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Is Your B2B Website Stuck? It Might Be Time for an Upgrade
Marketing Tactics

Is Your B2B Website Stuck? It Might Be Time for an Upgrade

Unlike fine wine, websites don't improve with age when left untouched. So, when does a website become outdated and hinder your lead-generation efforts? The truth is, there's no single answer. The website lifecycle is a complex dance between technology, functionality, and user experience.

At CID, we help B2B companies reduce this complexity by understanding the website lifecycle and its impact on lead generation. Take it from three of our in-house experts: Neil Kloppenborg, Senior UX Designer, Jade Scaffidi, Senior Digital Marketing Strategist, and Travis Jansen, Team Lead of Development.

C’mon. Can you just tell me really? How old is old?

“There is no universal answer to how long a website should last. It’s truly unique for every business and scenario. Instead of focusing solely on a specific timeframe, it's better to consider the website's ability to adapt and cater to user needs. A well-designed website should continuously provide an optimal user experience. This means it can adjust to evolving user preferences and the changing landscape of your business. Ultimately, the website should remain effective in representing your brand and delivering content. But, CID has found that 3-5 years is the average lifecycle of a website.”

“The standard for a new website that I’ve seen is typically anywhere from 2-5 years. Personally, I think 2 is pushing it so I generally say 3-4 is a realistic window. However, if the site is more meticulously maintained you may make it to the 4-5 year mark before a big overhaul will be necessary.”


How do I know if I’m Meticulously Maintaining My Site?
We can’t get into all of the things that go into site maintenance in this post, but we’ll touch on two key areas - technical and content.

1. Technical
Having a plan to keep your site running smoothly is vital. But what should you focus on? Travis weighed in on the crucial tasks for maintaining a website’s security and performance:

Low-hanging fruit:

Travis: “Staying up-to-date on security patches, being sure your modules and custom code are using the latest version possible.

Medium/High hanging fruit: Making sure the core version of the platform you are using is staying at least moderately current with platform releases, as in, it's usually much easier and more cost-effective to upgrade from say v9.5 to v10 than it is to upgrade from 7.0 to 10.

Staying current with updates can be challenging due to technical, budgetary, or resourcing constraints. But the more outdated you are, the more you risk security breaches, lost users, and a higher upgrade cost in the future because you’re much further out of date. You will eventually HAVE to upgrade, so choose how long you procrastinate carefully.”

2. Content
When we lead a discovery phase for a website redesign, we spend a fair amount of time digging into the org’s content needs for launch and the future. Our content strategists conduct a content audit and create a content matrix that feeds into your content strategy.

Jade: “If you’re leveraging an active content strategy and posting regularly, a site will get bogged down with code, content, pages, and media over time. Especially if old content is never removed or replaced with something fresh.”

A well-defined content strategy is the first step. But a right-sized Content Management System (CMS) is just as crucial for helping you manage content effectively.

When Maintenance Isn't Enough: Signs It's Time to Upgrade
While a launch date of five years ago doesn't automatically render your site obsolete, and meticulous maintenance may get you pretty far, it will eventually run out. Here are our top five signs it’s time to upgrade:

1. Your platform is nearing its end of life. Outdated technology is a security risk and lacks features essential for modern B2B marketing.

Travis: “The older the platform is, the less supported it becomes for security hotfixes, leaving you at risk of exploits that are likely fixed in future versions. Nefarious actors often target these platforms because they know they are more susceptible to said exploits.”

2. You need features and functionality you don’t have. A website that can't adapt to your evolving needs, like integrating marketing automation tools, will stifle growth.

Jade: “It’s important to account for technology changes and how that changes the way users will engage with your brand. Does your site need to account for voice search? Do you need a more mobile-friendly interface? Those are all things to consider when debating whether to get a new website.”

3. Your user experience is less than optimal. A clunky user experience frustrates B2B buyers who are already on a long and complex decision-making journey.

Neil: “Most websites will start out with fairly clean and intuitive navigation, but as more pages are built and new needs are identified and satisfied, the overall architecture of the website can become confusing and crowded. The standard for good web design is always moving forward, and as higher fidelity designs continue to emerge and get absorbed by the public, dated design will begin to stand out more and more.”

Bonus tip: Not sure how users are behaving on your site? A tool like Microsoft Clarity (it’s free!) can help. You get real recordings of user sessions that can clue you into where things might be frustrating.

4. Your organic traffic is stagnant. If your site is failing to attract organic traffic, it’s not just a problem on the site. It’s a problem for SEO, too. Search engine rankings are influenced by performance, so it’s potentially limiting your visibility to attract qualified leads.

5. You’re not converting users on your site. Aesthetics matter, but if you’re not guiding site visitors toward your desired actions, like downloading white papers or requesting demos, you’re missing out.

Don't Wait for a Breakdown - Upgrade for Growth
Putting off a website upgrade can have serious consequences for your B2B lead generation efforts. A dated website can damage your brand image, frustrate potential customers, and hinder your ability to nurture leads.

Remember, your website is a dynamic tool that needs to keep pace with your marketing strategies and buyer journeys as they evolve. While regular maintenance is essential, a well-defined plan goes a long way. You can't necessarily future-proof your website, but a thorough discovery phase can equip it to adapt and evolve alongside your business. By proactively addressing these website lifecycle considerations, you can ensure your website remains a powerful tool for attracting, engaging, and converting B2B leads throughout their journey.

Wondering if your website is costing you leads? Contact us for a free website audit and see how you can optimize or need to upgrade for more conversions.

Heather Vaughn

Heather Vaughn

Executive Director of Marketing

Heather Vaughn is CI Design's Marketing Services Director. Her marketing career has been split with equal time on the agency and client sides, giving her a 360 perspective on marketing, and a keen understanding of how to use all its glorious data effectively.

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