In today’s digital world it’s not enough for a business to merely have a website. You need a website that’s user-friendly, easy to find, professional-looking and that has interesting and informative content. If you haven’t updated your own website in a while, you should take a close look at it and look for signs that it’s time for some changes. Here are the top 7 signs that your website needs to be updated.
1. Your Website’s Design is Outdated
Web design is a complicated and somewhat subjective field. However, you can tell when you see a website that just looks out of date. There are several factors that can contribute to this effect.
- • Poor quality images. Stock images can give your site a dated look. Using original and higher quality graphics, on the other hand, gives your site a more contemporary feeling.
- • A cluttered look. If you have too many graphics, popups, ads, and other features on your website it’s hard for people to focus. Too many sidebars or widgets can also distract people. If your site has a cluttered look, you may need to move towards a more minimalistic design.
- • Too many fonts and/or colors. Nothing gives a site a dated look like a wide variety of fonts and colors. Two or three fonts are sufficient to give you a little variety for different sections. You also don’t want to get carried away with using too many colors. This is another area where minimalism is usually best.
- • Dated features such as carousels and slideshows. Such elements hide content and also slow down page-loading time.
2. Your UX Needs Work
User experience (UX) is a broad term that has to do with visitors’ overall impression of your website. Landing on a website is the virtual equivalent of walking into a store, restaurant, or hotel. You form a snapshot of the environment, taking in all of the details faster than your mind can process them. When someone likes or doesn’t like a website, he or she may not be able to tell you exactly why. It’s up to you to provide the right atmosphere. Here are some clues that you need to improve UX.
- • Your site is slow. Slow-loading pages are one of the surest ways to lose traffic. If your site is slow, look for ways to speed it up such as by reducing sizes of images and (if you’re using WordPress) a caching plugin. There are also other types of WordPress plugins to speed up your site.
- • You have broken links. If you have any links that cause error messages such as 404 Error, you should fix them. Test your links and make sure they all work. If any are broken, remove them or redirect them to a working page.
- • Navigation is confusing. It’s important that visitors can find what they’re looking for quickly. Make sure you have a menu that’s easy for people to follow. If your menu has too many features, people get confused. Make sure you don’t have any “dead end” pages. No matter where visitors land, they should be able to find a navigation menu that leads back to your homepage.
3. Your Bounce Rate is High
There are many metrics worth tracking for your website. Bounce rate, however, is one of the most important metrics that you can track with tools such as Google Analytics. If people are landing on your pages and quickly leaving, that’s a powerful clue that you need to change something. Of course, when you notice a high bounce rate it’s up to you to determine what the problem is. It could be your design, page-loading speed, lack of engaging content or something else. Bounce rate is something to watch over time. Take note of how it changes before and after you make adjustments to your site.
4. Your Website Isn’t Mobile-Friendly
It’s a safe assumption that many of your customers and visitors are accessing your website on mobile devices. This will only increase in the future as more and more people use smartphones and tablets. It’s no longer optional to make your site mobile-friendly. You should be using responsive design so that everyone can easily see your content and access all of your pages. Many of the above tips for UX, such as easy navigation and fast-loading pages, are especially important for your mobile visitors. Keep in mind that certain features, such as Flash, are not accessible on mobile devices. Popups are also especially annoying to mobile users as they can be difficult to close.
5. Updating Your Site is Difficult
As mentioned, UX is important because you want your website to be convenient for your users. However, it’s also necessary that your site is convenient for you, the owner. Do you resist making changes such as changing the layout, updating product descriptions, or replacing an image because it seems like too much work? If this is the case, you may need to manage your time better or delegate such tasks to the right person. Another option is to outsource website design to a reputable agency. Difficulty updating your website can also be caused by using an unwieldy CMS (content management system). Using a more user-friendly platform such as WordPress will make it simpler to make changes.
6. Contact Info is Missing
If you want to attract customers, leads, or signups from your website, you need important contact information in a highly visible place. If crucial information is missing (or hard to find), visitors will leave without taking action and it won’t do you any good.
For businesses with a physical location such as a store, office, restaurant, spa, or gym, you need to feature what Google calls NAP information: name, address, and phone number. This is helpful for local SEO and making it easier for people to find you online. Aside from that, it ensures potential customers can contact you. If you have more than one location, include links to all of your locations so people can find the nearest one. Additionally, include your email, social media links, and a good description of what you do.
7. Your Competitors Outrank You
Many factors contribute to search engine ranking. If certain competitors consistently outrank you, it could be because they have a much larger advertising and SEO budget. However, it can also be a clue that you’re falling behind in areas such as web design and UX. It’s helpful to regularly monitor the competition. Try to look at their websites with an objective eye, as though you were a potential customer. Do their sites look more professional or engaging than yours? Do they contain more helpful content? Do they get more engagement on their blog? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” it’s time to make some changes to your own website.
Is it time for an update?
If your website displays any of the above issues, it’s time to think about an update. A business website is not a “set it and forget it” kind of tool. Web design and SEO are always evolving and if you want to get results and stay competitive, you need to make sure your website is modern and appealing to today’s customers.
For many website owners, it’s time to seriously start planning updates or a complete makeover. Not sure where to start? At Mediaboom, we will help you strategize, design, and develop the premium website you need. Contact us today to see how our experts can help you transform your website into the tool you need it to be.