Becoming complacent can be the pitfall of a successful business, especially when it comes to their website. Trends change and you need the design solutions to keep up with them.
As more companies join in pursuing online marketing, it has become more important than ever to stand out in the right way. Competition is fierce and outdated design can send a potential customer running to another website.
But there is something you can do to stop them. In fact, there are a variety of red flags that stand out to consumers when they are viewing a web page.
1. You Aren’t Ranking as High as Your Competition
Although there are other important factors, your content marketing and SEO choices have the largest impact on your website’s ability to rank in search engine results. Their results are the product of a series of algorithms called crawlers that are used to identify the relevancy of a website to a topic.
Websites that are frequently updated and filled to the brim with engaging and informative content are the most likely to beat out their competition and score that coveted first-page spot.
To see how well your website it stacking up, choose a keyword related to your business. If a significant number of your competitors are coming up before you in the results then you know it’s time to think about design solutions for your website.
2. Your Website is Not Mobile Friendly
Smartphones have become one of the most popular ways to browse the internet. People are using them all day long while they are on-the-go to stay informed of the latest happenings and for entertainment during their downtime.
That is why having a mobile-friendly website is so important. It may be the only version of your website that your customer ever sees.
If a potential customer is unable to properly navigate your website then they will just move along to a competitor’s to find what they are looking for.
3. Your Website Design is Outdated
User experience is what sets you apart from your competition. Your business website does not need to be at the forefront of web design trends to prove to customers that you are the right choice. However, allowing the design to become dated will hurt your chances of building relationships with customers. There is a balance to achieve between bleeding edge and leading edge (and yes, there is a difference ;))
Gone are the days of blue hyperlinks and boring menu designs. Today, there are so many possibilities when it comes to designing the right brand experience for your customer. If your website is still using Curlz MT then perhaps it is time for some design solutions.
Avoiding what’s trendy is actually a great way of keeping a website design up to date over time. You should aim to have simple designs within the context of your brand, because then they won’t need updated so often. One approach is to design a simple but effective home page to get started on redesigning your website. Once you have finished that page you can extend your color and font choices to the rest of your website to have a fluid and consistently branded image.
4. You Have Views But Little Conversions
Just because there are a lot of people clicking on your web page in search results doesn’t mean that they end up being a customer. You must next capture their interest, engage them, and guide them carefully toward your sales funnel. These goals will take the implementation of new design solutions.
That means you need to change your digital strategy. Clearly somewhere along the chain, one of your pages isn’t having the desired response.
Constructing a whole new marketing plan for the online portion of your business will be a time-consuming task that needs to be addressed meticulously. It can be difficult to find the time in your schedule to be able to properly research the problems with your website and what can be done to fix them.
That is why it can be a good idea to hire an agency to take on the work for you. Instead of trying to guess what is turning your customers off, hire an expert to analyze your existing site and make recommendations for improvement.
5. You Have a High Bounce Rate
The easiest way to see that your site isn’t doing well is by viewing its bounce rate. The bounce rate is the ratio of initial clicks on your website to conversions. If you are losing a lot of potential customers after they have visited certain pages of your site then it will be easy to see where the problem is and address it.
Paying attention to your bounce rate is a great way to take your website’s temperature, so to speak. It is the simplest way to know something is wrong so that you can implement new design solutions to fix the problem.
6. You Don’t Have Email Sign-ups
Although it can be annoying to have an email box overflowing with offers, for most of your potential clients it is a necessary evil. Your customers are interested in the coupons and discounts they can be offered by becoming part of your circle.
If you aren’t yet offering friends and family style sign-ups to build your email list then you are falling behind. Those emails can help foster a connection with your brand that extends beyond the digital marketplace.
Be careful not to send email offers too frequently or you may see some of your customers unsubscribe. Your goal is to give them enough of a taste that they remember to visit your website, without overwhelming their inbox to the point of annoyance.
For those new to writing these kinds of offers, it can be difficult to strike the perfect balance. That is why it may be a good idea to hire a digital branding expert to construct the content and materials for you. They know what kind of things your customer wants to hear, and what sounds like shameless advertising.
