Symptoms of an Outdated Website

Your company’s website is important. It’s the face of your company to the world, and chances are your customers, prospective customers, current and potential employees and suppliers are judging your company by it. A good website can attract new customers, help you find great talent and educate your current customers on your entire offering. A poor website is doing none of these, and can suck profits out of your company without you even being aware.

Whether your website is one year old or five, it’s critical that you review it often to make sure it’s working for – not against – your company. Here are six ways you can tell if it’s time to consider a new website for your business.

1. Visits Have Plateaued or Dropped
Search engines like Google are constantly tweaking their search algorithms. Outdated technology, poorly written content, sloppy code and a frustrating user experience are all signals to Google that your website doesn’t deserve to be on page 1. You may not be able to tell what’s causing the problems with Google, but the symptoms of these issues is apparent: visits coming from search engines will plateau or decline over time.

The Fix: Focus on SEO
Build a new site that takes into account the SEO practices suggested by Google, like responsive design mobile-optimized sites, proper information architecture, solid code structure and well-planned user experience.  Following best practices shows Google you care, and Google responds by awarding your site higher search rankings – which results in more traffic to your site.  Neat, huh?

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2. Your Site Doesn’t Tell Your Story
Companies evolve constantly, adding new products, dropping unprofitable services, and tackling new markets. If your website isn’t changing as your company does, your chance of maximizing your company’s potential is greatly diminished. Make sure your website is up-to-date so that it tells the right story to your audience of prospects, customers, employees and suppliers.

Fix: Create Better Content
Find a partner that can help you restructure your website with the right content. Best-in-class website development firms are well-versed in the art of information architecture and can craft a content strategy that tells your company’s story in a compelling, relevant way. Remember, website content includes images, video and interactive elements, so seek a partner that can bring your story to life beyond written copy.

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3. You Get Plenty of Visits, but Not Enough Conversions
If you are getting traffic to your website, but few leads or sales, then your website may be suffering from lack of conversions. This is symptom of poor content, bad SEO practices, misplaced or hidden calls-to-action, dead end pages, and a host of other user experience-related issues.

Fix: Improve the User Experience
Your site needs to be more focused on driving the user into the sales funnel and then enticing them to convert into a sales lead, eCommerce sale, list signup or any other action that creates a relationship between them and your company. User-centric design solves these problems and will help you get more qualified customers into your sales process, more quickly and with less hassle.

4. You Don’t Have a Mobile Site
If your website looks the same on an iPhone as it does on a large desktop monitor, then you need a mobile optimized website. Most likely, 40 to 60 percent (or more) of your visitors are using a smartphone or tablet to view your website. Don’t turn them off by having a site that is hard to read on a small screen, doesn’t respond to touch gestures, or takes more than three to four seconds to load on a mobile device. All of these symptoms will turn away mobile visitors.

Fix: Upgrade to Responsive Design
Go with the responsive design approach for your next website. Responsive design is a technique in which your site’s content, navigation and features automatically adapt to the user’s screen size and mobile device capabilities. Not only will this give your tablet and smartphone users a better experience, it will please Google too. And when Google is happy, your rankings get better.

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5. Your Site is Difficult or Costly to Manage
Keeping a website updated with fresh content is a top priority for most marketers. A Content Management System, or CMS, is a back-end administrative system that allows anyone with basic computer skills an opportunity to change website copy, add pages, alter menus and update images quickly and easily. If your website doesn’t have a CMS, changing these things requires hiring a developer to alter the website’s code, which can be costly and time-consuming even for minor updates. Often, this hassle means that important updates never get done at all.

Fix: Get a CMS
Popular content management systems, like WordPress, can be configured to be powerful platforms that allow a non-technical person to manage a website – even one that’s large and complex – with ease. In addition to training videos and forums around the Web where users can learn how to use a website CMS, popular platforms are also extensible, meaning modules with new features and enhancements can be installed quickly and properly with little technical knowledge. This capability will help you get more mileage out of your website investment.

6. Your Website is Ugly
Have you ever visited a website that was ugly and unappealing and immediately dismissed the company as second-rate? If so, you’re not alone: 87% of all web users say that a website’s design has influenced a purchasing decision they’ve made in the last 12 months.

Fix: Refresh with Compelling Design
Unique typography, full-width images and clean color palettes are at the top of nearly every company’s design wish-list. While we have all been taught not to judge a book by its cover, the fact remains that most of us do. Investing in a well-designed aesthetically pleasing website lets visitors know that your company cares about quality, keeps them on your site longer, and prevents them from bouncing off your site in search of a more legitimate-looking competitor.

The Bottom Line
Your website is a sales rep that works 24/7, 365 days a year. If it exhibits any of these six symptoms, it’s probably time for a new website. Show your website the love it deserves. Contact us today for a free website quote.

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