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Why websites die

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Posted by Mark Parent - September 07, 2016

A dead website can't convert leads or attract prospective customers.

However, if you don't know that you have dead weight on your hands, you can't step in to fix the problem. To determine whether your website has exhaled its final breath (at least until you make some changes), you have to look for symptoms that indicate the site no longer has relevance, meaning, or power.

Following are some of the reasons websites die -- and what you can do to resuscitate them.

They load too slowly

Image of turtle on computer keyboard, signifying slow loading times and need for effective web design.

Slow loading times won’t win you any races, nor any customers. Twitter icon for click to tweet

Have you ever clicked away from a website because it just wouldn't load? Consumers expect to receive their information quickly and with as few obstacles as possible. In fact, according to Kissmetrics, consumers will leave a website -- probably never to return -- if it doesn't load within three seconds.

Even more telling, almost 80 percent of shoppers report a willingness to abandon an e-commerce website and their shopping cart when pages prove too slow.

Numerous factors can impact your website's loading times, from the number of plugins you use on your WordPress installation to the number of graphics your site has to load on the page. It's so complex, in fact, that business owners typically need website design professionals to help diagnose and correct the issue.

>> Learn about other factors that affect web performance: Download your free copy of our website performance report, which analyzed hundreds of business websites to gain insight on industry best practices.

They don't evolve

In today's fast-paced world, consumers need dynamic sources of content if they're going to stay engaged. Past visitors will lose interest in your website if they never see new content, and potential visitors are less likely to stumble across a website with outdated content.

Furthermore, static website design often falls behind trends. New techniques and strategies surface in the industry and while your competitors take advantage of those developments, your website remains mired in mediocrity -- or, even worse, last year's mediocrity.

They lack focus

When you first launch a business, you might struggle to find your footing at first. You try different approaches to website design and content in an attempt to find your voice and vision. However, at some point, you have to sharpen your website's focus if you want your prospects to respond to your content.

Similarly, a business that has existed for years might branch off in different directions, testing new strategies. However, if that business doesn't align its website with these new approaches, prospects will question the business's commitment to its vision. When one page looks completely different than the others, for instance, visitors can become confused and the lack of cohesive design could even weaken the business' credibility with existing clients.

How do I save my website?

Image of hospital heart monitor. Effective web design can keep your website lively and customers engaged.

Don't fret, you can save your website. Employing a growth-driven design process is
one way to keep it as up-to-date and user-friendly as possible. Twitter icon for click to tweet

It’s not as though you will wake up one day and find that your website has suddenly "died." It’s usually a build-up of a number of factors that cause it to become irrelevant and stop attracting new visitors. Take a look at your website to examine its current status and ask yourself a few of these questions:

  • Does my site have clear, powerful calls-to-action?
  • Are my social media accounts integrated into my website where visitors can find buttons and engage with my organization?
  • Do visitors have a way to contact my organization via forms and easy-to-find phone numbers, email addresses, and other contact information?
  • Does my website have a clear goal for my visitors, such as encouraging them to “buy now,” sign up for a newsletter, or make a phone inquiry?
  • Has my website been updated recently? And am I able to update blogs, images, text, files, inventory, and other components on a regular basis?

It's difficult to determine whether your website is dead by yourself. Unless you know the warning signs and understand the tenets of growth-driven website design, you're likely to assume that your customers are happy with the status quo. Unfortunately, this isn't usually the case.

Wondering how you can keep visitors interested in your website? Download our free Growth-Driven Design Playbook to learn more about the web design process that allows you to provide the fresh content, convenient layout, and enticing design that keeps visitors coming back.

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Topics: Content Marketing


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