Every company is unique, but generally speaking the average lifespan of a well-designed website is 3 to 5 years. What was trendy yesterday may not be today, but additionally, search engines like Google are constantly updating algorithms which affect search results. An up-to date appearance and good user experience are certainly important, but is your site being found and converting visitors into customers? Lagging behind with current web standards could mean you’re leaving money on the table. Here’s a few guidelines to help you consider if you’re falling short.
VISUAL APPEAL AND CLEAN NAVIGATION
Your website is a reflection of your organization so it should look professional and contain relevant information that can be easily found. Outdated fonts and clunky design clearly broadcast to visitors that your business is behind the times. Does your content quickly sum up your core services? Do product and service pages contain a clear call to action? Evaluate your present site through the eyes of a new visitor. If it’s easy to get lost and takes more than a few seconds to find the information you’re searching for, you’re probably in need of a redesign.
Every industry evolves and eventually new products and services no longer cleanly fit into an existing website’s structure. Redeveloping provides an opportunity to reprioritize focus and fine-tune content by building around fresh goals. Take a moment to assess if images are still relevant, remove content with old dates and determine if information is still useful and using trending keywords. Also, if your company’s branding has transformed with time, its essential that your site reflect these changes for consistent messaging.
Since over half of website traffic is now via mobile devices, ignoring the mobile market is risky business. Your site needs to automatically adjust to fit a variety of screen sizes (responsive) so it’s easy to view and navigate on both desktop and mobile. It’s also important to note that Google is now penalizing the search ranking of websites that aren’t programmed to be responsive. Not sure if your site is mobile friendly? Be sure to take this free Google Mobile-Friendly test.
What good is a beautiful site if you aren’t being found? The goal of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is to improve your website’s performance in organic search results. The goal is to rank higher than your competitors. SEO tactics tell search engines which websites deserve valuable attention. While Flash at one time was all the rage, it's not search engince friendly and is more than likely derailing your SEO strategy. Along with dated technology, it’s a given that stale content, poor site structure and outdated keywords also contribute to crawlers ignoring a website. Ask us for a free analysis.
Sites past their prime are extremely vulnerable to hackers because they often miss technology updates. In addition, regardless of whether your site transmits sensitive data or not, Google is flagging sites lacking a SSL Certificate with a “Not Secure” banner. This certificate is the new standard technology for establishing an encrypted connection between a web server and browser. Compliant sites display a lock icon that ultimately will build trust and brand power with visitors.
Since edits are inevitable and Google craves fresh content, you should be able to easily make tweaks and edits to your website without it becoming a lengthy, complicated process. Redesigning with a user-friendly content management system could save time and be of great benefit.
Of course this article has only touched on a few indicators of an aging website. Remember that even though your site may be polished and attractive, if it’s not ranking well, or your conversion rate is low it’s time to re-think the underlying structure. To avoid repeating current problems, it may be a good idea to have a team of professionals evaluate your present site and provide helpful recommendations as you embark on a redesign.