While there are no rules for how often you should update your website, a good rule of thumb is to re-visit the functionality of your website once a quarter.
In today's digital world, your website is often the first interaction that consumers have with your business. And, if you sell your products and services online, your website may be the only interaction that consumers have with your brand. Many small businesses operate within a tight budget; however, can you really afford to have an outdated website design?
Here are 8 ramifications of having an outdated website design:
1. Your business appears unprofessional.
When working with a tight budget, it's tempting to use a DIY website builder. However, are you really qualified to handle website design on your own? More often than not, going the DIY route leads to a generic website with limited functionality.
Today's consumers have a trained eye for stock images and shortcuts that businesses take with website design. If your website looks unprofessional, what does that say about your brand?
2. Your website is not search-friendly.
When designing a website, it's imperative that you take your SEO strategy into account. Google gives preference in search rankings to mobile-friendly websites, and most specifically websites with responsive design. Running a blog on your website provides you with an opportunity to consistently publish new content, which will give search engines fresh pages to index from your website. Your Content Management System (CMS) choice can also impact how search-friendly your website is.
3. Your slow load speed turns customers away.
Nearly half of consumers expect a website to load within 2 seconds. If the pages on your website take any longer than this to load, you risk losing your audience.
According to Google, website load speed will play a critical role in how the search engine will rank content going forward. In fact, Google recently announced the Speed Update, which will give preference to mobile-friendly websites that load quickly in search results.
There are a number of design elements that could be slowing down the load speed of your website, such as having too many images, using the wrong dimensions for your images, and allowing ads on your website.
4. Your website is inconsistent with your branding strategy.
When you're consistent with your branding strategy, you build trust with your audience and prevent your business from becoming open to a variety of interpretations. The tone and message that you relay on your website needs to be the same as if a customer interacted with your business face-to-face.
As your business evolves over the years, so will your branding strategy. However, if it's been a while since you've updated your website, you may run into an issue of your website not being consistent with your current branding strategy. As a result, these differences can cause you to lose credibility with your customers.
5. Your website does not align with your business goals.
Before you begin the website design process, you must determine what you want to accomplish with your website. Your business goals will change over the years, and it's important that you update your website to align with your new goals. You won't get results from your website when you have a disconnect between the design and your business goals.
6. Your online presence shows that you're not "with the times."
A mediocre website that is reminiscent of something from the 1990s will tell your audience that your business is not up-to-date with the times. If your customers perceive your brand as out-of-touch with their needs, they may turn elsewhere to find a solution.
7. Your website does not make your customers feel secure.
With cyber theft on the rise, businesses and consumers alike have concerns about security, especially when it comes to conducting business online. If you're not utilizing an HTTPS website, the data that passes between a browser and your website can become compromised. Consumers may be reluctant to do business with you if they don't see that they have a secure connection with your website. Also, Google now gives preference to HTTPS websites in search results, so not having an HTTPS website will hurt your online visibility.
8. You're experiencing limited growth with your website.
A website that has not been optimized for search and/or offers a poor user experience will add little value to your business. If your analytics reveal that your experiencing little traffic or a downward trend in the number of website visitors, it's time to think a website redesign.
Today's consumers expect your business to have a functioning website, and more than half of them prefer to make purchases from your business online. If your website is not running at peak performance, your business is going to struggle in 2018.
If it's been a while since you've updated your website design, it's worth looking into how you can optimize your website to drive results. Contact us at New York Ave to learn how we can provide you with an intuitive interface that is designed to convert website visitors into paying customers.