7. Your Brand Has Changed
Today there are so many people on the planet that selling almost any product can be successful if it is of high quality and marketed properly. The key is that the company needs to portray a branded image to their potential customers that adds value.
Perhaps when you were just starting out you hadn’t yet fully developed your identity as a company. Now you have the opportunity to change that and express to your customers what your company is all about using design solutions.
Let your customers know who you are and what you stand for. If you can create an emotional response to your branding then you have tapped into a valuable motivator for purchases.
8. Your Site is Frustrating to Update
Once code has been written and manipulated several times over, it can become frustrating to work with. For awhile you can implement small fixes without redoing your website completely, but eventually the old layers and new will become mixed and it will be difficult to get the effect that you want.
Every once in awhile it is important to completely update your website from the ground up. This keeps your code organized so that your pages respond correctly when you update them with new content.
9. Your Content Reads Like an Advertisement
When a potential customer is visiting your website, they don’t want to feel like they are reading the words of a used car salesman. If it sounds like you are just trying to push your product onto them, then they are going to run in the opposite direction.
Instead, use design solutions to try to form your content to fit the niche that your business is marketing to. For example, if your company sells wedding dresses then you could write about any topic related to weddings.
You don’t have to just focus on your part in the occasion. By adding articles about other businesses you add credit to your own voice as an authority on the subject.
10. You Haven’t Optimized for Search Engines
Although SEO is touched on elsewhere, as the most important of the design solutions it deserves its own section. If you haven’t optimized your website for search engines then you are wasting your time updating it because no one will ever see it.
Today people use search engines almost exclusively to find the content they are looking for and the results are typically so accurate that they have no reason to dig through multiple pages. If you aren’t ranking, then you might as well not exist.
11. Your Site Takes a Long Time to Load
Patience is not the way of the mobile browser user. For so long we had to wait for hours to download one song to add to our iPods, but now waiting more than five seconds for a page to load can seem like an eternity.
If your page is taking a long time to load, then your customer is going to go elsewhere. Of course, sometimes it is not your content that is causing the website to load slowly. Perhaps your customer has a bad network connection. There isn’t much you can do about that.
But what you can address with design solutions is the size of your images and videos. The larger these files are the longer they will take to load. A good website finds a happy balance between having high-quality media and quick loading speeds.
12. You Have No Links to Social Media
Social media marketing is important to your customers. Today more than ever people are relying on the reviews of others to make their decisions. The world of social media has given these people the platform they needed to start speaking out about the products that they love, as well as the ones they hate.
If your website doesn’t have links to social media accounts that are active, your customer may think you have something to hide. At the bare minimum, they are going to think that you don’t care about interacting with your customers and hearing their thoughts.
A good business strategy is to create social media accounts on all the major platforms and address the concerns of your customers as they come along. It is okay to make mistakes, owning up to your failure can go a long way to showing potential customers that you are transparent and that you stand behind your product.
13. Your Target Audience Changed
Perhaps you targeted a demographic or niche group with the initial release of your product or service. For example, men’s running shoes. After great success, you have decided to expand your product offerings to reach a larger demographic. In our example, we will say that you expanded to add women’s shoes as well.
This may seem like a simple change, but there are many more factors involved than you initially realize that need design solutions. From the words you use to describe your product to the organization of your content, your viewers are going to expect to find information that is relevant to them.
In the case of our shoe example, you may have to go back and replace all references of ‘he’ into ‘they’.
14. Your Website Isn’t Functional
We mean this pretty literally. If your site is broken, then your customers are immediately going to go elsewhere. They have unlimited options for where to take their business and being looped through your pages is a waste of their time. Even one miss-direct can turn off the most dedicated of purchasers.
Keep your website functional by using design solutions that make your website easy-to-navigate.
Applying Design Solutions
There is a lot to know about web design in order to create the optimal user experience. Applying design solutions yourself can be a daunting task, especially if you have a lot of other projects on your plate.
Let us take a look at your website and see what we can do for you. We have the experience and knowledge necessary to boost your traffic and grow your customer base. Contact us for design solutions today.