You probably already heard that a website works 24/7 for your brand. But, in fact, if you just create it and leave it there, it will not give you the return on investment you expect. Much like an employee, your website is an investment that requires management and dedication to perform efficiently. Auditing your website for signs that is is time to update it is a crucial step for your continued success.
As a rule of thumb, if you built your company’s page 3 years ago and have not made any changes since then, there is a high chance it is outdated by now. An outdated website leads to a negative experience with your brand, but we listed 7 clues for which to look out in order to determine if your website does indeed need an overhaul.
- Slow loading speed.
With tons of information available instantly, users are not likely to wait much for a website to load, especially if the information it contains is easily found elsewhere. For businesses, it means missing a chance to interact with leads and present offers and products to them.
Several reasons can affect your website loading speed. The most common issues are unoptimized images, unclean code, too many adds, and unnecessary plug-ins. Loading speed is also a crucial ranking factor for search engines. So, if your website loads slowly, it will probably not rank in high positions.
- Use of Flash.
Next year, Google Chrome will not offer support for Flash anymore, meaning that loading any Flash-based application will be impossible.
This browser, along with others, already makes it difficult to run Flash. If users want to see a Flash-based application, they have to install a plug-in and allow individual websites to execute it.
Considering that users always choose the easier path, most of them will either not execute Flash, or leave the website. In both cases, it is a waste of time and money you invested in building a site with flash.
- Dead links.
A dead link, or a broken link, is a link that does not work. This happens mainly because the linked page was removed or the destination website no longer exists. Most outdated websites have broken links, which damage their reputation.
Users expect to see the content on the page when they click on hyperlinks. But, when it is a broken link, it prevents them from completing the task, which leads to frustration. Having many dead links on your website may drive prospects away since they will look for another website that provides the information they need.
- Usability problems.
Web design trends change over time according to changes in user behavior. This means that some features that were once well accepted may be seen as unnatural nowadays. This happened to huge menus when mobile devices became popular; navigating menus with numerous options was almost unfeasible on small screens.
Outdated websites are full of unnecessary features such as non-functional buttons and email links. Imagine a user willing to contact your company on impulse; this person may reconsider doing it if the email link is not working, because copying and pasting an email takes more work than just clicking on a link.
This is a simple example, but many users would not bother contacting you if they had other options available.
- Outdated interface.
Nowadays, mobile devices account for more than 50%1 of website traffic worldwide. This means that sites that do not display well on mobile devices miss huge traffic potential. For business websites, this represents missed prospects and sales opportunities.
Most old websites are non-responsive and, consequently, do not display the content properly, which makes a poor user experience. If your website has this issue, you may consider redesigning it from scratch.
Another issue with outdated interfaces is that they do not keep up with design trends and, consequently, become unappealing to users. These are two examples of outdated interfaces commonly found on the internet:
- The website is just one long page and displays a gallery, contact information, etc. on just one page. As a result, finding a telephone number becomes harder as it is among a lot of other elements.
- The website looks like a gallery because the only things you can see are photos. There are even some interfaces that are composed only by one large edited photo. In this case, the site is not effective in promoting the business since users cannot find practical information.
- Inaccurate information.
Your website is the touchpoint between your brand and your clients, and, thus, it must have accurate information. As an example, the “about us” page of your site should contain your latest achievements, so that a potential client learns about the current performance of your company. On the other hand, if all achievements on your site are from 4-5 years ago, the prospect may think that your methods do not work anymore.
- Malicious redirection.
Thousands of websites are hacked daily. Being hacked is the worst-case scenario for any business because it not only affects the brand itself, but also its clients.
This ruins any efforts to build trust. Would you buy a product from a website that is infected with malware? Would you type any personal information there? These are just some of the concerns potential clients have with hacked websites.
Solving this problem is usually expensive and time-consuming. The best way to deal with it is prevention. Choosing a secure platform to build your site and performing security updates are crucial to ensure your site and clients are safe.
If you have this problem, consider hiring a developer to help you out.
A well-designed website not only delivers a visually-pleasant experience, but also smooth navigation and useful information. A unique interaction enhances user experience and, consequently, the impression potential clients have of your brand.
To reap the full potential of your website, it is crucial to perform constant updates. By spotting one of the signs listed above, you can already start assessing your own website and see where you can improve it.
As a golden rule, whenever your branding strategy changes, your site should also change to reflect it. Indeed, a website is a powerful tool, and if you take proper care of it, you will have it working 24/7 for your business.
For more information on how to have the best digital presence, head over to our blog.