7 signs that your website is out of date
In the world of websites, it’s imperative to stay ahead of your competitors. The best way to do this is to ensure your website always looks fresh and is updated with new content regularly. In this article, you will find out how to identify if your website may be out of date and what you can do about it.
1. Your website isn’t optimised for mobile devices and tablets
With more than half of your potential customers viewing websites on a mobile device, your website has to be mobile and tablet friendly. We don’t just mean your website is able to be opened on a user’s device – your web pages must resize and be responsive for mobile devices and tablets.
If your website isn’t optimised when opened on a mobile device, then it’s time for a design update so you can incorporate responsive design.
To find out more about this topic, take a look at our article What is responsive design?.
You can also test your website on Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool.
2. Your CMS (content management system) is old, or you don’t even have one
Ideally, your website should be built using a popular CMS like WordPress or Joomla. Flat file HTML is the old system of building websites, so if your website was built using this method, then it will definitely be out of date (unless you’re using a modern flat-file CMS like Grav, Kirby or razorCMS).
The main reason you will want to update your site if it was built several years ago using HTML pages is that it won’t be responsive for mobile devices and tablets, and it will no doubt be difficult to update and manage.
Other website design companies will use their own CMS, which isn’t a problem within itself however if you wish to move away from that particular company, then you won’t be able to take your website with you, as they own the software that runs it.
Our advice is always to have a website developer build your site in an open-source CMS and make sure you have access to the administrator areas, so you’re able to make changes and updates or pass it off to another web design company to handle for you.
3. Your website takes a really long time to load
If your website takes too long to load, not only are you turning away potential customers who don’t have time to wait, but it’s also a confirmed ranking factor for SEO by Google. Page speed can also affect other factors such as bounce rate and idle time.
A slow-loading website will turn your visitors away, whereas a fast loading website provides a much better user experience and is likely to engage your potential customers immediately. People are time-poor and don’t have time for slow websites to load – they’ll just simply click the back button and go to one of your competitors.
4. Your website design is outdated
The question you need to ask yourself when looking objectively at your website’s design is, “does my website look as good as my competitors?” and if the answer is no, then it might be time for a website redesign or refresh.
Your website should incorporate your logo and branding and be easy to navigate and clear to follow, along with incorporating images and/or video to appeal to your target audience. Don’t use your favourite colours on your website design as just because you like them, they may not work together – choose complementary colours that work with your logo and that align with the industry your business is in.
In some industries, websites are updated every 12-18 months – especially if the company is in a technology-based industry. Other industries tend not to move so fast, but ideally, your website design should really be updated every 3-4 years.
If you want some inspiration, take a look at our website design portfolio for some ideas.
5. Your website isn’t clear on what product or service you offer
As a website development company, we view a LOT of websites. Too many times, we’ve seen some wonderful looking websites with whizz-bangery and cool features, but we’re left thinking, “what do these guys actually do?”.
If your customers have the same question when they visit your website, you’re not getting your message across clearly enough. Sometimes an objective look at your content and imagery is needed to determine what it is about your website that isn’t painting a clear picture of your business to potential customers.
Visitors to your website need to identify straight away what it is you do – particularly if they’ve clicked through to your site via a search engine’s results page. When they get to your website, they need to know immediately that you can help them with what they’re looking for. Any confusion in their minds will cause them to exit your website and visit a competitor instead.
A great thing to keep in mind here is will your website pass the ‘Grandma test’. If you asked an average Grandma to try and navigate around your website and figure out the services or products you offer, will she be able to?
6. Your website doesn’t rank well in Google
The two main reasons why your website might not show up highly in Google are:-
- Your website & content hasn’t been search engine optimised, or
- The keywords you’re targeting are too competitive.
Either way, if your potential customers can’t find you on Google, it’s a problem, and your website could do with an update.
You must incorporate SEO as part of your online marketing strategy – whether it’s organic or paid SEO. The content on your website needs to be structured in such a way that Google can crawl your web pages and identify what your website content is focused on.
At the very least, you’ll need to include title and description tags on your website pages and have well-written content that contains highly relevant keywords. Choose long-tail keyword terms that are more targeted to your audience rather than high level, popular keywords where competitors will potentially out-rank you.
Read our article What’s the difference between search engine friendly and search engine optimised? for more info.
7. Your website doesn’t generate leads
Sometimes when we speak with a potential customer about their website, one of the common things we hear is “our website just sits there – we don’t get any business from it”.
If this sounds familiar, then you may want to ask yourself the following questions as to why visitors to your website aren’t taking further action:-
- Does your website have multiple call-to-action elements to encourage users to pick up the phone, contact you or take some form of action?
- Does your website have a contact form or chat facility, so it’s easy for potential customers to get in touch?
- Is your website design out of date and not appealing to visitors?
- Is your imagery – particularly in your portfolio or case studies pages, sub-par and unprofessional?
- Are you getting traffic to your website from search engines?
Ultimately, if your website suffers from any of the above issues, then it’s time to do something about it so you can keep up to date with the competition within your industry.
If you’d like some further info or a free website audit on an out-of-date website, get in touch with us either by calling (07) 3882 3375 or send us an email to email@example.com and we’d be happy to chat.