All marketers know the benefits of a great website. Essential for attracting attention from prospective customers, answering questions, providing information, and offering a way to purchase products in the case of e-commerce companies, it’s hard to succeed in business today without a website.
However, there is a difference between having a website and having a great website. In order to reap the benefits of SEO, websites need to be modern, fast, and up-to-date. Unfortunately, not all businesses know this, leading to underperforming sites that undoubtedly cost customers and revenue. If you see these signs in your own business’ website, it’s time to take immediate action.
Does an Outdated Website Hurt Business?
To some, an outdated website translates to an online presence that simply doesn’t fit the style or function trends at any given time. However, an outdated website goes far beyond this. In many cases, outdated websites aren’t just visually outdated — they’re outdated on the inside, too. This means using clunky construction, out-of-date plugins, unsophisticated formatting, or an unresponsive format that isn’t compatible with mobile devices. These sites aren’t up to par both inside and out, which can result in stunted SERP rankings and poor user experience drives potential customers into the arms of your competition.
It’s hard to quantify how significantly an outdated website is affecting the course of business until a new site can be put into place, but in virtually all scenarios, an outdated website is costing both traffic and revenue.
Five Indicators of an Outdated Business Website
So, is your website outdated? On the surface, it may be hard to tell. These five signs can help you assess where your business stands and what you can do to right the ship.
A Clunky Layout
User experience is an extremely important part of a strong website. Users want to be able to find the information they need as quickly as possible, not click around links idly, searching in vain for details that should be obvious and easy to find.
Most websites start off being clean and organized, but over time, this can change. As new pages are added, services expand, or products grow in number, it’s not uncommon for websites to expand, too, with pages upon pages finding their way onto your site. Before long, your navigation panel no longer does its job, finding information is impossible, and visitors are left feeling frustrated and annoyed not impressed and excited.
When an organization starts spiraling out of control, it’s time to start fresh. By using modern navigational practices, like sticky navigation bars or mega menus for companies with a significant amount of information to present, it’s possible to organize data in a clean, convenient way that users will instinctively know how to navigate.
An Antiquated Approach to Content Marketing
Who doesn’t look back on the good old days of keyword stuffing with fondness? You might — but Google doesn’t, and neither do web users. The push toward high-quality content is driven by Google, largely because users want to read effective, compelling content and not a full page of sentences comprised of keywords strung together.
Today, quality content is absolutely essential to ranking well and impressing visitors. Things like awkward keyword usage — dropping phrases like “near me” into text that is otherwise written in second person, for example — and obvious keyword overuse come off as awkward and disingenuous. This is also true for information that is obviously out of date, like announcements about upcoming events from 2015.
When you revamp your website, make sure your content is fresh, fun, and speaks to your brand. Utilize SEO best practices for ranking and ensure everything listed is current or evergreen and valuable for visitors. Content for content’s sake is never good, either, so strategize appropriately.
No Mobile Access
Google’s Mobilegeddon — the movement that made mobile website access a priority — is now half a decade old, so the importance of mobile compatibility should be very clear by now. However, some small businesses or companies that don’t prioritize website updates may still be behind the eight ball, with websites that aren’t responsive and don’t cater well to mobile devices.
A responsive site is absolutely essential to those rebuilding a website in 2020. A necessary part of appealing to all customers across devices, a website that caters to mobile users is essential to ranking, too. If you want to make an impact, creating a site that ranks equally well across mobile and desktop devices is among the most important factors. When you revamp your website, prioritize mobile accessibility, for the sake of Google rankings and your clients.
Features can make or break a website. Failing to offer the opportunities users want can be a serious disadvantage, putting you leagues behind your competitors and compromising your share in the marketplace.
Modern websites have a lot to offer, from chat functions to recommendations for other products to one-click checkouts that utilize things like Apple Pay. Sites now have many features that augment the user experience, making it easier to get the information clients and customers need.
Not sure what you need? A competitor analysis — a look into what your main competition can offer — as well as A/B analysis, can help you find the right path forward, regardless of what that means for you.
A Lack of Branding
Branding is a key element in any successful website. The tone in which you write and present information can be a key part of how your company is perceived, so cutting corners will always hold you back. This is particularly true for companies that rebranded in the public eye but failed to update their websites accordingly.
If your website can’t speak to the identity of your business in a way that targets your key demographic, you’re missing out on making connections and attracting customers. At the end of the day, your site needs to speak to the company you are now, not who you used to be or who your competitors are.
Branding also includes a modern, current design. The appearance of a site plays into trustworthiness and industry reputation, and a website full of graphics straight out of 1998 isn’t going to impress anyone — and it definitely doesn’t say good things about your abilities as a company.
The Benefits of a New Website
As an organization poised to grow, investing in keeping your digital presence up-to-date promises many benefits.
Current infrastructure: When your site is new, you can rest easy knowing that performance is at its peak. Pages load faster, data will be easily accessible, and visitors will be able to find the information they need without struggle. Modern, custom-designed websites are built for speed and page performance, perfect for users expecting lighting fast response time.
SEO success: Google is constantly tweaking algorithms and shifting the ways in which sites rank. By keeping your site up to date, you can be sure you’re hitting the mark and maximizing the SEO strategies that will put you at the top of the results pages. If your current site is simply too outdated, performing SEO tactics may yield minimal results. In this case, rebuilding with Google visibility in mind is the only viable option for long term growth.
Increased sales opportunities: For e-commerce companies, a better website means better shopping. When your product descriptions are optimized, your digital storefront is easy to use, and your checkout is streamlined, you’ll see a boost in online sales.
Advanced metrics: When your site isn’t suffering from skewed data due to inadequate structure or support, you’ll have access to more accurate, relevant, and advanced metrics. By tracking performance from a solid starting place, it’s much easier to see where you’re succeeding and where you’re not.
Your website is an amazing asset, and letting it drift out of date can cost significant company visibility and growth over time. With a few simple tweaks, however, it’s possible to improve traffic, increase clickthrough rates, see more sales, and build a larger customer base.
RivalMind: Web Development Agency
Not sure where your site is going wrong? That’s okay — RivalMind is here to help. We are a web development agency with a wealth of experience in the design, development, and deployment of profitable websites. Get in touch with us today and let us work with you to create a cutting-edge website customized for your business!