Published: December 29 2008
Website Design > 5 Ways To Find Out If Your Website Is Hurting Your Business. Can your website hurt your business? Believe it or not, the answer to that question is yes – absolutely! Like anything you own (house, car, computer, television, etc.), over time websites may need some freshening up, they may need an overhaul, or they may need to be replaced altogether. The reasons for this may be as follows:
- The design is out-dated and hindering the delivery of the message.
- The website may be inefficient and too costly to maintain and update.
There comes a point when a website could actually be hurting your business, not helping it.
If your business has a website, how will you know when the website is no-longer working for your business? Here are some questions you should ask yourself about your current website to find out if it is still delivering the benefits your business requires:
- Is the site visually appealing? Can a new or redesigned site increase your company's profits? It's been proven that companies which use visual design as a tool to organize their message, making it focused, concise, and consistent often outperform their competitors.
- How old is the website design? Good visual design should remain relevant, contemporary, clean and competitive for about 5 years, but in today's business world, design companies that know the benefit of their work can successfully argue that a design from 2 years ago is so... well... yesterday. If your website hasn't gone through a redesign in the past 5 years, your customers are expecting a change.
- Are there broken links or missing text or images? Check your website in all of the major Internet browsers (Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer). If a website works well in IE only and not Firefox or Safari, this can be the kiss of death for your business online. Recent reports suggest that usage of both the Firefox and Safari is at an all-time high, while usage of IE is at an all-time low. It is estimated that on average, 30% of the viewers online are now using Firefox and Safari.
- When was the last time your website was updated? How easy is it for you and your staff to add a new page of content, add a news story about a new product or service, or add a gallery of images from your latest project? At the very least, you should have new information about your business or industry to share with your customers added to your website every month. If you have to ask your webs designer for help every time you need to update your website then you should be looking into a content management system for your website. The money you save by updating your website yourself will easily pay for the cost of adding the solution.
- Last but not least, have you measured the traffic that is coming to your website? Can you see historical reports and measure growth or decline in website visits? Can you measure the average length of the visits to your website? Can you measure the number of pages viewed? How viewers found your website? Your website hosting solution may come with a website statistics feature and you may be able to get this information from there. Google Analytics is an excellent solution for measuring website statistics and once you have this solution added to your website you will be able to track all sorts of information. If you measure a decline in visits, return visits, length of stay, or page views, then it's time to set up a meeting with a website designer.
In today's competitive marketplace and ever-shrinking world, businesses must understand the benefits of having a good website. So, what is a good website? Here's 2 key factors to knowing you have a good website:
- Good visual design. Website design that delivers your company's message without a viewer ever having to read a word within the website. Statistics show that a website has 2 seconds to capture the viewer's attention.
- The ability to easily deliver new and updated information about your company on a regular basis. A static website that doesn't offer any new or updated information becomes stagnant and old very quickly. Your business needs viewers returning to your website, and returning viewers have to have a reason to come back to your website.
Bottom line, when you take the time to take a hard look at your website, you may find that the quality of the online presentation of your company - good or bad - might have a direct impact on your bottom line.