broken, chances are it will put your customers off and they’ll quickly go elsewhere. It’s worth checking the speed of your site – it’s easy to do if you ask your developer.

2. SEO wasn’t ever really discussed – now getting to the top of Google is all anyone talks about

If you find you are no longer ranking as you used to, chances are it is because your website needs technical – and content – fixes that will help search engines find your website faster. It may be that you didn’t discuss this with your designer originally. If your website wasn’t designed with an SEO focus, then you are probably not seeing the results you expect and not grabbing your customers quickly enough. It is possible to rectify this on older sites but it needs a dedicated focus to ensure you are being found – quickly - for key phrases and terminology.

An SEO strategy will allow you to align your content and the design of your site which will more likely attract and keep visitors once you get them there. Content that encourages visitors to engage with your brand and take an action is the main aim of any SEO strategy and the way to ensure you get best value from your website.

3. The site is built using Wordpress. Is that still the best platform?

Wordpress is still a very cost effective and popular platform for websites. Its main benefit is a CMS (content management system), allowing you to edit content and make any changes to the site that you want.

If you don’t have access any more, or if you don’t feel confident to make the changes you need, it is probably time to consider a change. Wordpress has improved and if nothing else, there are more modern and engaging themes to chose from that will encourage your visitor to stay a little longer and get involved - read your materials, watch your video for example.

Also consider if your website is still secure? Wordpress does need some support to keep it safe from attack and hackers. Also, does it work on various devices and platforms such as mobile or tablet? Does it support the needs of the user? If the answer to any of these is no, it might be time to consider an upgrade.

There are pros and cons to going the Wordpress route. A bespoke site might give you more originality and functionality to stand out from the crowd and is often not as expensive as you think. Before investing, talk to an agency about your options.

4. We’ve changed so much over the last few years, but we’ve put sticking plasters on the site to help it keep up

You’ve grown, your products and services have adapted to suit the ever-changing needs of your customers. You’ve recognised that what customers want has changed over the years. It’s only right that your marketing and website keeps pace too. Your site needs to grow as you do, be future-proofed and stable so that it can accommodate the changing needs of you and your visitors.

Older sites may be restrictive when it comes to expanding. Can you easily add new pages that allow customers to quickly find what they need? Can you change the navigation so that the site is intuitive? Also consider your image. Are the pictures and content presenting you in the best light and critically, showing a consistent brand presence? Or have you, over the years, mixed stock and real product images, used different fonts and talked about your brand in different styles? This doesn’t give your customer the best reflection of your business and could let them down if their online experience doesn’t match the positive experience they have had with you elsewhere. More than anything this could be the trigger to thinking afresh.

5. I don’t know what I am looking for if I upgrade? Do I need a designer, a developer or a copywriter?

It can be confusing and in theory you need all three! It is important that you find a designer and copywriter who are used to designing and writing for web. The skills are different than traditional marketing materials. A web developer may even help with SEO but is unlikely to have design or writing skills.

It can feel daunting – and expensive. There are many digital agencies who will guide you through the process and who bring all these areas of expertise together. Or you can pick and chose what you need. The key though, before you invest, is to find someone who can help you really consider what you need your website to do and achieve so that you make sure you measure twice and cut once. Download our ‘How to brief for a new website’ to help you are really happy with your new site and ready to show it off to its full potential.

There are simple ways to see how your website is performing now, before you make any decisions. A simple audit will also help you to know what is working well now so that you can take the best of your site into any new investment.

For more on KPC’s audit, click here. Talk to us about how your current site is working and leave it to us to review the mechanics and technical side of things. We’ll also investigate your rankings, matched against search volumes and user intent, and give you a clear set of recommendations and action to help you make the right decisions before you spend any money.

Download our website briefing document

Find out more about our website audit