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Conversion Optimization

7 Signs Your Website Needs Updated

Mike Deraco | Apr 4, 2018

Want to make the best first impression to your potential customers online? A new website design can help. Here are 7 ways to tell if your website needs a refresh.

lancaster pa website design & development

Creating a Positive First Impression Online

For many small businesses, potential customers are visiting their site, only to be met with an outdated website that is looking its age. In a culture that values speed, ease of use, and finding the information they are looking for quickly, a website with an older design can make a poor first impression, losing you potential business with each and every click.

Is your current website a help or a hindrance in connecting with your audience?

Here are 7 ways to tell if your website needs to be refreshed to make a better first impression.

7 Tips for Identifying an Outdated Website Design

1. Site Looks Old or Out-Of-Date

Take a few minutes and compare your site with the websites of your main competitors. How do their websites compare to yours, especially in terms of information, ease of use, and design aesthetics?

Now look at the sites Google ranks on the first page for your desired keywords. Do they look updated, fresh, and new? Do they have plenty of negative space or white space? How do they look on mobile or a smaller screen?

If you haven’t updated your website design in 2 years or more, there’s a good bet some of your competitors have jumped past you with website redesigns of their own. Fresher designed sites will stand out to your potential customers in comparison to yours, giving them an unfair advantage over you in capturing their attention – and money.

3 design components that look out of date

There was a time these were in style, but not today.

  • No scrolling
  • Compact areas of content
  • Full width content

2. Site relies on m. or mobile theme

Back in the day, the main way to optimize your site for traffic from mobile phones was to create a separate website for this traffic using m.yourdomain.com or yourdomain.com/mobile. In 2018, relying on a separate mobile site is outdated and can hurt your rankings.

Google is changing how they index websites, relying on the mobile experience and content. Since many of these mobile sites pared down their content, this means Google will be crawling less pages and content than your desktop website. If you’ve invested in SEO services, all those benefits and growth in organic traffic can be lost when Google switches your site to mobile first indexing.

A responsive website design makes sure that your content looks great across all screen sizes, and will protect your rankings as Google shifts their algorithm. As a bonus, you may see an increase in your organic traffic when you switch from a mobile theme to a responsive design. Early in 2018 we launched a client’s new website; here’s how their mobile traffic grew:
analytics growth after adding responsive designWe saw the organic traffic nearly double for this client after rebuilding the website with a responsive design.
pixelated image

3. Low resolution images

Thanks to the growth of high resolution screens – including Retina displays on Apple products, widescreen HD displays, and 4K monitors – websites can featured highly detailed hero and product images. Of course, if your website has older, outdated, or low resolution images, it will be noticeable on these devices. Updating your website will also include updating your logo and photography on your site to look great on all displays.

4. Outdated Images

Older or outdated images are a constant struggle for any website, but they are even more noticeable on an older website.

Outdated images are found on any website, regardless of industry:

  • College or private school website featuring students who have already graduated.
  • Home remodeling contractor with outdated images of past projects.
  • Team member photos that no longer reflect your team.

To stay on top of updating your website’s images, we recommend going through your website once or twice a year to identify any older images and update them.

It’s another reason why we develop WordPress websites; this CMS is easy enough for an intern or administrative assistance to update content and images so your site stays relevant.

5. Obsolete Elements

Flash and Java were two programming languages that allowed web developers to add animations and functionality to a website. As mobile devices grew, these platforms were replaced by mobile-friendly options – including HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript libraries such as jQuery.

If your website relied on Flash or Java elements, including a slider or animated video, you need to update your site. Most modern browsers have already or are planning to remove support for them. Plus, both have long been targets of hackers and spyware.

6. Cluttered Website

As a website gets older, it can start getting cluttered with information, links, graphics, free downloads, and calls-to-action (CTAs). The more that gets added to your main navigation, sidebar, and footer, the more confusing it will become to your potential customer. A website refresh is the perfect opportunity to refine your branding, refocus your messaging, and create clear customer pathways through your site.

7. Links to Older Social Media Sites

Your site’s social media buttons are an easy way to gauge the last time your site was updated. For example, Instagram updated their logo in May 2016, and Digg hasn’t been popular since 2012, yet outdated websites and plugins still feature their logos.

Also, if you are not investing in each of these social media channels, consider removing them from your website. Nothing screams out of date like linking to a Facebook page that hasn’t been updated since 2014.

Invest in a Well-Designed Website

Is your website helping or hurting your chances with your potential customer? Does it accurately tell your company’s story and describe your services? Does it guide a visitor through your site to the point of contacting you?

If not, then your website needs to be refreshed. Contact YDOP to start a conversation about how your website can be improved and updated in 2018.