When is the right time to refresh your website?

When is the right time to refresh your website?

How long does it take to form an opinion about a website? For most people, three seconds. Within three seconds, they'll decide whether to keep browsing, or leave. This means that if your site is slow, poorly designed, and old enough to creak and groan, you could be driving away potential customers.

To ensure visitors stick around and capture leads, your website must impress, and that's why it needs an aesthetic that's modern and enticing, and content that's current and engaging. Does your business website possess these qualities? Here are six tell-tale signs that yours might be due for a refresh.

High bounce rate

The bounce rate -- available on your site's Google Analytics dashboard -- is the percentage of people who enter and leave your site after looking at only one page. High bounce rates are a cause for concern since they typically indicate visitors are not finding much value from your content and/or did not like the general look and feel of your website.

Bounce rates do vary from industry to industry. For example, restaurants' bounce rates are often somewhere between 50 to 60% because they provide important information pertaining to opening hours, phone numbers, and location on the first page. On the other hand, real estate brokers' and property-listing sites have bounce rates around 45% since they consist of multiple pages with different properties.

If your website's bounce rate is significantly higher than your industry's standard, then a refresh is in order. Pay extra attention to the homepage and add elements that visitors can interact with like 'call to action' buttons, videos, and a simple navigation bar at the top of the page.

Poor navigation

When someone visits your website, they should be able to find the information they need right away. Your products page, for instance, shouldn't be littered with employee bios and contact information. If you want visitors to know about your personnel or know how to contact them, make sure you provide a link that will redirect them to the relevant page.

Also, if you're getting more enquiries about information featured on your website, it might mean you need to reorganize your site map so people can find the information they need without having to take the extra step of contacting you.

It's slow

If your website takes minutes to load, your visitors might not wait around. Go to services like https://tools.pingdom.com/ and enter your site's URL to check your website's speed.

Ideally, your site should load within three seconds, but if it's slower than that, make sure to limit effects requiring lots of processing power, remove Flash animation, and optimize images for the web.

It's not mobile-friendly

To capitalize on the exploding growth of mobile internet users, your company's website must adapt its size and layout to every device and web browser. This will ensure Android and iPhone users have no problems navigating your website. To guarantee your site is mobile-friendly, go to a professional and ask for a more responsive website design.

Company branding is outdated

Keeping your website relevant means you need to keep up with trends. After all, you can't expect people to take your brand seriously if you're using poorly rendered graphics and an antiquated font style. Even popular sites like YouTube and Facebook undergo continual changes to make features more intuitive and the overall design more aesthetically pleasing.

Keep in mind that updating your brand isn't just limited to revamping your logo and color scheme; it also includes adding new information to your site like new products, services and promotions.

Competitors refreshed their websites

While you don't necessarily have to revamp your website every time a competitor revamps theirs, it's important to note how they reduce bounce rates. Study their design decisions and think about how you can incorporate successful elements from their site into yours.

If they managed to rank higher than you in the search results, take a look at their content, the keywords they're using, and other strategies they've adopted to generate more traffic. Then, talk to an SEO and web design expert to see what adjustments you can make to your own website.

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