Over time, websites can become outdated and no longer function the way they should. Even the content loses credibility and no longer reflects your brand. Websites typically need updating roughly every three-five years. Some businesses may redesign it less or more than the average time frame. Whether or not you have an outdated website design depends on your industry and how much you update your products, services, or brand to stay in line with market competition.
Your website should be a representation of your business. Keeping your website fresh and up to date by being easy to use and visible on search engines, will help generate more relevant and quality leads. Businesses need to adapt to the market to stay relevant to their customers. You’ll need to update your web design and content to reflect any changes in your business. If your site doesn’t reflect what you offer, then you should consider updating your website.
Think of your website as your online shop window. Displaying services or products that are no longer available can create a poor and confusing user experience for your customers, and they will likely go somewhere else. It’s important to keep your service or product pages up to date and actively publish blog posts and business announcements on your website.
This includes keeping your branding up to date. If you’ve recently updated your brand but not your website, your website will no longer reflect your brand and the two will feel separate from each other. Visitors won’t be able to identify your new branding with your website.
Not sure if you need to update your website? Here are 12 signs that it’s time to fix your outdated website so your online presence can succeed.
1. Incompatibility with Web Browsers
Your website must be compatible with all web browsers. Some functionality works better on some browsers than others. If your web design is over complicated and breaks regularly, it may be a sign that you need to update your website.
Ensuring your websites works seamlessly on web browsers such as Safari, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Edge, Firefox and so on will help with user experience and make sure you don’t have many drop-offs and missed sales opportunities.
2. Lack of a Responsive Design
Responsive web design allows your site to adjust to the screen size it is being viewed on. Websites need to format to different screens for better user experience and SEO results. According to Statista, mobile devices account for approximately half of the web traffic worldwide. You will miss out on a wide range of traffic if your site does not respond to mobile devices.
Although websites that don’t adapt to mobile devices will still work, the site will be fiddly to use and will require a lot of scrolling. Updating your website to be mobile-friendly not only improves usability but also improves your search engine rankings as Google favors responsive web designs.
3. Outdated Imagery
Images can quickly create an old and outdated website design. When building a new website, it’s important to select images that positively impact the objectives of your website. Stock imagery can be useful for blogs and social media, especially when you need an image quickly but don’t have the resources. When it comes to your website, using images you’ve supplied yourself can make the web design feel more authentic to your brand and vision.
4. Poor Conversions
Your site may have worked for you before, but the leads are dropping, and your website isn’t receiving as much traffic as it used to. It may be time to look at what is affecting this and understand the areas that need more focus when updating your website. There may be issues with your technical SEO that requires extra attention to fix, or it may even be down to the layout of your website that is confusing users.
Either way, the purpose of your site is to build knowledge and awareness of your brand to increase leads. If your website isn’t doing this, then you need to understand why and fix it with updates or a new website design entirely.
5. Old or Incorrect Content
Sometimes the main focus is on updating the content and message on your website. If the messaging and content on your website no longer represents your business, then it is time for an update.
Your content should be clear, concise and explain exactly what it is your business can provide. It needs to include the main keywords to rank on search engines to increase relevant traffic. You need to research the types of content needed to inform your audience of your services. You can do this by creating a content strategy that includes blog posts and landing pages to convert more leads.
6. Too Outdated for Current SEO Tactics
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a range of processes that help increase the visibility of your website on search engines. If your site isn’t showing in search results, then it’s important to find out what is causing the issue. Around 87% of searches start with Google, and you’ll be missing out on a wide range of traffic if your website isn’t optimized for search engines.
Some websites may need tweaking to improve their SEO. However, if your website is older than five years, your website may not be built for the current SEO requirements. Fixing your outdated website may help with the more technical side of SEO such as site maps, link building and site speed, but you will need to consider adjusting your content too.
7. Poor User Experience
The user experience must be simple and straight forward if you want to generate more conversions and leads. You should redesign your website based on data and science, so you know exactly where to place the call to actions. Conversion tools will help improve the user experience as well as the leads created from your website.
There are many elements to consider so that your website has a good user experience. This includes the quality of the content, the layout, the links and the functionality. All of these elements need to tie together to form a website that beats competitors and serves as a resource for customers.
8. High Bounce Rate
If your website is experiencing a high bounce rate, then something on your site isn’t working. Either visitors aren’t finding what they are looking for or the website is too confusing for them to understand. The traffic you are receiving is either not relevant to your business or you aren’t providing the information needed for the visitors to stick around and explore your website.
To improve this, you need to look at how relevant your website is to your audience, is it providing the answers your target customer is looking for? You need to fully understand your target audience before updating your website so you know how best to communicate with them and provide the answers on how your product or services will help them.
9. Lack of Website Security
Most importantly, you need to make sure your website has the right security measures in place. You can do this by using a secure hosting website and by purchasing an SSL certificate to show your website is safe. The security of your website depends on the build and functionality of your website that maintains the security.
When updating your website, security should come as standard if you are using an agency to design and build the site. It is very important to include security as this can not only affect the conversions rates but will also impact your search rankings.
10. Poor Navigation and CTAs
You may think it’s difficult getting traffic to your website, but it is even harder to convert them. You need to provide useful information and an effective call to action in order for people to share their details. The layout of your design and the information provided within the user journey are vital elements in getting the traffic to your website to convert.
In order to convert your traffic, your website needs to be fast, engaging, use a captivating headline, eye-catching images, use of different forms of media (infographics, video, guide) and provide a clear call to action. Providing your visitors with useful content and easy to follow design will make it easier for them to complete an action on your website.
11. Difficult to Update
There are many different content management systems (CMS) available for your website, you can even have one developed specifically for your business. Each CMS uses different functionality, and some are better for some industries than others. If you find it difficult to add content, make new pages and are generally pretty limited on what you can do to improve it, then it may be worth considering looking at a new web design and CMS system.
When looking at new CMS systems you need to consider what is easy to use and what integrations you need to ensure a seamless process that connects with your customer relationship management system.
12. Lack of Necessary Functionality
As new features for websites are developed and updated regularly, the functionality on your website can start to feel clunky and out-dated. Eventually, you will need to update the functionality of the website, not just to be more modern but to also create a better user experience that streamlines your business.
Creating new functionality to streamline businesses can mean automating processes to save time and give you more visibility and track certain elements of your website. This can include chatbots, help with inventory control or generating personalized offers based on your customer.
The above examples are just a few things that indicate you need to fix your outdated website. If you feel the time is ready to build a new site, you should begin by thinking how much money you intend to spend on it and what you want to achieve with the new site. This website checklist may also be helpful in creating a better, more effective website.