Tight budgets and many competing priorities can make it easy to hold off on rebuilding your website. The high cost of a website design just doesn't always seem worth it. However, organizations rarely stop to think what the daily or yearly costs associated with having a less than stellar website really are.
What is your existing website costing you?
Although the costs of redesigning your website can be high, the cost of not redesigning your website could result in lost business, potential employees or engagement. Below are a few questions to ask yourself that will help clarify what your website may be costing you. The answers can help you gain internal support or create urgency for a new website. These can also work to save you money by prioritizing what functionality to build out first and clarifying the overall scope.
1. Are you losing out on potential customers, donors or job applicants?
Just like going to a formal interview in jeans, an outdated website can leave a poor first impression. Will less people want to work with or for you? These negative impressions can directly correlate to lost opportunities, connections or sales especially if a site is not mobile-friendly or easy to use.
“Sixty-five percent of job hunters will abandon a website if it's not mobile-friendly, and 40 percent will have a lesser opinion of employers that don't make mobile navigation easy.” - OPENforum
*For nonprofits, your website is likely costing you donations as well. Unclear or outdated content around an organization’s mission or where donations are going can make donors less likely to give. Even small website design tweaks, can help: "Nielsen's research has shown that fixing even minor usability problems can increase donations by 10%” (The Balance).
Long story short: visitors may judge (accurately or not) your internal operations, leadership and brand if you have an outdated website.
2. Are you spending hundreds or thousands a year on paid advertising that is falling flat due to your old website?
If you are running any sort of paid ads - AdWords, social, billboards, radio - you want to capitalize on the interest and traffic that it's driving. A poor experience can not only reduce engagement but actually increase your ad spend. For instance, a poor on-page experience can negatively impact ad rank, which can impact your cost per click and overall position using AdWords. Not to mention the negative impact it may likely have on conversion rates and user experience (Google AdWords Support).
For a nonprofit client of ours, building a completely new WordPress landing page and tweaking their ads led to a 187% increase in conversions. They were literally reaching less people in need due to the poor experience their website offered.
3. Is your team losing efficiencies by not having the right tools and integrations in place?
I recently met with an organization who had a few individuals spending full days each month on manual data transfer. Of course, they were doing the best they could with their existing tool set, but in the end, were losing hundreds of dollars. Another nonprofit had never automated their volunteer sign-up process, leading to internal confusion and back and forth on who would respond. A simple form plug-in would automate some of that work.
Sometimes the internal costs can be overlooked or dealt with due to budget restrictions, but with a few system integrations or plug-ins, you could make up that cost in just a few months' time.
4. Are less people finding your organization because of your outdated site?
There are hundreds of factors that Google takes into consideration when it comes to visibility of your website. Some factors include a lack of fresh content and poor site structure. If your site has been largely stagnant for years, this may result in lower visibility or organic reach for those that search for your organization.
Using the answers to the questions above, you are now armed with insights to bring to leadership as to why your website needs to be a priority right now. If a full redesign is not feasible, perhaps incremental updates can be made to mitigate or eliminate the negative impact your site may have.
Additional helpful links as you explore the possibility of a new site: