How Much Is Your Old Website Costing You?
8 min read
In the UK, 62 Million people are online, and digital touchpoints have become an integral part of the customer purchase journey. Whether it is reading reviews, watching videos, or just trying to learn more about a business, service, or product, many (if not all) consumers turn to the internet. Your customers are online, and your competition is online, so ensuring you are putting your best digital foot forward could make all the difference.
If you’ve had your website for a while, you may wish to consider building a new one. While there is no set time frame on when you should develop a new website, on average between 2-5 years tends to be the sweet spot. That may sound quite regular, but consumer expectations and Google’s algorithms are always changing, so it’s important to stay up to date with them.
Now, websites are not cheap, and the ones that are, may be doing your business more harm than good. From designs, development, testing, and the other behind-the-scenes components, costs can mount. But the cost of developing a new website is often lower (and more beneficial in the long term) compared to the cost of having a bad one.
So, let’s explore some of the hidden costs of a poor website.
The Language of the Internet
The internet has been around for a long time (40 years in fact), and during that time, web developers have refined the art of coding a website. It’s a delicate balance between what humans see and interact with and what the search engines see. Over time, these have been collated into best practices that allow for synergy between the human and the bot sides. Poorly built websites that deviate too far from this set of standards can have serious consequences for your performance.
A poorly built website may look fine to humans, but it could be an incomprehensible mess to Google or other search engines. While this may not seem like a big deal, it can lead to your pages ranking poorly against your competitors, which will affect your visitor numbers, conversions, and your bottom line.
To demonstrate this, let’s look at some maths: (We can already feel the excitement).
NewShoesCo is an online shoe retailer (and entirely fictitious). They have an average order value of £100 and get around 100 orders a month, which equals £10,000 in sales per month OR £120,000 per year.
For one of their core key terms, with an average search volume of 2,700 per month, they currently rank on Google at the bottom of page 1 in position 10.
Being in position 10, their average click-through rate is 2.5%, which is 68 visits per month. With an average CVR of 3% on the website (the median for the average), they generate 2 sales per month which is £200 in sales. By growing their positioning, NewShoesCo will see a direct impact on this number, as outlined below:
|Click Through Rate||29%||11%||2.5%|
|Sales Loss per month VS Position 1||£1500||£2000|
Most importantly, growth on search is linked to a solid SEO strategy, and a great website alone won’t result in climbing the rankings – however, a solid foundation makes the SEO process much more efficient. Likewise, for the conversion rate, which we will cover later on.
Being built in the right language is only part of the complex tapestry of a great website. A website also needs to perform well for both search engines and users. Not only will this have an impact on your search engine rankings as per the above, it will also affect the user experience, which can directly affect conversion rates and return business. A component when looking at performance is site speed.
The Need for Speed
Your customers expect a fantastic experience from start to finish, across every touchpoint with your business. Your website is a big part of this, and the speed of that website plays an important role
Research has shown that a delay of between 1-3 seconds can lead to a bounce rate increase of 32%. If you hit 5 seconds, the bounce rate skyrockets to 90%, (We won’t scare you with the numbers beyond 5’s). This can send customers away from your website and directly into the arms of your competitors with faster loading times. Even if they do stay, they won’t have a pleasant online experience. When people have to wait for content, they switch attention to the fact of waiting, not reading, completing forms, or adding products to their carts.
The impact will vary depending on the focus of your website, but let’s stay with e-commerce for our example. Research indicates that the conversion rate decreases by an average of 0.3% for every additional second it takes for your website to load. For every second load times decreased, conversion rates can see a significant increase, in some cases up to 2%.
So, what could that mean for NewShoesCo? Using the web visitors from before, we have outlined the effects an increase to website speed could have:
|Original||Speed Update –
|Sales increase Per Month||+£1500|
The Importance of Speed for Google.
So, we have established that speed is an essential factor to consider when it comes to web performance from a user perspective, but it is also crucial from the perspective of the search engines – especially Google.
Core Web Vitals
Introduced in 2020, Core Web Vitals are a group of particular elements that Google believes are crucial to the overall user experience of a webpage. It is made up of three core components:
- Largest contentful paint
This is a measure of how long it takes a page to load from the point of view of an actual user. I.E, it’s the time from clicking on a link to seeing the majority of the content on-screen.
