A potential customer’s first impression of your company will most likely be your website. According to Statista, 93% of people looking for a home will use the internet. So at what point do you consider building a new website? Or do you need to refresh your existing website? How do you know?
Has Your Website Received Regular Maintenance?
These questions can be somewhat misleading. There is no set timeline to determine if a website needs to be replaced or just updated. A better question is, “has your website received regular maintenance since you built it?” Websites need monthly maintenance. If you built a WordPress website three years ago with plugins, security, core themes continually updated and monitored, your website might not need a significant overhaul or a rebuild. You may be able to redesign at a portion of the cost of a rebuild.
If you have a website built more than three years ago and haven’t received updates, you will want to have a thorough site audit to see which elements function correctly and which components need to be replaced or rebuilt. Most likely, you will need a complete rebuild. Going back to Power Marketing’s automobile analogy, if you purchased a car three years ago and did no maintenance, it wouldn’t work. But, if you did all the regularly scheduled maintenance during that same period, the car should be running fine and might need minor work.
So, in a nutshell, incurring the cost of ongoing maintenance will be more expensive in the short term, but in the long run, this may save you from a rebuild every three years.
Power Marketing’s Approach
At Power Marketing, we advise clients to rebuild or perform significant design updates to their websites every three years. Three years may seem like a short time. But, users’ habits change over time. For example, website visitors from mobile devices have increased almost 10% in the last three years. So, a homebuilder may want to consider changing their design to be more mobile-friendly than the 2018 design.
If you don’t have an agency you are working with, a rebuild will probably be the best option. Websites built by Power Marketing are updated quarterly for function, and clients with retainers will have design adjustments included in their agreement. This concept, known as Growth-Driven Design, an agency evaluates the website each month to ascertain the elements that will be most effective for improving user experience (UX) or increasing organic traffic.
Some Free Tools
In most cases, a digital marketing agency will have access to multiple software packages to make informed decisions about traffic to your website, your website’s “health,” and elements needed to upgrade your website. With digital marketing agencies, paid subscriptions give them access to complex software versions. But, some of these same software programs have free versions so that you can review your website at a high level. Keep in mind these applications are just a snapshot of your website. But, these snapshots will give you an idea of your website’s functionality
Google Page Speed Insights
Google Page Speed Insights measures a single web page’s download time and mobile experience. This measurement doesn’t include your entire website. Most people select their home page to analyze since it is usually the most visited page. Google adjusted its SEO algorithm in June of 2021 to emphasize website download times and mobile experience to determine your website’s value. These results are an estimate and will vary. But, the information will give you a picture of your website’s performance. Plus, Google created the program. It’s interesting to peek “behind the curtain” of the largest search engine in the world.
UberSuggest: Site Audit
UberSuggest is a software developed by SEO Guru Neil Patel. UberSuggest focuses on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) research. But, the program has some free features you can access on a limited basis. The Site Audit section of Ubersuggest is designed for SEO research but can also give you a read on your website’s “health .”This research may require a seven-day free trial for the information, but it is worth it.
Hubspot’s Website Grader
Website Grader is Hubspot’s official website testing tool. Hubspot is one of the leaders in marketing automation by integrating all elements of digital marketing with sales and CRM systems (see link). Website Grader will provide you with a scorecard of your website’s general setup and mirrors some of the same information from UberSuggest and Google Page Speed Insights. But it gives more details about mobile functionality and provides some easy-to-understand advice on fixing the issues.
Free Website Audits
Some digital marketing agencies provide a free site audit. Of course, if you ask a marketing agency to look at your website, you are opening yourself up to a sales pitch. But, usually, these audits are more thorough and can provide more insight into the stability of your website. Also, agencies can give you an initial estimate for the website work.
Deciding to build a new website or redesign your existing website is a big decision and can be expensive. But using these tools can help you make a more informed decision. If you would like a free website audit, contact us at Power Marketing. Call us at 615.257.0057 or fill out our contact form.