Many companies invest in a new website design but never actually use their website to its potential. Some companies may never update their websites at all! In our industry, we call this the “set and forget” approach.
It’s something like buying a new delivery vehicle for your business but never actually driving it out of the garage. In business speak, you have acquired the asset but you haven’t made it “sweat”.
Make your website ‘sweat’
“Sweating an asset” means getting as much value out of something that you already possess. A website is a great example of an asset that, if updated and improved regularly, can provide immense value to your business for years to come. It can certainly be sweated.
It’s hard to imagine a better marketing tool for your business than a website.
A website is cost-effective, accessible, and adds credibility to your company.
However, there comes a time when your website needs a revamp – whether it’s been “sweated” or not. Advances in technology have rendered certain components and plugins obsolete and it has become old, both visually and technically.
The best examples of these websites, or web pages as they were once known, are so-called static sites developed in HTML code and other older content managed (CMS) websites.
Time for a new website design?
Revamping an older website has many advantages. Besides refreshing its appearance, a revamp would:
- Make the site mobile friendly
- Set it up for SEO
- Improve its security
- Improve its performance
About 10 years ago, content and design alone were enough for a website to be successful. But advances in technology and the increasing dominance of the role of Google has seen other factors take on new importance.
The analogy of a sports car best describes it.
What’s the point of having a Porsche with a Citi Golf engine?
You’ve got to tweak the motor (the part that is mostly unseen) of your website to get it working to its fullest potential. There are four main ways a new website design will achieve this:
1. Mobile readiness
The most popular way to browse the internet is on a smartphone. It’s been this way for a number of years now, which led to Google to start its mobile-first indexing process back in late 2016.
Google has now said officially that from 1 July 2019 it will prioritise the mobile versions of new websites over their desktop counterparts.
This means that marketers and business owners will have to ensure that their websites are optimised for mobile viewing on a smartphone or tablet.
Older websites without a mobile version or that have not been optimised for mobile viewing will not disappear from Google’s organic search results. Google’s web crawlers will just look at the mobile version of a new site first.
A website revamp presents the opportunity to ensure your website is mobile ready. Most website development agencies, such as Select Web, offer mobile-ready website development services as a matter of course for new websites and revamps.
Besides making your website more discoverable on search, a mobile ready website creates a better experience for your users. Imagine trying to read a book through a keyhole. Viewing a non-optimised website on a mobile device would be just as annoying.
2. Search engine optimisation
Google loves fresh content. And a revamped website will put you in a position to do a proper job when it comes to optimising your website for Google search.
This is the chance for you to start fresh on a clean slate and have a website design that sets your site up for better discoverability.
The assumption in this post is that your website has gone largely unchanged for a long time. Remember the “set and forget” approach?
Therefore, there’s a strong likelihood that there wasn’t much content from your old website that will need to be preserved from an SEO point of view.
If there are areas of your old site that were working well, a reputable website designer would maintain these on the new website development. Redirecting old URLs to new ones (301 redirects) is an example of this.
Most importantly, a new website design will ensure that your new website is sound from a technical point of view. Any broken links from the previous website would be fixed, a new XML sitemap would be submitted to Google and headers would be reworked, if required.
It’s important to remember that ongoing search engine optimisation on a website is a maintenance service that website design companies and digital marketing agencies offer.
The work that is done on your website to keep it search engine friendly includes adding original content in the form of blogs; ensuring there is no duplicate content; and ensuring your website complies with any new SEO requirements.
Moreover, a new CMS platform such as WordPress will enable you to include useful SEO plugins such as Yoast that can help you to ensure your content is both readable and search engine friendly.
One of the benefits of revamping your website is better security.
Installing an SSL certificate during the website redesign process will not only improve the security of your new website, but it will also create credibility and trust with your users.
A padlock in the address bar of the browser will show when your new website loads. This will indicate that the connection is secure and will show your website’s visitors that you take their privacy seriously.
Some browsers such as Google Chrome may label your website “unsafe” if it doesn’t have an encryption certificate
An SSL (or encryption) certificate helps protect your visitors’ data from abuse by protecting the sensitive data transmitted from and to your website.
This data can include login details, newsletter signups, addresses and payment or personal information.
A more secure website brings with it SEO benefits. Google gives websites with encrypted connections a slight ranking boost. This will give you an edge over your competitors whose sites are unencrypted.
4. Improved performance
A website revamp is a perfect time to work on the load times of your website.
Google and other search engines penalise websites that load slowly. Your website users are also not likely not stay on your site if they wait too long for it to load.
By optimising images, which normally add a lot of “weight” to a website, your revamped website will load much faster.
This will create a better experience for your users and lead to better conversion rates (for example, a prospect submitting an enquiry from a contact form).
Deactivating plugins that are no longer required and optimising CSS codes will also improve a website’s load time.
Now’s the time for a new website design
Your company website is an asset and an integral part of your business’s marketing mix. If it is not working optimally, it can hamper your marketing efforts and harm your brand.
If it hasn’t been updated in a long time, chances are high that the components and plugins have become obsolete. The site has now become vulnerable from a security point of view.
It’s also time for a revamp if your website has been “sweated” for some time and has reached its limits as far as software updates go.
A revamp will bring your website up to date with the latest innovations. It will breathe new life into your marketing efforts.
Remember, competition for search rankings is fierce. A website that looks good and is technically sound will lay the foundation for digital marketing success.
If you think your website may need a revamp, contact us. We will conduct an audit and make some recommendations.