- First input delay
This is the time it takes for a user to actually interact with your page. This could be clicking a link in the menu or selecting something in the navigation.
- Cumulative layout shift.
This is how stable a page is as it loads, and so do elements load and change the layout of the page.
There are a variety of reasons why these measures can be affected, and current websites can be improved; however, elements such as third-party scripts, Heavy CSS, or bloated web themes are better fixed with an improved website base.
As of 2021, the core web vitals became part of Google’s ranking algorithm, which means poor results on your website’s speed will impact your organic rankings, linking back to the impact in the previous section. It is important to note that while speed IS a ranking factor, content relevance on your website is more crucial (So again, don’t sleep on your SEO Strategy).
Great Design = Great Website
Your website is your digital shop window. It is the first point of contact many of your potential customers have with you, so it is increasingly important to put your best foot forward. A landing page that wows visually and with great content is akin to having an extra salesperson in the team. Fantastic web design is a crucial part of web success.
This isn’t just about how nice your website looks (though it is important to stay up to date with current layout trends and visual elements). It is also about offering customers an enjoyable user experience and a clear line of action. It is a fine line to walk between a visual wow and being able to find everything you want.
Having clear, simple Navigation and Calls to Action will have a big impact on conversion rates. It should be clear how to proceed if your main objective is for a customer to make an inquiry or purchase a certain product. Without a clear design direction, visitors may become disoriented and confused about where to proceed.
The Belfield Group, for example, has simple and easy navigation. The top banner isn’t cluttered with information easily accessible via dropdowns,The large open imagery serves to inspire and their other brands are immediately on the screen without needing to scroll too far, making navigation simple. These elements could be overlooked, but they mean that people are likely to stay on your website, increasing the opportunity to sell a product or receive an inquiry.
Furthermore, a bad experience could cost you customers, forever. One survey highlighted that 88 per cent of online consumers said they’re unlikely to return after a bad website experience. So getting this right is critical. Also remember your website needs to be built with mobile in mind (ideally mobile first). Mobile is becoming how the majority of people visit websites. If you offer a great desktop experience but full down on mobile, you can expect your customers to walk away.
“User Inyerface” offer a fun example of a poor and annoying User Experience. It isn’t clear what the next action needs to be or how long it will take. This is an extreme example of unclear elements, but you’d be surprised that elements like these exist on poorly designed websites.
The Importance of Positioning
Another area where your website could be costing you is in clear positioning. Does your website make it clear who the business serves, why a customer should be interested in buying something, what makes you different and, most importantly, why your customer should care.
A good website design translates that positioning into a clear message and reflects your brand values. Having a quality website instals confidence and can help raise the profile of the business and its products. Imagine trying to sell a Rolex on a cheap-looking website.
Getting your positioning, messaging and design right will open the possibility to great benefits, including
- Attract more of your ideal customers
- Rise above your competitors by making your offering clearly unique
- Increase the amount you can charge by increasing the perceived value of your products
|Original||Increase in AOV|
|Extra Sales Per Month||+£3710|
Failure to Launch.
Another area not discussed here is the cost of a bad website launch. While Deciding to get a new website is only the start (albeit a good one). Going with a cheaper build can mean that the required attention to the detail in the background isn’t paid in areas such as planning, design, and testing.
Having poor elements at the start can lead to delays which, of course, will lead to even further monetary losses. A poorly planned and executed website can also affect rankings and conversion and can mean you have to pay to get another new site, really ramping up the cost.
So what is the total being lost using our above examples? Taking into account poor positioning, a slower website and a lower AOV, the potential loss from their current website is …£44,520…Per Year.
The above only takes into account the impact organically. If you consider your website’s vital role in converting your paid channels, such as Google ads and social platforms, the potential revenue you are turning away could still be higher.
The Cost of a Good Website
Hopefully, the above has highlighted the importance of reviewing your website on a regular basis and that, while it may be tempting to “save” by not refreshing your website, it could actually be costing you in the long run. And while we mention “Cheap” builds above, a new website should fit your budget. Just ensure you set clear objectives and that whomever you decide to go with has demonstrable success, clear processes and open communications.
Also, it is important to note that the above is just an example. The Conversion rate and traffic, while based on bench marks are still just guides and your own website will see completely unique results.
If you’re now thinking, “maybe this is something we should look at”, be sure to take a look at a few of our case studies and explore our process for Website Development and Design or fill in the form below.