How do you tell if you need a new website? The answer to that question is, if your current website doesn’t align with your digital goals or if you’ve changed your strategy and the website needs to reflect that.
Your website is just one part of your overall digital strategy. So, you can’t decide you need a new website in isolation. It has to align with your medium and long-term goals.
For example, I was recently called in by the CEO of a PLC who said, ‘we need a new website.’
When I asked him how he knew they needed a new website, this is what I found out.
It so happened that the CEO had visited two key potential clients for some major projects. When he explained all the industrial services that they offered, the clients said, ‘That’s all very good, but it’s not actually on your website. We can’t find these services anywhere.’
Since it became a question of credibility, the CEO decided it was time for a new website.
And this was why I was called in.
My Findings: Current Website Usage
The first thing I did was question people about what the website was used for. Was it for existing customers, potential customers, or another target audience altogether?
It took a few days of analysis for me to realise that the business was also using their website for recruitment. And, it was working quite well for that purpose.
They were hiring people from places like India and the Philippines. These potential employees were using Facebook, so the client was using this social platform to drive traffic through to the website, where they could look at the jobs available. In this way, they were recruiting thousands of people every year.
Another way the website was being used, which I learned about after talking to customers, was for the vetting process as an addition to using other databases that were very sector-focused.
However, one omission was that they had very little traffic that could potentially be new customers.
These findings led to a discussion about what they actually wanted to do with the website. Also, it highlighted how the clients had very little understanding of potential users and user journeys.
In the end, I conducted a range of research to understand all the areas where this website was needed and for what purposes. I used this information to piece together a digital strategy that included social media channels, how they needed to drive traffic, and what their competitors were doing.
I put together a proposal for an integrated enterprise-based platform, with the website carrying out multiple tasks, including:
- Helping in the vetting process, as used by existing clients to ensure that they offered the desired service;
- To be found by potential clients who didn’t know they provided the services and to show credibility;
- As a hub for recruiting people with specific skills delivered through LinkedIn (for white-collar workers) and Facebook (for blue-collar workers);
- And, as a site for credibility for investors.
As you can see, once we determined how the website was being used and what the clients needed it for, I was able to help them get the most out of all their online assets.
If you think your old website is not giving you the results you need, don’t rush to get a new one. Before you start thinking of justifications for a new website, first analyse the best way to use it in your digital marketing strategy.
Other Reasons for a New Website
One of the main justifications for a new website is if it doesn’t align with your digital goals. However, there are a few other (technical) reasons why you may wish to update it. Here are some of them.
Many older sites were not built with mobile viewing in mind. However, as many as 63% of users visited Google on their mobile devices in 2019. This means that if you wish to remain competitive in the online world, your website should be easily viewable on mobile.
Slow to Load
Internet users, especially mobile browsers, don’t have the patience to wait for slow-loading pages. If your website’s pages don’t load in under 3 seconds, you will lose your audience.
Not Optimised for Search Engines
Without search engine optimisation (SEO), your website is less likely to show up when people search for relevant material. This means, no matter how good it may be otherwise, it won’t help you achieve your goals.
Does Not Display Well on All Browsers
People use a variety of browsers to view webpages, including Safari, Firefox, Chrome, DuckDuckGo, and more. If your website is built to only look good on Internet Explorer, then it’s time for a new website.
Difficult to Update
A good website is updated continuously, whether it is new blogs or up-to-date information on your pages. If this is difficult, time-consuming, or expensive to do, then it might be a sign you need a new website.
A website should look attractive, and with a contemporary design, as relevant to the business. If it looks cluttered or unattractive, it puts viewers as well as investors off. At the same time, the user journey needs to be intuitive and easy.
If your website’s UI/UX is not great, it doesn’t look nice, has an inconsistent look across pages, or makes it difficult for the target audience to find the relevant information, you need to get a new website.
Again, even if you decide you need a new website because of technical problems, it still needs to conform to your digital marketing strategy and support your online goals and assets. If you need any help in assessing or defining your strategy for a more effective website, do feel free to contact me.