Is your website beginning to collect dust?
A website that isn't kept up to date with timely products and information and user-friendly functionality can be a huge turnoff for customers.
You're busy running your business and website maintenance is the last thing on your mind. So why not let D3 Media maintain your site for you? With website and maintenance package, you can be confident your website is servicing your customers and in tip-top shape without having to do the work yourself!
I have compiled 12 ways to know if it's time to update your website.
1. Your website isn't very functional
Random links are broken, pages don’t load properly, images are missing... there are many things that can go wrong with a website and it’s often due to the fact that people don’t update their sites frequently enough. Browsers and platforms are changing at a rapid pace and this means your website most likely needs to be updated or even redone.
2. Your website looks "too small" on your monitor
An easy way to tell if any web site is old or new is the size of the site on the screen (monitor). The newest sites are all “responsive” which means that the sites will re-size depending on how big or small your monitor is (or how big or small your clients' monitors are). So in other words, it will look as good on a really big computer screen as it looks on an iPhone.
Ten seconds can seem like a really long time when you’re surfing the web. If your visitors can’t figure out what you do within 10 seconds, then they WILL leave your site, no IFs, ANDs or BUTTs about it. People need to know they will find what they came for immediately upon arrival to your site. It sounds simple but many people leave a website because they can’t figure out what a website’s about within a reasonable amount of time – and in the world of websites, 20 seconds is an eternity!
4. People can’t find what they’re looking for easily and quickly
In the old days we used to do all sorts of fancy stuff with a website’s navigation menu, but we quickly learned that people won’t stay on a site if they can’t find what they’re looking for quickly. Simple site navigation is critical! If your site doesn't have a SIMPLE navigation system, it’s time for a new site.
5. Your website looks ugly or out of date
This one ties into No. 1 & 2. There are a lot of really unattractive, out-of-date websites out there. Worse than that, there are so many websites that, a. don’t portray the correct “positioning” for their clients and, b. don’t look anything like the rest of a company’s marketing collateral. (This is a bad idea from a marketing relationship perspective for about a thousand reasons, but that’s another story.) If you think it's ok to have your letterhead and business cards look one way and your brochures look another way and your website look a completely different way; your sending a very confusing and mixed message to your customers. As a result your website looks REALLY BAD especially when considered in combination with your other marketing materials. An out-of-date or poorly designed website can make your company look unstable or untrustworthy. A fresh looking, well designed, fully responsive website will create a lasting impression and make a positive impact on the success of your business (side note: that’s what “Positioning” is… the way your clients perceive you in their mind i.e., are you a big corporation or the corner ma and pa shop? Whatever your positioning is, make sure that's properly and consistently portrayed in all your marketing materials - 99.9% of the time you'll need a marketing pro to help you figure this out.)
6. Your content is old and stale
If your site doesn't have frequently updated content (text,images, etc), it will get “old and stale”. Think of that loaf of moldy bread you forgot about. Nobody want that, not even the birds! The problem is that many clients don’t have or don’t put the budget dollars into developing ongoing fresh content. There is nothing more helpful to your site’s search engine standing than frequently updated content. Make sure you not only have frequently changing web content but also that you have a way to make those changes to your site. You should be able to update your site instantly with news about your company (this is where a blog comes in handy) and when you do, you’ll greatly benefit from the improvement in your site’s search engine listings and activity numbers. You shouldn't have to wait; the web is instantaneous, and your website should be too.
7. Your website is difficult to find via search engines
Web browsers change regularly and the algorithms of the major search engines seem to change constantly. Old, outdated sites don’t get the attention they could get from the search engines – your site needs to be up to date, fully functioning and frequently changing in order to be able to get noticed by Google and Yahoo and Bing. Websites that are updated will attract attention from the search engines and will rise in rank!
8. Your website has too much text
You might like to talk a lot, but your visitors don't always have a ton of time to read. They just want to get what they came for and get out, as quick as they can. This is a primary issue with many websites and marketing materials. Your may have a lot to say about your products and that’s great – but sadly, no one really cares. If you have a lot to say and your clients really need to hear it – you should consider putting that info in a downloadable white paper (PDF) or YouTube video. Customers have incredibly short attention spans and as a result 150 – 250 words per page is plenty. Even this post is going on too long, if you're still reading this, then you should really contact me quick!
9. Your website doesn't work in all the web browsers
Internet Explorer used to be the #1 web browser, but now there are other browsers leading the pack, starting with Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari. I shouldn't need to say it but I will – your website needs to work no matter what browser your customer is using.
10. Your website doesn't work on smartphones
More than 60% of all web traffic in 2014 came from mobile devices. If there's even a remote chance that your clients are looking for your products or services via their phone or tablet, why isn't your site visible that way? There's a good chance you'll have to redo your web site to make it work with a smartphone but that's a small price to pay to be able to access more than half of the market.
11. Your website doesn't deliver any leads to you
Any potential (new) customers don't know who you are and the Number One Reason they are coming to your website is to find your contact information. They may want your phone number, email address, or just leave a message via your contact form. All websites can and NEED to have a way for visitors to contact you, and to sign up for something (a white paper or free e-book or company newsletter?) so you can collect their contact data and market to them over a number of times (aka frequency). Frequency is an absolutely critical aspect of successful marketing and if you don’t want to communicate your advertising messages a number of times (in ads, on the web, through email and text messages, etc.), then don’t complain when no one knows about you and your website.
12. You are embarrassed to give out your web address
You know it’s bad if you’re not proud of your website and you’re making excuses for your site. If so, it’s time to get a new website. You owe it to yourself, your business and most of all, your customers.
Steven Prevost is the owner of D3 Media which is best known for providing web solutions for new and existing small businesses in need of affordable web design services. Steven brings a variety of effective solutions and level of understanding that strengthens objectives, helping small businesses, individuals, organizations, associations to develop their brand and strengthen customer relationships. Contact Steven here to schedule a free consultation for your next web design project.