3 Major Signs It’s Time For a Website Redesign

Your website is still one of your best marketing tools.

The 2013 Internet Usage in the Middle East study predicted that the number of internet users in the region will have reached 413 million by 2015. At the time, Bahrain took the lead for internet penetration rate from all countries in the region at 77% – a stat that has jumped to an astronomical 96.4% this year. This officially gives us one of the highest internet penetration rates across the globe. Yes Bahrain may be a small island, but it’s online presence is mighty!

With more and more consumers not only accessing but relying on the internet for their day-to-day doings, top companies are acting quickly by optimising their digital marketing strategies, investing in social media and tailoring their websites according to the ever-changing needs of their customers.

Such rising numbers have given businesses a sense of how crucial it is to not just have an online presence, but to offer a digital experience that is user-focused, engaging and effective. How? Through user-centred design.

Bahrain has one of the highest internet penetration rates across the globe, at 96.4%

The Enduring Importance of Web Design

According to Stanford University, 75% of visitors judge a brand’s credibility based on its website design. As mentioned in our previous post here, you should treat your site as a first-impression factor that can easily make or break a potential conversion with your customer.

Although generally, it’s fairly easy to tell if a website is ‘unattractive’ at a glance. But design doesn’t just pertain to its aesthetic appeal. Just as importantly, it refers to the overall function and performance of the website features and how well it works towards reaching your core company objectives.

Questioning whether your website has what it takes to meet the current demands of users and search engines? Here are three fundamental signs that your site might need an upgrade.

Sign 1: Not mobile-responsive

According to a 2015 study by Harris Interactive, Northwestern University in Qatar and the Pan Arab Research Centre (PARC), 93% of Internet users across the Middle East and Africa access the web via mobile phones.

Another recent report revealed that more than half of all Google searches are performed on a mobile device. In fact, 84% of people under the age of 25 in Saudi Arabia researched a recent purchase using a smartphone and 75% of UAE consumers considered buying from a brand they wouldn’t normally consider because of relevant information available to them on their hand-held device. Customers expect to access your website wherever they want, whenever they want – regardless of which channel they use.

Does your current website offer an optimal viewing experience among various devices? Computers, tablets and mobile phones? If not, then it’s time to upgrade. Take Google’s mobile-friendly test here to find out.

Sign 2: Slow to load

If your website loads in five seconds or more, you could be losing customers. An infographic by KISSmetrics indicates that around 47% of consumers expect a website to load in two seconds or less, and 40% of users will leave a site that takes more than three seconds to load.

Slow load speed equates to poor user experience, and will in turn, affect your SEO rankings.

40% of users will leave a site that takes more than three seconds to load

Sign 3: Out of date technology and techniques

If your website is more than a couple of years old, it’s possible that you haven’t incorporated the latest recommended web practices. Some of the outdated programming techniques to address in a redesign include:

  • Flash – if you’re using Flash instead of the newer HTML5, visitors can’t view it on Apple devices. The slow loading speed is also known to frustrate many users.
  • Images instead of CSS: Use of numerous separate images to create elements can slow down the page speed.
  • Tables: If you’re using tables for layouts and alignment, this can also affect loading speed.

Additionally, outdated techniques can make your website difficult to navigate. In cases with ecommerce, client orders and other transactions take too long – or forever – to complete. While some transactions appear to be completed, your system fails to update and notify you of the sale. If any of these signs apply to your website, you may have been neglecting it for too long.

As a vital component in the growth and success of your business, your website must be an investment. Its overall performance dictates user experience and ultimately – user satisfaction. This pertains to aspects such as speed, navigation, content, typography, layout, customer forms and more. It’s crucial to outline a clear and feasible plan for your website that contributes to your business’ objectives and of course – your bottom line. Take actionable steps and let labours result in a website that strengthens brand image, increases product awareness and improves conversion rates for overall profitability.

In the world of marketing, there’s a fine line between a business that makes a good first impression and one that doesn’t. Optimise your website and you’ll be on the right side of the line, online.

Mark Warman - Founder & Digital Consultant Administrator

With a background in design, technology and user experience, I help businesses adapt. Adapt to the changing needs and expectations of their digital audiences.