10 signs which suggest your website is outdated (part one)
The internet is a great platform for companies looking to promote their product or services, enabling them to reach audiences far and wide, and target those customers most likely to engage or lead to a sale. With so much competition, however, the fight for visibility is intense, so it’s crucial to have a fast-loading, up-to-date website that’s well optimised for the ultimate performance in search engines. With this in mind, we’ve identified ten signs that your website is outdated and could do with a makeover.
1. Defined branding
Branding is essential to the success of any company, possessing the ability to establish you in the market as an instantly recognisable authority. Ensure that your branding has received suitable investment, with your website matching the rest of your marketing material. Brand awareness is an important part of business and everything should be consistent regardless of the media in which you work.
Run a “new” eye over your brand logo and the exposure, and check across your different social platforms. Is it looking old and weary, and is it consistent, or is it time for a fresh update?
Even the big brands will evolve their logo and branding over time. See how Peugeot did theirs: http://famouslogos.net/peugeot-logo/
2. Using endless keywords is a NoNo
Once upon a time, keyword cramming was thought to be the way to go. We now know it’s better to write for human beings instead of search engines, so review your SEO technique and ensure you only optimise your website for those terms relevant to your user. Any content that features on your site should be natural in the way is reads, without an over-saturation of keywords ruining the experience for users in an attempt to simply boost traffic.
Fear Factor – over optimisation of your website may get you penalised by Google algorithm updates such as Penguin. Make sure you are up to date with the latest SEO white-hat techniques.
3. Outdated contact information
It may seem silly to ask, but is your contact information correct? If not, updates need to be made – fast. Telephone numbers, email addresses and location details all need to be spot on if you want to be a success. Furthermore, taking advantage of local SEO services such as Google Maps and Google My Business will ensure that you’re able to capture the attention – and custom – of those in the region local to your business. You should also make it effortless for users to contact your business, so ensure that suitable call-to-actions and enquiry forms are present at key points of your website.
4. Built using Flash
Flash sites are notoriously slow to load and are not compatible with most smartphones and tablets, so you might want to start from scratch if you continue to use Flash features on your site. Best practice means that you should look to embrace such coding standards as HTML5, which will enable you to retain – and even improve upon – certain interactive features.
5. Incompatibility with mobiles
There are almost as many mobile devices on earth as humans, making mobile marketing hugely important. If your site won’t load on modern gadgets, it’s time for an update. Responsive website design is becoming the standard in web development, and enables your site to work seamlessly across a number of devices.
Hot Tip – Google are making a no so secret deal about how important mobile devices will be for the future. It wouldn’t be too far out of the realms of possibility that future algorithm updates will start to be very much centred on mobile device efficiency.
6. Animated intro page
Old-fashioned websites tend to have an animated introduction page which takes a long time to load – often utilising another outdated technology, Flash (see above). While animated welcome screens were once popular among website developers, the industry has moved on and can cause users to go elsewhere for information or services. Likewise, to the same effect, don’t add compulsory music to the load of your website.
Creating a strong brand is of paramount importance, and adhering to those standards put in place can make a great deal of difference to the user experience on offer. Even such small measures as choosing a font and size you like and sticking to it across your entire site is vital, helping your customers identify with your brand and not become confused by an array of styles.
What about the layout of your web pages? Have you checked those too? Some businesses have different footers depending on the section you are in, or use completely different styles of layout. All of which add to your inconsistency.
8. Static content vs Fresh content
It’s essential that you’re able to update website content quickly and easily to keep things fresh and relevant. If everything is static, invest in a content management system (CMS) that enables you to upload text and images in a manner that is simple and effective. Users desire fresh content regularly, so ensure that you have the infrastructure to support their needs.
9. Lacking social media integration
Social media has revolutionised the digital landscape, taking word-of-mouth marketing to another level. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms are effective marketing tools for connecting and engaging with your customers, so it’s worth creating a presence on these channels and providing a shortcut from your website. If you haven’t fully integrated social media into your company website, is there a reason why not?
10. No calls to action
Your website exists for a reason and, if you’re a business, part of its existence is to generate revenue for your company. As such, it’s vital that your website features suitable calls-to-action so that your consumers know how to access your services. Simply instructing them what you want – and they need – to do will prompt an action that could well convert a lead into a sale.
Learn more about conversion optimisation with our services.
Read more in Part 2 of our article – updating your website