Web design best practices continue to evolve at a rapid pace. Each year, new technologies are pushing the boundaries of what can be accomplished by web designers. In addition, it’s crucial to keep pace with Google’s search algorithm updates to ensure your website is found by your audience. It should come as no surprise that if you haven’t built a new website in the last three years, your existing site is most likely outdated and not delivering the results you need.
If you haven’t updated your website in several years, you are most likely not maximizing your ability to:
- Attract and convert leads
- Increase your revenue
- Convey your brand story
- Leverage analytics data and other performance intelligence metrics
Is it Time to Build a New Website?
If your website is more than three years old, you will most likely experience significant benefits from building a new website. Even if your website isn’t quite three years old, it may be time to consider building a new one. Below are 7 critical reasons why you may need a new website.
- Your website looks and feels outdated
- Your website uses a pre-designed template or theme
- Your business has evolved significantly since you built your last website
- Your website isn’t optimized for local search
- You can build the ideal website for your needs without limitations
- You can more effectively optimize the user journey
- You can provide better website security
Your Website Looks and Feels Outdated
Web design trends are constantly changing, and a website that looked new and fresh four to five years ago may look old and outdated today. Your website is often the first impression people have of your business, and it’s crucial that you make the most of this opportunity to impress.
Most people form an opinion about your website within 50 milliseconds of opening it. Without a modern feel that is visually appealing, you’re unlikely to connect with your audience. In addition, outdated websites significantly reduce the level of trust that people place in a business. For these reasons, keeping an outdated website can have a devastating impact on your business.
Your Website Uses a Pre-Designed Template or Theme
Templated websites are appealing options for businesses with a limited marketing budget. While they may be an affordable way to establish an initial web presence, they aren’t an ideal long-term solution. Many templated websites are saddled with limitations which can negatively impact performance:
- Generic design used by hundreds of other websites
- Poor SEO performance
- Bloated code that slows down the website
- Website architecture limitations
- Subpar functionality
- Limited ability to customize design elements
The restrictions imposed by a generic template cripple your ability to create a unique website that stands out from your competitors and effectively conveys your brand. They also limit your ability to provide the type of user experience necessary to keep visitors on your website and convert them into customers.
Building a new custom website will help you break free from these limitations so that you can maximize the results achieved. When you have a website that is truly tailored to the specific needs of your business and appeals to your target audience, it will significantly boost the ROI of your marketing efforts.
Your Business Has Evolved Significantly Since You Built Your Last Website
Most businesses evolve over time. This can take many forms, including:
- Expanding the products and services you offer
- Catering to a broader – or in some instances, an entirely different – target audience
- Serving a much larger volume of clients/customers
- Updated branding that more closely reflects your purpose and values
- Expanding the options your customers have to purchase your products
- Selling your products in new regions
While small changes in your business don’t necessarily warrant a new website, you may reach a point where your business has evolved significantly enough that your current website no longer meets your needs:
- If you decide to sell your products on your website, you will need to add eCommerce functionality. Often, this will require a website that is equipped with the new functionality you need.
- If you dramatically revamp your products or services, you may need an entirely new navigation structure to provide the proper user experience your audience desires.
- If you undergo a rebranding, your website must align with your new branding elements.
- If you’ve experienced a significant increase in web traffic, it’s crucial that your website is equipped to handle this increased volume.
- If you start selling your products in another country, you may need a different version of your website that is aligned with their language, cultural norms and currency.
In all of these scenarios, you may need custom functionality to address the new needs of your business. Often, this cannot be accomplished without building a new website.
Read our article: 6 New Website Must Haves
Your Website Isn’t Optimized for Local Search
Local SEO is becoming an increasingly important tactic to help websites rank on the first page. Google offers a “local pack” near the top of the first page which lists several businesses providing relevant services in the searcher’s local area. For example, a Denver bike shop will want to appear in these business listings when someone searches for “bicycle repairs in Denver.”
