by Mindy Dyk

A colleague of mine once told me “you never get a second chance at a first impression.” Think of your website as your customer’s first impression. If you were the customer, would you be impressed? Think about the last time you were in search of a product or service. What did you do to kickoff your search? More than likely, you opened a browser window and began your search online.

A business’s web presences is a very valuable tool.  A website allows you to establish credibility, build trust, generate leads, sell to and support your customers. If you’re not sure the last time your business updated their website, here are some clues it might be time for a refresh:

1. It’s built in flash.

Why is flash so widely hated? Mainly because it’s dependent on its own plugin or add-on, the device and browser support is not extensive, it’s a potential security risk, it drains a device’s battery, and really anything Flash can do, HTML5 can do better.

2. You still have a traffic hit counter or still use a “page under construction” graphic.

Today, there are more sophisticated, trusted and robust ways to measure and view this information.

3. Your website color palette is similar to that of Rainbow Brite.

Color is a tricky thing. You have to use it in the right way, at the right time, with the right audience, and for the right purpose. The importance of color design stems from the significance of color to the human mind. Colors connect to our feelings in a unique and memorable way, which makes them a powerful marketing tool to keep in mind for your website.

4. You don’t appear on the first page of Google search results.


The most important reason to be on the first page of Google’s rankings is to make sure you are visible to everyone. Google is the #1 search engine and provides almost 12 billion searches a month to approximately 1.17 billion searchers. When it comes to shopping, 93 percent of all buying decisions start with an online search, and Google’s first page websites get 91.5 percent of Google traffic. Since most people don’t go beyond the first page, it’s vital for buyers to see you from the start. If your website’s on the second page you only get to share 4.8% of the traffic along with all other websites on the page. With page three, it shrinks even lower to 1.1 percent.  (source: Mr. SEO)

5. It’s slow….no matter where you access it from.

Check you this infographic from Kissmetrics that shows how a slower page response time results in page abandonment. Moreover, page speed affects your search engine rankings.

6. Your site still uses Papyrus or Comic Sans fonts.

Typography and font-faces chosen for a website have a huge impact on multiple aspects of the site, including readability, mood, perceived article length and user experience. Simply put, font selection is intended to convey the character or purpose of your website and content.

7. When people ask if you have a website, you hesitate to answer.

Based on information from  Google’s Think Insights , there is a 61 percent chance a user will leave your site immediately and rush over to a competitor’s website if the user gets frustrated with your website or they fail to find what they are looking for. On the other hand, when you provide users with a positive experience, they are 67 percent more likely to purchase your product or your service.

8. The people in your stock photos are still dressed for the 90’s.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. A real image of your business in action, strategically planned, professionally-shot and well-positioned can tell an entire story or instantly bring home a key message to a website visitor. We recommend investing in custom professional photography for your website.

9. Your competitor has updated their site.

If the competition’s website is easier to use, more aesthetically appealing, offers more enticing incentives, and contains more compelling messaging, you will have a hard time competing without also updating your website.

10. Your navigation is overwhelming.

People quickly leave the websites they cannot navigate. Users should be able to go to any page in a maximum of two or three clicks, with the main site pages accessible in one.  Navigation must be accessible from any page of the website, understandable, clear and intuitive.

11. Your website isn’t responsive.

According to a study done by Bright Local, 61 percent of mobile users are more likely to contact a local business with a mobile site. In another study done by Smart Insights, we can see:

  • More than 20 percent of Google search inquiries are done on mobile devices
  • Over 50 percent of local searches were done on mobile device
  • In the U.S., 25 percent of the users of the internet only access the world wide web from mobile devices
  • When brands provide users with a good mobile experience, 61 percent of consumers have a better image of the brand

The best solution is to implement a responsive design so your mobile site will provide a favorable user experience on today’s devices as well as have a higher Google ranking.

If you are not a web designer or developer yourself, redesigning a website can be an overwhelming task. At Lambert, Edwards & Associates, we provide web development services and would be happy to assist your business with getting your website updated. Feel free to contact us today to find out more information.

Mindy Dyk is a digital specialist at Lambert