How to Know If You Need a Website Facelift
These days, your audience’s first impression of your manufacturing business is based almost exclusively on your website. Your website now is your 24/7 online salesperson, driving leads and conversions and serving as an integral part of marketing to prospects. If it’s not serving its functions, you are missing out on leads and revenue.
But how do you know if your industrial manufacturing website is passing the first-impression test? And we don’t just mean the look and design of your website, it’s functionality and performance matter too. User experience, known as UX, is an integral factor in how—and how long—visitors utilize your site … and navigate their way through your sales funnel, ultimately. If you recognize any of these seven signs, it’s time for updating your website.
1. Your website doesn’t reflect your brand.
A well-designed website should highlight the quality, values, and character of your brand. If you had a rebrand recently or your messaging has changed, your website needs to be adapted to reflect those changes. Both the copy and the visuals need to line up with your manufacturing brand and messaging and address your customers’ current pain points. And of course, this all should be topped off by having a memorable user experience that aligns with your message. If your company claims to be a leading brand in the industry but your website experience is rather disappointing, that creates a major disconnect and fosters lost confidence from the website visitor, which will prevent you from getting leads and conversions.
2. Your last update was more than three years ago.
The average website lifespan is one-and-a-half to two-and-a-half years. And although this timeframe is only a benchmark, the design trends and consumer expectations change much quicker than even 10 years ago, so you most probably need to take another look at your website if it’s been longer than three years since your last website overhaul. It’s common practice to take a growth-driven-design approach and revise your website periodically to make continuous improvements. But that’s just not enough to remain contemporary and competitive in today’s digital landscape. Plan on thorough overhauls—sometimes complete rebuilds—at least every three years.
In the manufacturing space, especially, companies often find themselves focusing solely on production, which sometimes goes in hand with neglecting the importance of regularly updating their website. However, given the way and the speed consumer habits are changing as a result of spending more time online, it’s time for companies of all verticals to embrace the digital changes and set the tone with customers and prospects by having a strong website.
Aside from the look and feel of the website, there are constant updates to what a website should have and do in order to stay relevant. Things like a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate, for example, can make the difference between a website that users trust and explore—or close, even before viewing any content.
Same goes for having a responsive website. With more than 53% of all web traffic coming from mobile devices, you must have a responsive website; otherwise, you’ll lose a big chunk of leads and even customers. In addition, search engines punish non-responsive websites by giving privilege to those that provide a better mobile experience.
Source: Broadband Search 2020
3. Your page load speeds are too slow.
According to 2018 research by Google, 53% of mobile users leave a site that takes longer than three seconds to load. As users and consumers, we’ve become accustomed to getting what we want when we want it. So why are your prospects any different? If your website pages take more than a few seconds to fully load, it’s time to redesign and optimize the load times. In addition, Google and other search engines penalize sites that load slowly.
4. Your third-party tools are outdated.
Modern websites have third-party tools and plugins embedded that provide additional functionality, such as maps and shopping cart widgets. However, if these tools are not up-to-date in their functionality they will negatively affect the performance of your website. It’s best to regularly update these tools to their latest versions and check to see what other/newer tools are available that meet your needs, and those of your web visitors, better. Some of the questions you can ask yourself to determine if it’s time to replace or remove a certain tool:
- How is this third-party tool performing?
- Is it still benefiting your website?
- Does it slow your website’s speed?
- Are the new/improved versions now available?
- Is there another tool or widget that can simplify the UX for website visitors?
If a tool does not work properly and takes forever to load, it is definitely time to get rid of it and look for a better alternative. Remember, you only have three seconds until someone bounces off your site.
5. You can’t update content yourself.
Regularly updating your website’s content, creating landing pages, and posting blogs should be a major part of your content marketing strategy. If you have to rely on a web developer to make changes every time you want to edit a content piece or add a pop-up message, it will cost you more time and money. Content management systems (CMS) platforms like HubSpot are designed to take that work off of the developer and make it easy for non-techy professionals to make limited (but highly functional) changes on the website without a risk of compromising the codes on your website. With drag-and-drop templates and easy customization, adding new landing pages, blogs, CTAs, and other pages to your website is easy and quick. If you have to rely on a web developer to make changes every time you want to edit content, add a blog, or perform other simple tasks, you’re wasting valuable resources funneling a heavy workload on one department.
6. Your competitors changed their site.
Some website changes can substantially improve search engine rankings. And that’s what we all hope for when making changes to our websites. But when that happens to your competitor’s website, that changes things. If your competitor’s website pushing you down in searches, it’s time to make some improvements to your site.
Another scenario, and we’ve all been there: when you spend time on your competitor’s site and realize that it is more intuitive and could probably meet your goals much better than your own site does—you have work to do. Maintaining an edge in search shouldn’t be your only goal, but if you’re not near the top of search engine rankings because your competitor has beat you there, analyze what SEO adjustments you can make to your site
7. Your site is not delivering the traffic, leads, and conversions you expect.
The final and the biggest indicator that reveals your website is lacking and needs an overhaul: you are not getting the results you want. By looking at your visitor-to-lead and lead-to-customer conversion rates, you can get a clear idea of what needs to be adjusted on it. Metrics such as a high bounce rate, low time on site, and low average pages-per-visit also signal that your visitors don’t find your current site useful. If your visitors spend some time on your website but do not convert, yet come back, it’s likely that they can’t find what they’re looking for. Or you may have created abundant informational content but not enough (or any) conversion opportunities to close the loop and capture the lead.
Each click on your website should be logical and clearly defined. One page should lead to another and move users further down the conversion journey. Your best next step is to clearly define your audience personas and your goals prior to your redesign or rebuild. Then work with a professional design and development team to map your site to those goals. This will help you attain an increase in qualified traffic and leads.
Grant Marketing Free Website Assessment Offer
If you are asking yourself whether you should update your website, chances are you likely know the answer. If you recognize any of the above issues on your site and you’re looking to start an inbound program, Grant Marketing is here to help. To support businesses through this difficult situation, we’re offering a FREE website assessment that includes:
- Keyword phrase analysis of your website compared with 2 of your competitors
- Hotjar tracking of your website for 2 weeks
- Report of findings, a consultation and recommendations
We don’t take the traditional web-design approach. Instead, we work with you through the redesign and development stage and structure your website to align with inbound methodology to deliver an industrial manufacturing website that works as a 24/7 marketing funnel, driving conversions while you sleep.
Fill out this form to request a free website assessment