Is it time to update your website? (The answer is probably yes.)
The internet is constantly progressing and the trends in web are always evolving. You may not need the most state-of-the-art website, but we all know first impressions are everything in business. As the internet changes, users’ expectations change – meaning that if you don’t adapt, your business will inevitably suffer. So without further adieu, here are…
5 Ways To Tell If It Is Time For An Update
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Is your website responsive?
Before we answer that, let’s talk about what responsive web design is. The technical definition of responsive web design is an approach to web development that uses CSS and HTML to resize, hide shrink, enlarge, or move the content on a website to make it present itself correctly on any screen size, platform or browser. Basically, this means that your website responds and adapts to the device it is displayed on. So if you visit your website on a cell phone and half of the page is cut off from the screen or the font is so small that you have to zoom in to read any of it – it’s quite possible your website is not responsive.
Just to make sure I don’t over simplify this approach I’d like to note that though the fundamentals are quite straightforward, the strategy of designing an effectively responsive website is not. You must take into account the differences in a user’s experience when operating different devices. Everything from their environment, to their intentions, to their expectations differs dependent on device.
Are your customers able to find your website?
If your website is outdated, it can be harming your search visibility on multiple levels. If your website isn’t responsive like we described above, Google will prioritize other websites ahead of yours in mobile searches. More than 50% of all searches are made on mobile devices, with mobile searches consistently outranking those made on desktop computers in 10 countries (including the US), according to Google.
Just like the internet as a whole, search engines are constantly adapting to try and provide the most accurate information that users are looking for. If your website isn’t structured in a way that allows for search bots to crawl it properly, you could be missing out on a massive amount of site traffic.
Even if your website is structured properly and bots are crawling it, if you haven’t updated your website’s copy since you launched the site eight years ago, then search engines won’t think your content has as much authority as your local competitor who is blogging about your industry on a weekly basis.
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Does your website do everything you’d like it to?
So, in 2005 your neighbor said they knew how to build websites and built yours for a screaming deal. Now you can’t figure out where to update your business’s contact information since you moved offices, remove that employee who quit six months ago, or how to add a new page to describe that new service line you are offering – even worse your neighbor moved too and won’t respond to your emails.
This might sound extreme, but honestly, we’ve seen worse.
And maybe you didn’t hire your neighbor, but have still outgrown the functionality that your current website is capable of. That is totally understandable. When your business was just beginning, you only needed a simple one-page website and now need something more robust – your website should be able to grow along with you business.
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Is your website an accurate representation of your brand?
Have you updated your logo since you built your website? Does the tone of voice on your website match the vibe of your actual client communication? Does the style and design of your website feel like an extension of your brick and mortar business?
In traditional marketing, you’d always want your business’ signage, cards and letterhead to all look cohesive – so why would you want your website to be alienated from the rest of your branding? Your website should express the same feeling to a user as they would get walking into a meeting with you.
What ROI does your website provide for your business?
If your website is basically just a digital business card, than you are already wasting money on whatever investment you’ve put into it. With very little work, your website could be an integral part of your business development and in customer conversion rates. It could be something as simple as dropping in some tracking code so that you can see what your visitor demographic, track engagement and frequency or something complex like marketing automation integrated with your CRM system.
In the end, Anderson Cooper can rock grey hair, your outdated website can not. Don’t let time set your business back. Update your website content often and plan to update your website at least every five years or so. This doesn’t have to mean a complete rebuild but at the very least a refresh.