Web technology is forever changing. Your website might have been one of the best three years ago but if you haven’t had your website updated since – it is more than likely out of date. Having an up to date website is key for you to get ahead of your competition and as a result, helps with search engine optimisation which helps increase traffic to your website. In addition to the above, regular website updates can be key to protect you against cyber attacks such as hacking and denial of service attacks (DDOS).
As a marketing and web design agency, we often get asked, “do I need to update my website?” Here are our top five reasons it might be time to update your website:
1. Not mobile-friendly or responsive
In 2016, mobile web usage took over desktop web usage for the first time in history. Have a look at your current website on your mobile phone and see if it’s mobile friendly and responsive.
Does your website resize correctly to the screen? Is the text readable without having to manually zoom in? Do the forms on your website work?
If the answer is no, then your website is not mobile-friendly and unresponsive and can be causing you a high bounce rate.
A bounce rate represents the percentage of visitors who enter your website and then leave (“bounce”) rather than continuing on to view other pages within the same site.
A responsive website means that pages automatically adjust to the size of the screen. So whether you are looking at a 3-inch phone screen or a 24-inch desktop monitor, you are still getting the same great user experience.
When viewed on a mobile device, you will notice that a responsive website’s menu navigation will change, pictures resize, buttons move and text rearranges.
To find out more about website mobile optimisation and how it can help your business, visit our previous blog post here: Is your Website Responsive?
2. Out of date graphics
Website graphics are forever changing so it is impossible to always be up to date with the latest trend. However, flash animation is probably one of the biggest culprits. If your website has any form of flash animation, it’s time to think about a website update as it deters people from browsing your website further.
You want your content to be easily accessible and having a flash animation that creates a barrier between the user and the content on your website makes people go elsewhere.
Visual consistency is key on any website. Your brand image should be consistent and visible on your website. For example, if your brand colours are purple and white, then your website should also follow suit.
Drop shadows and gradients are also a no-go in 2017, especially on text, they can make the words hard to read and are an out of date gimmick that is generally best to keep away from.
3. Lack of basic SEO
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a broad term and there are many factors that can help your website’s SEO. SEO is not just “one thing” that you do to your website and it magically becomes number one on Google’s search engine. It is made up of many factors and how your website is built and designed is one of those factors.
Unoriginal content is one of the biggest culprits affecting a website’s SEO abilities. A massive 50% of websites face duplicate content issues. Creating bespoke, original content is the best way to carry out SEO to attract organic traffic to your website.
Among the list are simple, basic techniques that should be addressed immediately. Broken images, images missing ALT attributes, broken website links etc. If you are lacking basic SEO on your website, it is definitely time for you to consider updating your website.
4. Hard to navigate
Clear category and menu navigation is key when designing a website. If someone visits your site and doesn’t see a clear path of where they want to go, you will often lose the visitor. Furthermore, going back to point two above, flash animation or any type of video with no skip button is also a big no-no. Forcing an introduction to your audience is never a good idea and a quick way to get a high bounce rate.
For example, the Creative Shed Agency website does have a video on our homepage but it is not forced upon our audience and our menu navigation is clear and is the same throughout the website. So if you came to visit our site just to read our blogs, you wouldn’t have to sit through the video before you can click to enter the blog page.
Visual clutter can often confuse visitors on your website. It is best to keep your website clean and to the point with a clear call to action. This is even more important if you have an eCommerce website where you sell products or services to your audiences.
5. No content
If you can’t easily add or maintain content to your website, then a content management system (CMS) is just what you need. All of our websites that we create for our clients come with a content management system as it is a vital part of successful SEO.
Having content on your website not only lets you rank on Google but original, organic content also attracts visitors to your website. A CMS tool is vital and can be used to update your customers about new products and services or be used as an information tool for your chosen industry.
If you don’t have a CMS system it is seriously time to update your website
Is it time to update your website?
If you want further advice on your website or guidance on how you can improve your website, get in touch with us. We can even create you a free website performance report for you to see where your website is letting you down the most.
Sources: Telegraph, Wikipedia, SEMrush Blog