Keep in mind that not all businesses require a strong local SEO presence. If you cater to a national audience, this might not apply to you. However, if you provide services or products to customers in a specific location, it’s crucial that your website is properly optimized for local search. While you don’t always need to build a new website to rank locally, it is often the most effective way to achieve this goal.
You Can Build the Ideal Website for Your Needs Without Limitations
If your website needs a refresh, you may be tempted to simply rework your existing site to save money. However, you’ll be constrained by the functionality limitations of your current CMS. There are many potential reasons this might prevent you from getting what you need:
- Does your existing website have a mobile-friendly responsive design? This is crucial to ensure your web pages are sized correctly for the specific device it’s being viewed on. If your existing website isn’t built using responsive design, you’ll need a new website to implement this best-practice functionality that caters to the multitude of mobile web users viewing your website.
- Is your current navigation structure optimized for the needs of your audience? If not, it may be extremely difficult to properly rework your navigation architecture within your existing website. A new custom website design allows you to start fresh and create the ideal navigation structure to provide the best possible user experience.
- Does your existing website implement an intuitive and effective link-building strategy that boosts SEO results? If not, it will be easier to incorporate this important strategy into your website marketing by starting from scratch.
- Is your current website equipped with all of the third-party integrations you need? If not, building a new website may be the most effective way to integrate with your other tools.
- Is your current website equipped to run the analytics tools which are crucial to evaluating the performance of your website?
Reworking an existing website often provides an imperfect solution that limits your ability to effectively grow your business. When you build a new website, you’re free of these technical limitations and can instead design a custom solution that will scale with your business as it grows.
You Can More Effectively Optimize the User Journey
One of the most important purposes of your website is to convert visitors into new customers. This is accomplished by creating an effective user journey that guides individuals to your ultimate goal. You may want visitors to schedule a consultation, purchase a product, or take another action that helps grow your business.
A well-optimized user journey must contain several important elements:
- Strong headlines that draw the reader’s attention
- Well written, informative content that educates the reader and builds trust in your brand
- Appealing imagery that complements your content and makes the text stand out
- Clear calls to action (CTAs) which are strategically placed throughout the page and lead users to the next step in the process
- Clear, easy to follow navigation structure that helps users find the information they need quickly
While you may be able to improve your user journey within the constraints of your existing website, it is often more effective to start from scratch and build a custom web experience with this optimized journey in mind.
You Can Provide Better Website Security
Website security has become increasingly important in recent years. Not only is this important to address from a user experience perspective, but it will also impact your SEO results. Google’s search algorithms now penalize websites which don’t utilize the more secure SSL (https) web browser/server connection.
With website hacks occurring every 39 seconds, it’s critical to have a secure website. If your existing website is built according to the latest security best practices, you are all set. If not, you will need to build a new website that provides the latest and most advanced security.
Webolutions Can Help
Your website is the most important component of your digital marketing strategy. It supports all of your other efforts and is the primary way you are able to convey your message to your audience. Therefore, it’s crucial that you take the steps necessary to build a website that most effectively addresses the specific goals of your business. Working with an experienced digital marketing agency allows you to design a highly customized website that helps you achieve your goals today and is scalable as your business grows over the next few years.
Webolutions has more than 27 years of experience building websites for businesses of all types and sizes. Based on the knowledge we’ve gained and the lessons we’ve learned from designing thousands of websites, we’ve developed our unique Websites Right Methodology™ which improves marketing performance and delivers the best results possible for your business.
We use a proprietary Enhanced WordPress Platform™ which allows us to implement a multitude of custom configurations that maximize the functionality of your CMS. This additional level of customization harnesses the full power of the WordPress platform, ensuring that your website can meet the needs of both your business and your audience.
It’s also important to continuously monitor the performance of your new website, and our Real-Time Performance Intelligence Dashboards™ will provide the robust data you need to make improvements over time. Our team will use this data to make ongoing recommendations that will help you get the most out of your website year after year.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Webolutions serves clients nationwide from our offices in Denver, Colorado.