Back in 1995 I wondered how I would make a living once every business had a website. I hadn’t yet fully grasped the real potential of the web. Few people did. Over the years, of course, it has become obvious that websites, like gardens, need tending. Sometimes they need more than tending. They need to be …. well they need to be overhauled, gutted and replaced like a condemned building. There, I’ve said it. So here are my top 8 indicators that its time to overhaul your website. Any one of these should cause you to lose sleep. If more than one is true about your website then …. well you get the idea.
1. Your Website is About as “In Style” as a 1970’s Leisure Suit
Looks aren’t everything. I get it. But you only have 5 seconds to capture your visitors’ attention. If your website is the equivalent of an outdated leisure suit, your visitors will run away screaming and won’t come back. Take a good look at your website. Better yet, have someone you trust who isn’t emotionally invested take a look at it. If it looks like a leisure suit it’s time for an overhaul
2. You’ve Never Updated Your Website
Shame on you! You simply cannot publish a website and never update the content. Do you think there is nothing new to say about your business? Really? Do you sell nuts and bolts? Then tell us what’s new in the world of nuts and bolts. Do you sell concrete? Tell us who you’re selling it to and why they’re thrilled with you. This is not so much about overhauling your website as it is about overhauling the way you think about your website. Think there is nothing new to say? Think again.
3. Important Information is Hard to Find
The information on your site needs to be categorized and presented to the user in some logical way. That means links to information must be clearly visible and not buried where users can’t find them. If your site’s navigation is confusing, it may be time for an overhaul.
4. You Can’t Update Your Site Yourself
Today, the majority of new websites being launched are built on a content management system or CMS. The great benefit of a CMS is that it makes updating content very simple and requires no knowledge of HTML or programming. Now companies can take full control of the day to day management of their websites. There goes your excuse. If your website was not built on a CMS platform, it is definitely time for an overhaul.
5. Your Site Doesn’t Show Up Until Page 10 on a Google Search
Achieving high page position on a SRP (Search Results Page) is the stated goal of every business website. But I often see a disconnect between the goal and the execution. It’s about relevant content. If your site is not ranking well for a particular keyword phrase, chances are that phrase doesn’t appear anywhere in your content. Or if it does, the context in which it appears is misleading. If this is the case with your website, it’s time for an overhaul.
6. You’re Embarrassed to Tell People About Your Website
You guessed it. Time for an overhaul.
7. Your Site Was Designed Entirely in Flash
Ouch! That’s so 2008. I’ve talked about this before but it bears repeating. Flash is a very compelling technology that can, when used properly, add some great visual “pop” to your website. But a site built entirely in Flash is virtually impossible to maintain, scores very poorly in search engines, isn’t universally supported on mobile devices (like the iPhone for example) and can distract people from the most important aspect of your website – its content. If your site is built entirely in Flash, it’s time for an overhaul.
8. Your Site Isn’t Bringing You Any Business
Isn’t that the the goal? To get business from your website? If you aren’t, chances are that several of the points mentioned above are at play. That’s why I’ve saved this one for last. If this is the case for you then your website needs to be thoroughly reviewed …and probably overhauled.
And Now Back to You
In almost every case my clients’ websites suffered from at least two or more of these maladies before we worked together to fix them. As a business owner, can you look at your website with an unbiased eye and determine which, if any, of the above problems applies? If you’ve already overhauled your website has it made a difference in your business? I’d like to get your point of view.
Photo credit: reynolds.james.e