Planning, designing, and creating a new website is – or should be – a resource-intensive enough process that no marketing organization would consider undertaking it without a truly compelling business reason.
Perhaps that’s strange to hear from the head of a website development firm. But I’m not saying you never need a new website. I’m suggesting that you should examine the reasons you’re building a new website. Not only will this save you money, it will also give you a clear picture of what you need your new website to do, which will make that new website more likely to succeed.
So, with the proviso that you should never ask a barber if you need a haircut, I offer these criteria to decide whether you need a new website.
Your daughter’s new boyfriend is a graphic designer and he says purple is “so 10 minutes ago.”
If your site looks dated, it definitely needs a design update. Even if you work in a field where design isn’t valued, your prospects live in a world where it is. (They’re human being, after all. They’ll notice bad design, even if only sub-consciously.)
Haven’t you heard? Mobile-first design is all the rage.
If your site isn’t mobile-friendly at all, you should probably consider an update to your design and coding, unless you’re comfortable making 15% or so of your audience uncomfortable.
Why 15%? That’s the number we often see, give or take, for mobile traffic for many B2B small businesses. That means that 85% of your audience is viewing your site on their desktops, so that should be your primary focus. Solid responsive design will keep the mobile minority happy.
Even better than using these guidelines is to examine your analytics data and know whether your audience is mobile-first or not. Also check for discrepancies in engagement between desktop and mobile. If mobile audiences view fewer pages and stick around for less time, you may have a problem with your mobile site that is depressing mobile audience share.
Haven’t you heard? Wix is the greatest thing since sliced bread.
Wix actually is pretty great, but it’s not a good fit for everyone’s needs. In most cases, technology should be invisible to your visitors, so the evaluation shouldn’t be on what’s the latest and greatest, but on whether any particular platform can support the marketing features you need. If you can’t tie in to your CRM or email marketing provider – or whatever marketing tools you use – it’s time to upgrade.
It’s also time to upgrade if you’re using an outdated version of a still-viable tool. Outdated versions are often updated because of known security vulnerabilities. You’re just waiting for hackers to find you if old vulnerabilities are still lurking on your site.
You’re tired of your marketing message.
Is your CFO tired of your marketing message? If not, it’s probably still working, and you should stick with it for as long as it continues to work. Which doesn’t mean you can’t experiment with other messages through specialized landing pages and mini-sites. But don’t fix what ain’t broken. In other words, if your still generating the leads and revenue you need from your site, it’s still working. Test and experiment before you throw the entire thing out to start over looking for improvements.
Our biggest competitors just launched a brand new site!
Maybe they just launched their brand new site because they realize how badly it’s lagging your older-but-better site! See all of the reasons above and make the decision there.
Also review your analytics and talk to existing clients, new clients, and prospects to see if the site is still doing what it needs to do – answering their questions, presenting your expertise, and providing a way to engage visitors and encourage action that leads from site visits to profitable revenue.