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Is It Time for a New Website? 10 Reasons to Consider a Change

Every website is your competition when it comes to usability and customer service experience.

Your website doesn’t exist in the world of senior living; it exists in the world. The same users who visit senior living websites also visit sites such as fashion, real estate, hotel and hospitality, travel, news and many others. Our customer knows what’s possible and will expect senior living communities to deliver the same exceptional experience. Think about your current website. It’s open all the time and it sets the tone for your brand. Are you meeting customer expectations?

Here are 10 reasons to consider a website redesign:

1. Visitors aren’t converting.

Lead generation is essential to a successful website. Some senior living communities are starting to approach 50% of initial inquiries coming from their site.

Your website is your 24/7 sales force to bring in qualified leads. If you’re not seeing conversion from your site, either because the opportunity doesn’t exist, forms are too long, or visitors simply aren’t converting – it’s time to look at a different approach.

2. Your website isn’t intuitive, and it’s difficult to navigate.

An optimal user experience is the key to a successful website. Take a look at your site structure. Is the navigation intuitive? Would a user know where to find living options offered at your community, how to register for an event or where to find a photo gallery?

The main navigation should be easily identifiable. Navigation labels should be clear and concise. If the user has to click more than twice to get to where they want to be, it’s time to enhance the usability of your site.

3. Search rankings are low.

Search engine algorithms have changed significantly over the years. Google recently stopped reporting all keyword data from organic or non-paid search results. With the 500+ changes to organic search algorithms annually, organic search results are prone to change unexpectedly.

If your organic search engine rankings are low, it might be because of outdated content, content not written with current SEO trends in mind, or content buried within images. Whatever the reason, if rankings are low, it may be time for an update.

One way you can still get keyword data is to invest in paid search. Doing this provides a reliable measure of the keywords people use to find your website. Paid search has the ability to target a wide range of keywords and geographies, providing a greater reach in the market of people looking for senior living.

With 70% of website traffic for senior living communities in large markets coming from search engines, this is something that can’t be ignored.

4. Your website isn’t mobile-optimized.

On average, our senior living clients now see 25-30% of their overall website visits from a mobile device (smartphone or tablet). Some communities see up to 50% of all site visits from a mobile device. A recent study suggests that people now spend over 2 hours a day on a mobile device, and these numbers will continue to grow.

Responsive design is the key to a smart digital strategy. The world has gone mobile. A site that is mobile-optimized makes for a good user experience, and that generates leads.

Last, updates are more efficient with responsive design. You no longer have to make updates to a desktop site and mobile stand-alone site. You update content or imagery one time on a responsive website.

5. Your website looks old and outdated.

Website design trends and best practices change and evolve every day. If your site is several years old, it might just have a dated look. Content could also be stale or outdated. Today, more sites are designed with a mobile-first strategy – vertical and infinite scrolling technology, which is a great option for mobile devices. This also means thinking about streamlined navigation, less content and even a more minimalistic approach to design – more white space and visual stories. Designers and developers are able to explore new ways of displaying copy with unique typography through services like Typekit.com., Font.com and Google Fonts.

6. Your brand has changed.

Think of your website as a gateway into your community. It’s the first impression of your brand. If you’ve changed your brand positioning or messaging, it might be time for a redesign.

7. Your website is copy-heavy.

Websites now visually convey stories or products. Vibrant imagery, virtual tours, videos and info graphics will continue to grow and evolve. Users prefer to scan copy versus reading paragraphs of information. The new motto: You don’t read websites; you experience them.

8. It’s difficult to update and change.

If you invest in a new website, you want to be able to keep it updated. A robust content management system that is intuitive and user-friendly allows you to easily manage your website content. If your site lacks a content management system or the current platform is old, preventing you from easily making updates, it’s time to consider a new site.

9. Your website is built in Flash.

If your site is still in Flash, it’s most likely 4-6 years old and your user experience is suffering drastically! Flash isn’t supported by the iPhone or iPad, and search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing can’t read it, so there’s no benefit to search engine optimization. Animation is still possible with HTML5, which is compatible with all browsers and smartphones.

10. Your website is slow.

Page load time is an important part of any website’s user experience. The average user wants information quickly and has no patience for a page that takes too long to load. Users have limited time to consume information, but they’re also consuming on the go. A page load speed beyond a few seconds starts getting intolerable for the user and could lead to page abandonment. When considering a redesign, evaluate the load time of your current website. There are many things developers can do to speed up a site.

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