Website Design Tip: You Might Have an Outdated Website If…
As Google continues to modify its search algorithm to reward what it considers the “best” websites with treasured Page 1 rankings, companies with older websites may find themselves falling to the cutting room floor.
What worked five, eight, 10 years ago, likely isn’t as effective next to shiny new competitor websites that have been optimized to meet Google’s updated search standards.
In order for your website to perform to its full potential, a commitment to ongoing maintenance is required. This is necessary for higher Google rankings and will prevent your site from looking dated. But, over time, even the most well-maintained websites will eventually need a redesign.
Here are some website design tipoffs that will tell you if your site is outdated and in need of an update or redesign.
Your site is littered with old design trends.
Just as fashion trends grow old, so do website styles when it comes to look and feel. Older trends include designs that don’t fill up most or all of the browser window, small text, drab colors, low quality photos, busy or cluttered design, and complicated navigation systems, just to name just a few. Current designs are more simplified, have eye-catching high-quality optimized photos, bright colors, larger text sizes and simplified navigation systems.
Your site is not responsive.
Your website should be resizable and should seamlessly adapt to the screens of mobile devices and tablets as well as laptops and desktop computers. Most newer sites have adapted to responsive design, so not having a responsive layout will make your site look like a dinosaur to site visitors.
Your site has broken links.
As sites become older, some links will no longer work for a variety of reasons, such as a page or website no longer existing. In order to build trust with visitors, links should be checked periodically to be sure they are indeed still working. This can be done manually, or by using an automatic link checking tool.
The information on your site is outdated.
The content on your site should be updated regularly. Make sure all content and photos are still relevant. Old material will deter visitors from coming back and could damage SEO rankings.
ADA compliant websites are quickly becoming the norm. To be inclusive and to avoid legal liability, these standards should be seriously considered, if not already implemented. Soon, not having an ADA compliant website will be a sign that your site is not keeping up with the latest standards.
Your site speed is slow.
Nowadays, visitors’ expectations are that websites will load quickly. Research shows that visitors will leave within a matter of seconds if the site is loading slowly. Site speed evaluation tools are available and should be conducted to pinpoint the source(s) of speed issues so they can be adjusted accordingly.
There are no links to social media accounts.
The absence of social media references is another telltale sign that your site is out of date. These days, most companies are taking advantage of social media to further promote their business, build trust, and to personally communicate with their customers. A common gateway to those sites is your website, where links should be clearly presented.
Your site is not secure.
Nothing says “outdated” like a “Your connection is not private” error. Sites have broadly evolved from HTTP to HTTPS in order to provide a private and secure website connection, especially the sites where visitors are being asked to submit information. If you are still running an HTTP site, HTTPS should be implemented as soon as possible.
Your site isn’t ranking well in Google’s organic results.
Twenty-three years after Google’s launch, it’s long past time that company websites should know how to use the fundamentals of search engine optimization to be able to rank for some of the most important keywords to your business. Page 1 rankings drive traffic and leads to your website and business. If you’re not finding your website ranked for keyword terms (other than your company name), then it’s time for an SEO update.
See a problem? Make a plan.
Depending on the number and kind of issues you identify on your site, you may need some modest updates or a full-scale redesign.
Deciding which way to go is best determined by the professionals, who can help you navigate the issues of budget limitations and desired impact.
Contact Pilot Fish at 877-799-9994 ext. 2102 to identify the best plan for your website and business.
Old material will deter visitors from coming back and could damage SEO rankings.