The internet is an ever-changing, fast-paced place where new ideas, trends, and expectations evolve at lightning speed. In this environment, the lifespan of a website is usually measured in months rather than years, especially if it’s a title insurance website. That’s because an old website–no matter how well designed it was originally or how much money you spent on its creation–will look outdated and out of place within a short period. If your current title company’s website design doesn’t have an “expiration date” built into it, it almost certainly needs to be redesigned, and sooner rather than later. Here are five clear signs your title company’s website needs a redesign:
1. Your Website Is Slow or Buggy
The internet has grown from a fringe service only IT professionals used regularly to a global village that two-thirds of the global population and 90% of Americans engage with (Statista). All of this took place in a matter of roughly 30 years, and consumer standards have grown alongside adoption rates. Now, any slow or buggy websites strike consumers and clients alike as unprofessional and unreliable. If your site loads slowly and doesn’t display crucial information immediately (like a phone number or contact form), people will exit within three seconds on average (WebsiteBuilderExpert). This is especially true of potential clients who may have limited time to do product or service research. If your audience, real estate agents, lenders, buyers, etc are constantly bogged down by a poor experience, they’ll eventually give up on your website entirely. A slow website can also be a sign of an unprofitable business. It’s common for people to host the frontend of their business on the same server as the backend of their business. If your website is so slow that it’s hampering your business, it’s likely that it’s affecting your hosting server as well. Review these points in your business and decide if you need to change things up.
2. Your Website Looks Outdated
Your title company’s website doesn’t need to be decked out in the latest bells and whistles, but if you’ve been using the same theme for several years, it’s a sign your website needs a redesign. That’s especially true if the website has been built with a particular design in mind that’s no longer current. A website designed in 2017 will look very dated by 2024, which is not far away at the time of this writing. If you’re using a content management system (CMS) to create your site, you can browse both free and paid themes that install a new “skin” on your website. Using a new theme is an affordable way to get a great new website design without paying higher fees for custom web design. It’s worth noting that every CMS has its own learning curve, and if you’ve never changed your site’s theme or design before, you’ll need to spend time getting up to speed. Some are far more flexible and user-friendly than others. If you’re not 100% sure that your CMS will allow you to change the appearance of your site, it’s time for a complete redesign.
3. Users Don't Feel Welcome On Your Site
If you’re title company has been in business for any length of time, you’ve no doubt spoken with clients, prospects, or website visitors. If a large number of those people have complained about how unwelcoming your site is, it’s a sign your website needs a redesign. A website that feels uninviting goes beyond the aesthetics of your site. If it has too many pop-ups, it will quickly become obnoxious for your visitors, and they will subconsciously transfer that distrust to you as the business owner. If you have too many sub-menus or complicated navigation, some people may feel like they need to be a technical expert just to browse your site. Most of the time, you can get redesign feedback from website user experience (UX) or conversion experts who specialize in knowing what makes a user-friendly site. Work to find a balance between a conversion-driven website and one that feels welcoming for anyone who visits it.
4. People Don't Know Where to Find What They're Looking For
If your website feels more like a maze than a professional source of rich information about title insurance and related services, visitors won’t know where to find what they’re looking for. If it’s not clear to visitors who are you, where you provide title insurance services, or what your title specialization is, its time to rethink your website. When redesigning your website, always prioritize your target audience and their most level of tech knowledge. If you’re dealing with a particularly tech-savvy audience, it’s okay to use industry jargon on most pages. If you’re targeting everyday consumers or people who don’t spend a lot of time on computers, it’s smart to keep your navigation and content as simple as possible. This will not only make your site easier to understand, but it will also make it more appealing to search engines. While the internet is a vast place, Google typically prefers comprehensive content that’s written in plain language, because these two factors lead to wonderful user experiences. If your visitors can’t easily locate what they need most from your site, start the redesign process. This will lead to more people visiting your website and staying on it longer, which is one of the many reasons you have a website in the first place.
5. There Are Issues With User Experience (UX)
There are numerous ways you can measure the quality of your website, such as a low bounce rate, the amount of time users spend on your site (session time) and the number of pages visited per session. Collectively, these form a picture of your site’s user experience or UX. If your site has a high bounce rate, it means that people are landing on a particular page of your website and leaving without taking any other action. If they’re spending very little time on your site, it means they’re either finding what they’re looking for and leaving or getting frustrated and leaving. If the latter is true, it’s probably because your site has a poor UX. This is often a combination of design and content issues. If you have too many unnecessary buttons or links, your site is likely confusing your visitors and lowering your conversion rate. Consult your webmaster or a freelancer to make plans for a brand new site design that’s much friendlier for users’ needs. The Bottom Line At the end of the day, a website is a reflection of the title company that hosts it. If your website has been online for a few years and is starting to show its age, it’s clear that your business needs a complete makeover. It doesn’t matter how much money you spent on your original site; if it’s dated, confusing, or otherwise unusable, it’s not doing you any favors. Here’s a recap of the signs your website needs a redesign:
● A slow or dysfunctional website is one that definitely needs a redesign. Most internet users expect a website to load in one second or less, and Google often downranks websites that don’t load rapidly, as it’s a poor user experience. ● A website with an outdated appearance needs to be redesigned. Web design trends move quickly and if you’re still using the same appearance from five years ago, your site will be considered old news. ● An unwelcoming website includes ones with lots of popups and interstitials. If your site has too many distractions from why users are even visiting–usually for content or answers–they won’t engage with your site any further. Ask third parties to review your site and tell you if they feel welcome on it. ● Website navigation that’s too complicated or difficult to find will make visitors quite annoyed. Redesign your website if the current navigation has too many nested menus or buttons that are difficult to click. ● A bad user experience (UX), like lots of irrelevant links or buttons on a page, will cause users to disengage. Does your website have plenty of content-rich pages that are easy to find and lead to other content-rich pages? If not, you need a redesign.
Dalton Digital is a marketing agency that focuses exclusively on helping title companies grow their closing volume. While we understand that you would like to know how digital marketing works; often times you just want someone to do it for you. That’s where we can help. Contact Us today to discuss a website redesign for your title company.