B2B Marketing Agency for Technology Companies

10 Telling Signs Your Website Needs a Rebuild (part 2)

Rebuilding a website takes money, time and people. If you’re on the fence, here are reasons 6 – 10 why it might be time to start planning yours.

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by Eric Sharp

In case you missed Part 1, I outlined signs 1 - 5 (Goals, Performance, CMS, Users & Calls-to-Action).

10-signs-website-needs-rebuild-pt2

6. No visual design consistency with other material

Does it feel like your website reflects a different company? Have you re-designed your branding guideline (e.g. logo, colors, typography) and those elements haven’t been woven into the website?

Though some within your organization may feel this is simply an annoyance, I’d argue that it’s much worse. The inconsistency is disconnecting your current and potential customers from your company’s vision, mission, personality, messaging and overall ability to communicate with intent. Yes, design can do that.

Your website should be treated as your most important communication asset. If it’s not in harmony with your outbound marketing (e.g. collateral, tradeshow displays, presentations), let that sentiment transition from annoying to disconcerting and begin to take action.

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7. No Content Strategy

Do you have a blog? Great. This still doesn’t mean you have a content strategy.

A blog is simply a tactic. Kristina Halvorson, author of Content Strategy for the Web, defines a content strategy as:

The practice of planning for the creation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable content.

Kristina Halvorson

Do you have plan? Who are the authors? How often do they write? About what? Who’s the editor? Is the content actually being viewed, shared, and engaged? (If you open up comments, you sure better be responding!)

Without a plan, your blog will be like a bottle rocket on the 4th of July. Great anticipation, lots of excitement, and then fizzle to black.

A valuable content strategy is not just about which tactics you use, it’s about coming up with a plan for creating, publishing, and overseeing content that is useful for your audience.

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8. TABLES being used for layout and structure

Quickly check to see if your website is structured with tables (hope that it isn't!)

Right click anywhere in the body of your website (not on an image) and select “View page source” from the menu.

A new tab in your browser will launch and display a bunch of code. Briefly scan the code and be on the lookout for <TABLE> within that mess. If you start seeing repeated usage, then it’s certainly a sign your website has exceeded its shelf life.

Behind the scenes, websites are run by code. That code should adhere to the latest web standards so it can be multi-browser compatible, provide proper accessibility and enable search engines to understand it. I could add maintainability to that list, but that’s for another day.

Why does this matter? Well, for you non-technical folks, that code is like the engine to your vehicle. To everyone on the road, they see metal, plastic and paint color. However, your engine is the real reason you get from Point A to Starbucks, er, Point B.

Your website's code is the engine that makes it go.

Learn more with this comical presentation on Tables vs CSS.

9. No Search Engine positioning for Non-Branded Keywords

Though a complete rebuild might be excessive if this is your reality, it’s still a hefty sign that your website is missing out in big opportunities.

I’ve seen many people become cheerful when their company name rank's #1. I unfortunately then become the party pooper when I explain why ranking #1 for your brand name isn’t all that. With minimal content and basic SEO, this should happen fairly automatically.

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You should be more concerned in positioning yourself for keywords that describe your services, products and expertise — these are non-branded keywords. For example, if you’re a pet boarding facility, optimize for keywords such as “dog boarding” or “doggie day care”. Not, “Sally’s Doggy World”.

Remember, focus on keywords that’ll aid in attracting those potential customers that aren’t aware you exist! If your SEO person takes ultimate pride in ranking for branded keywords, find a new one.

10. Flash-based navigation, key content or entire site

Apple’s official thoughts on Flash in 2010 had a dramatic impact on websites

Apple and Flash have a rocky relationship. The late Steve Jobs had concerns over performance, reliability and security.

If any part of your site is in Flash, that content won’t display on the world’s best selling smartphone (iPhone) and tablet (iPad). That could spell serious trouble if, (gasp), your entire site is in Flash. Talk about a show stopper since mobile traffic has exceeded that of desktop traffic.

Aside from compatibility issues on Apple devices, Flash-based websites bring a multitude of challenges to search engines, screen readers, maintainability (there’s that word again), analytics and content management systems.

In Closing

Rebuilding a website should be looked at as a significant investment of money, time, people -- and lets not forget energy!

Once you have an understanding of the current pain points, missed opportunities and scalability issues, you’ll be able to rally major stakeholders and present a strong case.

Good luck!

Did you miss Part 1?

We believe a conversion-focused website — paired with the proper traffic, content, automation, and end-to-end ROI measurement — equips B2B technology companies with a real asset to scale their business.

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