5 signs you’re ready for a new website

Many businesses are getting by on the website they threw together 5 years ago. If you’re avoiding your own site, are scared of accidentally breaking it, or don’t want your own clients to see it, you are ready for a new website.

Written by Martin Litt

Partner, Sales & Customer Services, Loves a Chat, Always Laughing (too much laughing...)

October 4, 2021

Knowing you need a new website is often a long process rather than a snap decision. Or, rather, the snap decision is made after a long, deeply frustrating process. The problem is ‘new website’ is a scary prospect. How have things changed since you had the last one built? How much will it cost? Do you even need one with social media around?

The answer to those questions are; quite a bit, that depends, & yes you do.

We often speak to business owners who are frustrated with their current website. Sometimes so frustrated that the thought of building another one fills them with so much dread they put themselves off the idea! The best course of action is recognising when to bite the bullet. Then making sure you have a plan for it.

You avoid sending customers or clients to your website or avoid it yourself

avoiding eye contact with website

I mean, that should be a fairly obvious red flag. We speak to many business owners who admit to this but haven’t done anything about it. It often ends up with the website being consciously ignored by the business owner and, as a result, not being useful to anyone.

If you’re not sending leads to your website or avoiding it yourself it means a few things.

  1. You’ve got leads you are communicating with already. By not using your website as a sales tool you’re missing big closing & social proof opportunities.
  2. You’re unlikely to know exactly what is on your website. There may be out of date pricing. Your Terms & Conditions might need to be altered. It may not be GDPR compliant, potentially leaving you vulnerable to fines.
  3. Your security may be compromised & you may even have been hacked. This may mean your website is being populated with unwanted content without your knowledge. This content is still available to users or potential clients even if you’re not using it.
  4. If not on a managed hosting plan or some other maintenance care plan your website hasn’t been updated. Chances are it has broken down. A defunct website looks terrible on you & your business both from a client’s point of view & Google’s. In fact, the only people happy about it will be your competition.

Clearly something is wrong if you won’t use the tool yourself.

Your website hasn’t or isn’t generating an ROI

This is perhaps the most common scenario. A business paid for a website 5 years ago or more and have expected it to ‘wipe its face’ at the very least. It hasn’t and they feel aggrieved. Now there’s a lot to unpack here about why the website didn’t do as expected. Everything from unrealistic expectations, poor communication during the build, mis-management of the site itself, or sheer neglect – and everything in between – could have (and probably did) play a part. As in most situations the ‘blame game’ benefits no-one in this situation.

There is a lot to consider in terms of ROI when it comes to a website. Do you see brand awareness and industry authority as valuable as cold hard cash? Do you see referrals and leads being generated as valuable? Is it just about the bottom line? All of this should be explored during the discovery phase of any website build. A large chunk of your expenditure when building a new site goes towards a sh*t ton of research. This is (or should be) done by the business you’ve engaged to create a website for you.

Some websites just won’t generate you money. It’s a simple as that. However, without it your business would suffer anyway. Consumers in every industry expect a business to have a website even if they can’t buy anything from it. It’s so important as a source of information and trust for customers/clients. It’s also vitally important for things like local SEO. 72% of all local Google searches result in a physical visit to the business featured within 5 minutes. If you don’t see the value in that we can’t help you.

You don’t know if it’s working in the way it should be

This can be roughly translated into ‘I don’t know what the f*ck I’m doing and I’m terrified I’ll. break it’.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

With websites becoming more user friendly all the time, 10 year olds learning to code, and a more digitally savvy workforce forever entering the professional world it can be a real wrench to admit you’re not comfortable around tech. The fact of the matter is not understanding something isn’t important. It’s how you handle it that’s important.

The biggest issue with this reason is that it will never change. If you’ve not found the time to learn how your site works by now you’re not going to, and that’s ok. Again, this should have been addressed when the site was built but we know that sometimes sites are inherited, project scopes shift, things change.

We particularly enjoy working with clients who aren’t particularly au fait with computers. All of our websites are built with client control in mind. We’re very keen on working collaboratively with our clients to further their success and ours. We do this by;

  1. How to’s. We provide a personalised suite of ‘how to’ videos on the dashboard of the site. This means our clients can check there at any time if they want a refresh on some website changes e.g. how to upload a blog post.
  2. Working Documents. Our scope of works, reporting, actions, and timeline are all accessible by the client the work pertains to. Our process is 100% transparent. We often find clients asking questions so they can carry out certain elements themselves. This sense of ownership is important – it’s their website after all.
  3. Encourage learning. It may sound like a cop-out but I’ve had clients carry out basic SEO work they had asked me to do. The rationale is, “Yes, I could do that but so could you. I can then be getting on with this other thing that you can’t do.” As long as the benefit to the client is clear this approach has always been met with positivity.
  4. Digital Partnership. The digital partnership is our flagship service. We become the ‘digital department’ of our clients business. We work with our clients on every element of their digital business and work together to create a simple, cohesive plan that can be followed by everyone confidently.

We’re not saying we turn you into website builders but our clients definitely feel more confident zooming around their own sites.

Your business has evolved but your website hasn’t

Businesses change. That’s what they do. A website should, too, to mirror these changes. If your website is still showing content you put in there as a ‘placeholder’ then things need to change. Your website is your 24 hour sales rep but can only display what you put on there.

The most jarring experience for users is when branding has been changed but isn’t consistent across the business. A different colour palate from an office and social media feeds to the website is a really shoddy look. It is confusing and can present a real obstacle to user trust.

The worst scenario we see regularly are with service-based businesses receiving enquiries from clients for one of their services. The conversation goes well, services are discussed and agreed and all is going swimmingly until the invoice is received. The price quoted online is half of what you charge now and now you’re left with a decision to make. Do you honour your website or back out of the agreement?

If you have even the slightest inkling your pricing online might be incorrect you must check. Go do it now, this can wait.

Welcome back, Sorted? Good stuff.

You’re full of ideas with zero spare time and no digital expertise

It’s the hardest bit of running a business you’re passionate about. Loads of ideas – absolutely no agency to fulfil them. It’s even more frustrating when the barrier between you and trying stuff out is a platform that could take months to become familiar with.

You’ve got two options, really.

  1. Go hell for leather on social media and try to implement your ideas there. The trouble is this approach doesn’t suit every business or every idea. The double trouble is that if it does accommodate your idea you’ll then have to plunge all of your time into that – meaning you have even less time than you had spare before for an idea that may not even work.
  2. Get a simpler, easier website that will allow you to flex your creative muscles. Or work with someone on your current website that can take all the maintenance, posting, digital marketing etc off of your hands. Allowing you to go do your thing at your leisure.

You’re ready for a new website

If any of the above ring true for you you’re ready for a new website. That’s nothing to be worried or stressed about. Past experiences are there to be learned from (or some such philosophical cobbles – you know what I mean). The only things standing between you and a website you’re proud of is thorough due diligence on your next digital partner, and transparent, clear expectations.

Asking for previous examples of people’s work is all but useless when it comes to website. Case studies, though, are hugely informative. Find some of ours here.

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