10 Signs that You Need an Updated Website
We see it all the time, we live in a digital age and everything is online. But is your business really putting its best foot forward? Your website is now your storefront—your brand’s first impression. The overall look and feel of it are critical to your business. Your website is constantly selling and promoting your brand. If your website isn’t up-to-date, you can lose potential customers and those people will turn to your competitors. It’s all about the user experience; websites that are easy to use, original, simple, and interactive will attract more customers. Here are ten things to look for on your own website (and a few ways to tell that you may need a website update).
1. It’s not responsive or mobile-friendly
It’s 2018, so let’s be honest...people are on their phones and tablets significantly more often than they're on their desktops. In fact, more than 65% of all search engine searches are done via mobile device. Even my grandma has a cell phone and a Facebook. So not only should you have a mobile friendly site, but it should be of greater importance than having a desktop-only site. You are losing potential clients and business if your website isn’t mobile-friendly with responsive web design.
W3Schools defines responsive web design as, “...using HTML and CSS to automatically resize, hide, shrink, or enlarge, a website, to make it look good on all devices.”
Basically, you want your site to look good no matter the device, and responsive design will ensure this. Responsive design not only makes your website look good on all computers, phones, and tablets but it also makes sure your website doesn’t look out of place (or stuck in the 90s!)
2. Not user-friendly
Not only does your website need to work on mobile, but it also needs to be easy to use on ANY device. This includes not having to zoom in on text to have to read it as well as making sure those with poor vision can zoom in if needed.
Also, you need to make sure navigation is a top priority. People don’t want to have to click three separate buttons to get to one interior page. They want to click on one button and be where they want to be. Little things like having a navigation bar at the bottom of your screen on mobile make a huge difference. That design decision alone makes it easier for people's thumbs to reach menu items versus having it at the top.
3. You’re only using stock photography
Many modern websites have a heavy focus on beautiful photography. It’s not only the photography that captures your audience—it’s the personable aspect. People want to see YOUR business, not stock photography models. This includes photos of your staff, building, services, etc. People like originality. Your brand won’t seem as unique and you definitely won’t stand out from your competitors if they notice you’ve used a stock photo they’ve seen 10 times before. Plus, they just look fake!
4. Your site is hard to manage and update
It’s important to keep your content and photos up-to-date in order to stay relevant. That said, your website should be easy to manage! CMS is key to an easy-to-manage website. A CMS, or Content Management System, allows you to easily add, delete, and edit images as well as text on your website. You don’t need to know how to code in order to manage your website with CMS. This is wonderful because if you suddenly have an event coming up or a new employee, you can quickly add them in. If you have something on your site that no longer is available, users probably won’t come back to your website because they perceive it (and you) as unreliable.
5. Your call-to-action is hard to find
The call-to-action is the most important element of a website. It’s the whole point of having a website in the first place. It is what you want the user to essentially act on in order for your business to thrive. On that note, the call-to-action should be the first element on your homepage. It should also show up in multiple spots throughout your site, preferably at the top of every page. If people have to go searching or scrolling for it or are forced to visit another page to find it, you need to update your website.
6. It’s too busy
Simple and minimal design are timeless. You don’t need content that goes on and on and on and on… No one wants to read all of that, nor do they have the time to do so. You need to find the balance between not having “too much” for your visitors and still having enough to rank on search engines. You also don’t want to have too many design elements competing for your audience's attention. Glitter cursors and music in the background are out; neatly organized content is in. If it’s not broken up into sections, it’s harder to keep someone’s attention and make an impact. Using high-quality images and simple design elements can really take your website to the next level.
7. Poor search engine optimization
Your Search Engine Optimization, AKA SEO, is what helps you rank high on Google and other search engines. Your business will be hard to find if your website doesn’t have the right keywords, content, and tags. Use our general rule: If you’re not on the first page of searches then you’re not doing it right. Who really goes to the other search pages?
For more information on SEO and how it impacts your website, check out these 6 Reasons Why SEO is Important.
8. Broken links & features
Links that don’t go anywhere or lead you somewhere other than what you clicked on is an issue for a user trying to use your services. Personally, if I can’t get a quote from your website because a link doesn’t work, you will lose my business. I’ll go to the next website that works to find out how much my cost will be.
If your link does work, you better make sure you are receiving notifications from important forms. Your contact forms, application forms, etc. keep you in touch with your customers. If they stop notifying you of emails and applications, you are losing potential customers and/or employees.
Also, missing images are the absolute worst! There’s nothing more frustrating than when an image won’t show up and it’s an essential part of the website. It ruins the user experience. Not to mention, a picture is worth a thousand words!
9. Loads slow
You shouldn’t have big files on your website that cause users to have to wait more than a minute for a page to load. Remember, people (in general) are impatient. Files should be saved for the web properly and the speed of the site should be tested thoroughly. Making sure all images and videos on your website are optimized can be the difference between a new customer staying instead of leaving.
Using a web host that offers a Content Delivery Network, or CDN, can also improve your website’s speed. A CDN basically serves up the needed files for your website to your visitors based on their location. Using different servers that are physically closer to your users will result in faster loading. Faster loading means a better experience for the visitor. We’re not living the dial-up internet life anymore and people hate waiting.
10. No movement or interactions
Nowadays, motion is a big seller on websites. Being able to see you interacting with clients and doing what you do sells. A video on your homepage is a great addition. Because the homepage is the first thing a user sees when visiting your website, you want something that attracts the eye and makes the user interested.
Videos aren’t the only way to add motion either. Animating different parts of your website’s user interface (or UI for short) is important. Whether they are triggered by hovering or scrolling, UI interactions are great to have when it comes to web design. Instead of just using buttons for everything, make it an icon or image that gets bigger when you scroll over it. That way the user knows it’s clickable and there’s some diversity.
Is your website living in the past? Does it need an update? Our team of exceptional designers and marketing strategists can help make your first impression a long-term relationship with your customers.