The website conversation is a little bit like the car conversation. It takes forever to get your website just how you want it to be, and once you get it to that point, you can’t imagine ever needing any other website. I am still driving my ’09 model car, so I certainly understand the comfort zone concept. Let’s face the facts though. Cars and websites get outdated increasingly fast. My car still depends on a CD player for entertainment, but am still happy I don’t have to fudge with a plugged in Walkman. Your website probably seems fine, but it may be in need of some sprucing up–or worse, you might need a brand new site.
When your car starts to age, you tend to need more repairs, and each time a costly repair comes up you have to fearfully ask, “Should I invest more money into this old car or is it finally time to get a new one?” Much the same thing happens with websites, but sometimes there are developments that force your hand a little. When Google announced it would start to penalize websites that were not mobile-friendly, such a moment occurred. Websites that were developed more than a year or two ago need to be tested in mobile environments to test how effectively they work.
Tweaking Versus Rebuilding
So when can you get away with just some tweaks and when is a massive overhaul necessary? Some of this depends on your own personal preferences. Visitors might think your website is outdated, but if you still feel it’s doing the job, maybe some minor tweaks and updates can help things out. Changes in your company, such as new industry focuses, new services or products, new personnel, or new approaches of course merit updates, but those don’t necessarily require overhauling the entire website.
Right now, one of the most significant reasons to move forward with rebuilding your website is the mobile-friendly issue. Sites that are not effective in a mobile environment can actually do more harm to your brand than good. Unfortunately, right now there is no easy to way to convert a site into a responsive design. While you don’t have to redesign your website, converting everything onto a responsive platform sometimes necessitates navigation changes and other updates. Redesigning while you are working on everything else makes sense.
Another key reason to overhaul your website versus simply tweaking is a branding update. You do not want your ads, your social media outposts, and your e-newsletters to drive traffic to a website that bears no resemblance to these other marketing tactics. Those kinds of disconnects can certainly impact your brand perception negatively. When you clarify your brand, from your mission statement to any aesthetic changes, that all should be wrapped into your site, and that may require starting from scratch.
Finally, looking at your site analytics can also cue you in as to whether an overhaul is needed. High bounce rates, for example, may indicate that your content is no longer considered useful by your website visitors. Be sure to look at a few months at a time. Monthly dips happen, but if bounce rate remain high for a quarter, something should be done to rectify that situation.
Do you still feel uncertain as to what you need to do with your website, if anything? Don’t be afraid to contact us with any questions!
Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/moonhouse/5115382903/ via Creative Commons