If you’re in business then you’re going to have a website. This is simply a true thing for this day and age. In fact, it’s pretty much fair to say that, nowadays, if you don’t have a website, you don’t have a business.
Nearly everybody validates a company with a quick Google search. Even if you’re running a simple fruit a veggie shop on the high street, the only way you’re going to be able to reach out beyond your regulars is if you do a bit of digital marketing to get those out-of-towners and supermarket devotees aware of the special things you have to offer, not to mention your superior knowledge on everything food.
As said, there are chances you already have a website(if you don’t I suggest you stop reading this and build one right now), but the case might be that you’ve been using the very same one since you first thought you’d better get online back in 2009. If this is you, then your website is most certainly out of date, and it really is time to start playing more attention and give it a revamp right now before you loose more customers.
But what if you updated your site back in 2012, 2013 or even last year? Do you really need to start thinking about building a new website already? Surely it’s too soon. What if the lifecycle of a website anyway?
A question of SEO
Google doesn’t reward site with high SERP (search engine results page) ranking that are simply built and then left alone. Since you’re existing on the internet age where all of your competitors have web presence, the fact that you need to do everything in your power to make sure that your is a cut above the rest. And, aside from making sure that you’re delivering a stream of fresh content to your followers (i.e. through blogs, social, etc.), you also need to ensure that your website itself is looking as fresh and as upto date as possible.
Things these days go out of fashion quicker than ever before — especially on the internet. If your website is stuck in the ‘dark ages’ in terms of design, speed, information and UX, then visitors who happen upon it probably will leave rather quickly, never to return again — and this in itself damages your SEO, meaning that you will forever find yourself at the very bottom of the SERPs month after month…year after year..
Here’s an awesome checklist you can use to help determine if your site is out of date and need of a makeover.
Speed: Your site needs to load quickly. It’s as simple as that. Today’s internet users are not prepared to hang around. The longer your load time, the greater risk of page abandonment. This also includes mobile internet users. Below is a great infographic produced by Kissmetrics that details very precisely just how impatient web users are.
Responsive Design: Is your website optimized for the mobile browser? An increasing amount of traffic to your site will be coming from smartphones, tablets, etc. This means a multitude of different screen sizes that your site will be viewed on. If your site wasn’t built to cater for it, then it certainly is time to get a new one. This is called responsive design and it’s very important for the modern website.
User interface(UI): Modern websites need to have a modern feel. The UI needs to be self-explanatory and intuitive. We expect to be able to navigate and search any website we visit with absolute ease, and find things that we want to find in places we expect to find them. A lot of websites of yesteryear focused too heavily on the graphics of the home page, and squashed the essential navigation tools into a menu that the top of a screen using a font that was too small, you had to squint your eyes to decipher it. Whilst it is still important, of course, that your website promotes your brand, and the last thing you want is for your user to become too lost as soon as they enter your site. So if you’re still running one of these old sites where the navigation tools are hidden, it’s time to make a new one.
Design: Today, you need images to communicate your site very quickly to casual visitors what your business offers, without having them read through reams and reams of text to decipher what you have or do what they want or need. Consistency is also key – right from your home page through to your product catalogues and your contact form. Everything must tie together to create something that is whole and complete. If the pages on your site are all a bit of a mish-mash in terms of colors, fonts, graphics and design, then again it’s time to get a new one.
Keep a very close eye on your competitors sites- what they are doing well that you think you could be doing? Websites, like everything else have a shelf-life. If yours starts to look dated against your competitors’ then it’s almost certainly time for a change.