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When should I get a new website?

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, an increasing number of consumers are going online to research products and services before they buy. As a result, websites have become an even more important marketing tool for small businesses.

Because of the financial pain caused by the pandemic, it’s easy to understand why many business owners aren’t thinking about a website upgrade. However, small businesses can get good results by simply updating their website’s homepage. Does your homepage make a great first impression, function smoothly, and encourage visitors to take further action? If not, you’re ultimately giving your competition the upper hand.

Why Your Website’s Homepage is So Important

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Today’s consumers expect more. They want to know who you are as a company, how you can help them, and why they should choose you over the competition. And they want to know that you’re keeping your website up to date. This can all be communicated on your homepage.

Warning Signs Your Homepage Needs a Redesign

To help you determine if your homepage might need a redesign, here are seven signs to look out for:

It’s Outdated

If it’s been a couple of years since you updated your homepage, it could look outdated compared to your competition. Why does this matter? When visitors think you don’t care about how your website looks, they might also think you neglect other areas of your business. A low-quality homepage design also influences the perceived quality of your products or services. Last but not least, outdated content and technical errors damage your credibility. When visitors land on an out-of-date website, they may even question whether you’re still in business.

It’s Difficult to Navigate

If the structure, headings, or navigation menu are unclear on your homepage, potential customers are going to question whether it’s worth spending any more time on your page to find what they’re looking for. This friction in the user experience will increase bounce rates and ultimately damage your reputation.

It’s Not Mobile Friendly

Today, many consumers use their tablet or smartphone to research products and businesses. If your homepage layout doesn’t adjust to any screen size automatically, you’re likely to lose many potential customers. In one study, 61 percent of consumers said they were more likely to buy from mobile-optimized sites. What’s more, Google penalizes websites that aren’t mobile-friendly.

It Loads Slowly

In a recent survey, 93 percent of people said they have left a website because it didn’t load quickly enough (1). If your homepage takes longer than a few seconds to load, there are a few possible causes. Unoptimized images, inefficient code, large image files, too many plug-ins, or a poor website hosting service can all reduce page load times.

website loading speed
It Has a High Bounce Rate

Your homepage might receive a lot of traffic, but if visitors aren’t exploring other pages on your site or they’re clicking the “back” button, something is going wrong. A high bounce rate on your homepage is a sign there’s a problem with the content, navigation, or general appearance of the page. You can use Google Analytics to check your homepage bounce rate; anything above 55 percent should raise the alarm bells.

It’s Difficult to Customise

Every small business website should be easy to update without the need for any technical knowledge. If you struggle to make changes to your homepage, you need to use a content management system that makes it easy for you to update your content when it suits you. Having greater control of your homepage content means you can edit call-to-action (CTA) buttons, messages, and other design elements to support your evolving marketing goals.

It’s Not Secure

If you haven’t yet obtained an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate for your website, it could be seriously affecting your website’s traffic and reputation. Secure sites are displayed with the HTTPS prefix, which stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Security. There are four main reasons for obtaining an SSL certificate:

•   It protects your website from hackers and viruses.

•   It protects your visitors when they interact with your website.

•   Chrome, Firefox, and other browsers issue warnings for non-HTTPS sites.

•   Google penalises sites that don’t have an SSL certificate.

The Bottom Line

To support the growth of your small business in these uncertain times, a homepage redesign is a great place to start. Your homepage is often the first connection potential customers have with your business, so it’s crucial to get it right.

If you spot any warning signs outlined here, it’s worth considering a homepage update to strengthen your business in the months and years ahead. Redesigning your homepage doesn’t have to break the bank; just a few tweaks can make all the difference when it comes to the visitor experience and conversion rates for your business.