1. Visual Appeal
When people visit your site, they see it as a reflection of your organisation. If your site looks professional and is loaded with useful information readers will see you as an authority and expert. Likewise if the site looks poorly designed and structured and/or out-of-date they’ll make the same assumptions about your company. The website should highlight your product and/or service and the layout should look harmonious and consistent.
Has your content got dates on it – blog posts, events and similar? It makes sense to remove or update out of date content. As websites mature and grow, it often becomes apparent that certain parts just aren’t working well anymore and are becoming outdated. An obvious example of this is the use of flash.
2. Responsive & Mobile Friendly
The UK is now a smartphone society. We’re spending two hours online on our smartphones every day; twice as long as laptops and PCs. If you factor that fact with Google’s April 21st mobile-friendly update ignoring the mobile market is a very risky business. It is now considered common practice to make a website mobile friendly (responsive design).
Responsive Web Design is a collection of techniques that allow a website to flex and adapt to the size of screen it’s being viewed on. Someone opening your site on a small smartphone could be shown the same site as the person opening it on their laptop etc.For many businesses it may even make sense to design your website “mobile first“.
3. Technique & Coding
Is your website browser compatible? Is your source code valid (HTML and CSS)? Does your website meet the basic web standards? Is the technique and/or (version) programming language outdated?
An important factor you should consider is the increase of usability in web design. Every year web standards change radically and techniques to build web sites become more advanced in order to comply with the latest standards. If your site was developed several years ago, it probably has a lot of unnecessary HTML code, and may be slowing down your website loads speeds – which may in turn impact your ranking in the Google search results.
Including modern techniques such as CSS coding will allow your web pages to adapt on all smartphone devices.
4. Effective use of calls to actions
Many dated websites lack effective calls to actions that convert users to customers. A call-to-action (CTA) is a button or link that you place on your website to drive prospective customers to become leads by completing an action on your landing page. Is your USP and call to actions highlighted clearly on every landing page? As important, are they interesting enough to persuade your visitor to complete the desired action?
5. Measuring Effectiveness
You’ll be able to measure the effectiveness of your website. An old website may not be equipped with the necessary tools that will help you measure how effective your online presence is. Examples of this include heat mapping, conversion tracking & user recordings. Nowadays, there are an assortment of online tools you can invest in to help you measure what works and what doesn’t on your website, right down to the minutest detail. However, in order to use those, you will need a modern website.
The first impression of your website would obviously be the overall layout, but a reader is visiting your website because they are looking for useful information. A site redesign can also give you the opportunity to re-address how you communicate with all your visitors and to write copy that is simple, on target and more effective – remember, in the modern “go faster and faster” world you only have 2 -4 seconds to engage new visitors.
The content of a website should be considered to be the most important thing, as it helps in determining how effective a website is. Fresh and unique website content is an very important factor in encouraging people to revisit your site more often.
7. SEO & Website Update
Just like a website your digital marketing and SEO could be in need of refresh. If you don’t update your website it’s sure to fall down in the search engine rankings. Search engines regard websites with the most recent content as the most relevant to web users. Your content might be gold but if it’s the same content as it was 5 years ago then search engines crawlers might not think it is as relevant anymore.
The redesign also gives you a chance to rethink your keyword targeting and the overall conversion rate of your website. The way people search and how they search has changed dramatically over the last few years, even truer with the explosion of smartphone devices now in use.
In summary, the above information highlights the most important and most common signs to look out for when you want to know if your site is becoming “old hat”. Although there may be other signals that you need a website update, there should be enough here to guide you on the right path. Credits to granite5.
If you would like advice on your current website please feel free to contact your local experts at ProfessionalDesigner Neuchâtel.