Is Your Business’s Website Outdated?

| October 11, 2016 | 0 Comments

Closeup shot of laptop with digitaltablet and smartphone on desk. Responsive design web page on their screen. Modern devices on desk at office.

When you consider just how quickly the face of the internet changes, with new content perpetually being added and algorithms constantly changing, it makes sense to worry about how “current” your business’s website is. Is it up-to-date? Will people still find it relevant? Is it built to take advantage of the latest changes in Google’s algorithm?

Fortunately, there are many ways to tell whether or not your business’s website is up-to-date, and you have many tools at your disposal. Here is a look at how you can tell whether your business’s website is outdated.

Know how often a site should be updated.

First, it helps to know just how often a website should be updated. As far as design goes, it’s a good idea to shoot for every one to two years—or sooner if a major change in Google’s algorithm calls for it. (Example: Google’s algorithm started preferring mobile-friendly websites beginning in May 2015.

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Businesses simply had to redesign their sites accordingly if they wanted them to show up in search results.) Website style trends change, new mobile technologies call for new site features, and Google’s algorithm is constantly being updated.

As far as content goes, this article suggests that while you might not need to update your website every day, you should aim to do so once a week (or once a month, at the very least).

The reason: sites that are updated this frequently are preferred by Google because they have a “pulse.” The easiest way to do update your site this frequently is to maintain a blog on your business’s website and to fill it with useful industry-related content; but you can also do this by gradually adding pages to your website that turn it into a resource about your industry.

Your site has outdated information.

Now onto the tell-tale signs that your site could use an update. First, the obvious one: your site contains outdated information, such as an old address, an old number, or information about a former employee on the about page.

If anything on your site runs contrary to the current state of things, update your site immediately.

There are rotating banners.

If your website features rotating banners on its home page, then now might be the time for a re-design. The reason? Banner blindness. Banner blindness describes the tendency of site visitors to visually ignore anything that looks like an ad.

So if your banners are large and prominent, your visitors may very well not be reading them. Why not redesign your site to make better use of that valuable real estate on your home page?

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This site offers an example of how large images that stretch across the entire width of the screen are especially popular in current site design.

Your site takes a long time to load.

Sites with a slow load time get lower rankings on Google, and they also tend to turn away visitors. So if your site takes a long time to load, it’s time to optimize.

This type of update will require eliminating bloated Javascript, writing more efficient HTML code, decreasing file sizes (especially image file sizes), etc. If the task of optimizing your website sounds daunting or simply impossible to you, this is something you should definitely outsource.

Website designer working digital tablet and computer laptop withUse Google’s PageSpeed Insights to get some info on how your site is performing.

Your site isn’t mobile friendly.

This is a big one. Did you know that as of May of last year, more Google searches are now on mobile than on desktop?

If you want your site to retain visitors, and to rank well on Google, then it absolutely must work well on small screens.

If it is large and fixed, where users have to pinch and zoom in in order to use your site, or if you have a separate mobile site with different content than your main site, it’s time to hire a designer who will give you a mobile-friendly template to work with.

And when in doubt, use Google’s mobile friendly test to see whether or not your site is up to par.

The design simply isn’t clean.

Finally, how’s your overall site design? The ideal website will have a clean design, with easy-to-read text, no competing headlines, consistent fonts and imagery, plenty of whitespace, etc. If your site design doesn’t exactly scream “clean,” then you should definitely consider making a few changes.

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