“We have a website, but please don’t look at it.” How many times have you heard this when meeting a new business contact and exchanging business cards? Maybe when you read this, you recognise that it is you who uses that phrase. Your website may be the first interaction a customer will have with your brand, so if you are embarrassed because it’s grossly out of date, you have a problem!
Even if you quite like your website, a few years after launch is still the time for an evaluation to make sure your website is still fit for purpose. The lifespan of a website is much shorter than you may think. In our years of designing and building websites, we’ve noticed that the businesses that are the most successful online tend to give their website a good shake up every two to three years.
What’s the lifespan of a website?
There’s no cut-and-dried answer to this question as the lifespan of a website depends on a few factors. However, research shows that the average website goes stale in just 2 years and 7 months.
It seems logical to assume that things that are built well will last a long time. That’s true for many things, but creative technology isn’t one of them. That world moves incredibly fast. In recent years, there’s been a major shift not only in technology but also in customer behaviour and expectations.
For a website to be an effective marketing tool it must be well-built, good looking, responsive, easy to navigate, relevant to your preferred audience and, most importantly, convert searchers to customers. Your business grows and changes, and so should your website.
No matter how wonderful it is when it first goes live, a website should never be a set-and-forget project. It’s your website’s performance that sets the pace. If your visits from Google search are decreasing, or if your competitors have invested in a new website or SEO where you have left it to chance, you’re losing potential leads.
It’s time for a website design change if:
- The image slider doesn’t work on your phone
- The pages have errors or take ages to load
- The design doesn’t look right on mobile
- You have a high exit and/or bounce rate
- You don’t have a content management system and can’t make edits yourself
- Your brand messaging has changed
- You’re embarrassed to give out your website address
Take the Test
No matter how much you love the website you have, a revamp will be a must at some point. To get a better picture of your site’s strengths and weaknesses, you can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test or you could ask us or someone else you trust to give honest feedback.
Start by blocking out some time in your busy day and take a good look at your website. Go down the list below and answer each of the 10 questions honestly. If it’s a “no” to one or more of the following, you should consider a website revamp now.
1. Are the services you offer still the same? Y/N
2. Has your website evolved with changes in your industry? Y/N
3. Does your website still look fresh in terms of design? Y/N
4. Is your site responsive – does it look great on all devices? Y/N
5. Is your site easy to maintain and update? Y/N
6. Is it performing well in Google search results? Y/N
7. Are you happy with the conversion rates? Y/N
8. Are your ideal clients getting in touch? Y/N
9. Does it outperform your competitors’ websites? Y/N
10. Do you still love your website the way you did when it was launched? Y/N
If your current website is guilty of even just one of the signs listed above, it’s time to do something about it. Upgrading your website sooner rather than later will keep the content fresh and your users impressed while also attracting new interest in your business.
Don’t worry, a new website doesn’t always mean you have to start from scratch. Sometimes you just need to make some updates to your existing site to get it looking and working the way it should. The main objective is to motivate searchers to take action and become customers. If the changes you make align with that goal, you’re on the money.