If you’ve pondered the question, “Is it time to revamp my website?” the answer is most likely a resounding “Yes!” According to Medium, 60% of small businesses have outdated websites. With technology and website best practices constantly evolving, it’s easy for a website to become outdated. Even if your website was created a few years ago, it’s entirely possible that your site, which may have been on the bleeding edge in 2012, is beginning to fall behind in key areas. Many business owners are not aware just how much an outdated website can cost them in sales- and that’s understandable… they’re busy running the day-to-day operations of their company. However, technology trudges on… and it can easily get away from you if left unattended. One study from Stanford University showed that 75% of website visitors admit to drawing conclusions about a company’s credibility based on their website’s design (and that’s probably on the conservative side). Credibility is only one of the many reasons why keeping your website up to date with current trends and best practices is so important. Fear not! The web design experts at DRM are here to explain where your website may be outdated and what you should focus on when updating it.
One of the most common examples that cause websites to become outdated is the absence of a mobile friendly design. More specifically, a mobile-friendly responsive design. In the early days of mobile devices, you may have noticed some websites with “m.” prefixes to their websites. These “m-dot” pages were separate counterparts that mobile users would be forwarded to automatically. The problem with these mobile-specific versions of websites was that agencies were doing twice the work, developing and maintaining two websites independently. Not to mention that mobile sites were often sluggish, depending on heavy scripting, and often ran the risk of being penalized by Google for duplicate content. Today, we employ a singular method that solves these problems: responsive design.
Responsive website design is today’s standard for mobile-first websites (we say “mobile-first” because more than half of your website’s traffic will typically come from phones or tablets). Building your website on a responsive framework will cause it to automatically configure itself depending on screen size. Not only are responsive websites user friendly but they also allow your website to be more easily searched. Google favors responsive websites, therefore building your site on a responsive framework will improve your rankings on mobile search.
Search Engine Optimization
Chances are that you’ve probably heard the acronym “SEO.” This stands for “search engine optimization” and it’s probably one of the most important concepts to understand when designing your website. With Google’s focus on customer experience and high-quality organic content, proper search optimization must be done with a combination of carefully written copy, geo tags, keyword density, HTML tags and meta data. SEO is a science unto itself- in order to dominate the competition on search, you need to play by Google’s rules, and those rules are constantly evolving. Less than 10% of the searching public will typically venture beyond the first page of Google. With strong Google rankings becoming such a vital goal for businesses, it’s best to let professionals handle your on-page SEO. A calculated approach to optimizing your pages for search are typically the best way to succeed.
Page Load Times
According to a survey done by Kissmetrics, 30% of internet users only wait 6-10 seconds for a website to load. Today, your customers and prospects have far less patience than they once had. This is why it’s so important for your website to be speedy and lightweight. The sad truth is that if your website is slow to load, viewers are likely to abandon your site altogether. If your website is not able to quickly serve users the information they seek or allow them to purchase the products they desire, they will not hesitate to head to your competitors. Poor load times do not only hurt your user experience, however. If your website is slow to load, it may affect your search rankings as well.
Sometimes the reason a website is outdated can be harder to pinpoint. Is it an old logo? Retro branding? Cluttered layout? What about that old animated Flash intro or “splash page?” Even if your website checks all the boxes we discussed above, sometimes a website can simply look outdated. While keeping branding consistent for a company is very important, it’s equally important to refresh your company’s branding when it makes sense. If your branding is starting to get stale, one of the first places to start evolving your brand is your website. There are many ways to stay true to your brand while also updating its aesthetic. Even massive corporations often update their branding.
Melt Bar and Grilled
Gourmet grilled cheese restaurant Melt Bar and Grilled has been a popular casual dining option in northeast Ohio and beyond since its inception in 2006. While Melt experienced strong growth in its first 10 years of business, its website was almost unchanged from its initial incarnation. As Melt’s agency, DRM’s first task was to develop a new website for Melt and to help the brand create a more consistent brand design that could be used across all its marketing materials.
The original Melt website was not mobile friendly and had a rather cluttered navigation structure that made the overall user experience difficult. We created an all-new website experience built on the web standard WordPress platform in conjunction with the powerful Bootstrap responsive framework. The aesthetic of the website was created using tactile elements that can be found in every Melt location. Our objective was to translate the experience of walking into a Melt restaurant to the screen. Because the previous site was also built on WordPress, we were able to seamlessly translate all previous pages and content (and thus SEO power) while creating an easier to use site. DRM also created a new logo and visual identity system for Melt that is cleaner and easier to read on-screen than previous incarnations.
Founded in 1967, Dearborn, Inc. is machining company that specializes in precision deep-hole drilling. While their drilling methods are state-of-the-art in their industry, their website was made back in 2001 and did little to convey the expertise that their engineers bring to the table. The original Dearborn website was an old school “frames” site complete with a flash intro animation. DRM created a website that would bring Dearborn’s web presence up to speed with their cutting-edge capabilities.
DRM created the new Dearborn website based on a static HTML5 design that was not only lightweight and quick to load but also fully SEO optimized with page copy that conveyed a more cohesive marketing message. While the old Dearborn site didn’t do much in the way of search, the new Dearborn site caused their organic search results to skyrocket. Much of their new business post-relaunch has been attributed to the power of the company’s website- an investment that has paid for itself many times over.
Automotive Titling Corporation (ATC)
Automotive Titling Corporate is a Colorado-based company specializing in out-of-state auto title and registration. ATC’s goal is to eliminate pain points for dealerships nationwide. Dealing with the vast array of rules and regulations that each state requires when registering a car across state lines can be a nightmare for dealers- one that ATC solves with its unique software. While customer experience is one of the biggest advantages of working with ATC, their website did little to convey their differentiators. ATC’s previous site launched in 2002 and had a very outdated design. The layout was not mobile friendly and featured Flash, pastel colors and plain black fonts. DRM set out to revitalize the company’s brand and give the new website a more modern look.
DRM created a new responsive, HTML website complete with an updated logo and corporate video. This new website has a clean, modern design and displays a clear marketing message. Every page was designed with the user experience and search optimization in mind.
Are you considering a website revamp for your company? Look no further than DRM. Dallas Riffle Media is a Cleveland-based marketing agency that offers web design, copywriting, SEO, video production, digital advertising and more. To learn more about how we can help grow your company, visit our website. To contact one of our marketing specialists for a free consultation, give us a call at (330) 274-7658 or send us an email.