Update your website – When it comes to a cost-effective way to advertise your business nothing can beat the world wide web. When used correctly your website should be your most active, vocal, and primary form of advertising, a good website makes your business easily accessible to anyone, anywhere, and on any device.
There are many reasons to update your website and we have borken down the 10 main reasons.
1. Update your Website Visuals
The very first thing that any site visitor will notice about your website is the visuals. Everything from the layout, to images, typography, etc. If your website is professional-looking and has lots of useful information and is, therefore, user experience optimized then your company will come across as professional and you’ll be seen as an expert in your field. But if the site is badly designed, it is not based on the latest user experience guidelines, and has a poorly laid out structure then you may as well not have a website, yes it really is that important. Check out our portfolio for examples of great web design.
Your website should be representative of your business and highlight your product or service to its best possible. Dated looks, old out-of-date blog posts, events that ended months ago, etc are a no-no. It’s time to update your website.
2. Responsive Website & Mobile Friendly
The UK is a smartphone society. The typical user spends over 2 hours online per day on their smartphone, that’s twice as long as people do on their desktops and laptops, and Google recognizes this and that is way back in April 2015 they brought out a new update which gave priority to mobile browsing, that is why it is now common practice to make a website responsive, or mobile-friendly.
Responsive Websites are a collection of techniques which allow the content of a website to flex and adapt to the size and orientation of a screen. So a site visitor on a smartphone should be shown an optimized layout with the speed of loading in mind, interactive elements such as menus and buttons should be in easy to reach areas and text needs to be rendered crisp and easy to read. If you haven’t updated your website in a while or the development did not take into account good responsive practices then it is possible that your website is doing a disservice to your business.
3. Technique & Coding
Is your website compatible with all desktop and mobile browsers? chances are that if your site has not been updated in a while that it is unlikely that it is. Good HTML and CSS coding and techniques ensure that your website is working correctly on every device, because if it isn’t then again what is the point of having a website.
A very important factor to consider is usability, or User Experience (UX), web standards are constantly changing and new techniques and technologies are there to make sure that your website’s visitors have the best possible experience of using your website, old and/or unnecessary coding may slow down your website load speeds which will not only reflect badly for user experience but also impact your ranking in Google search results.
Your website’s content, for the most part, is images and text and of course, the most visual part of this is images, it is important that any images you use meet certain standards:
- Quality – Bad quality images give off an unprofessional vibe, especially with high-resolution mobile devices which tend to be held closer than laptops or desktops.
- Relevance – If your website is for a specific product or service make sure that your images are relevant to that product or service.
- Stock or Own – Used in certain ways stock images can be great, but if you have your own images then it’s even better. Making a small investment in professional photos could pay for itself many thousands of times over.
- File Size – most people will view your website on a mobile device with a 3g or 4g connection so it is vital that your image file sizes are kept small, a webpage with 10 1MB images will load painfully slowly on a mobile phone.
5. Calls to Actions
A sure sign of a dated website is the lack of effective calls to action (CTA). leading site visitors to making contact, or provision of important information, etc. A Call to Action is any button or link placed in a prominent position on your website’s pages, an element that drives prospective customers to become leads by completing an action. CTAs which stand out because of their size in respect to other buttons or a color reserved just for them is an effective way to highlight their importance.
Other than images the second most important visual is your website’s text, you’ll have just a couple of seconds to engage new visitors. Styling-wise the text needs to be clean and legible, comic sans and times new roman, and NOT good web fonts. With the maturing of Google Fonts you have access to 1000’s of different fonts, that of course doesn’t mean that you should use them all; a maximum of 2 fonts is more than good enough, 1 font and 2 different weights (the thickness of each character) is even better.
The size of the font makes a difference as well, headlines sub-headings, and body text need to be consistent and have a clear hierarchical structure. Remember that readability is very, very important, body text should be a minimum of 16px on all devices.
7. Text Content
When you need to deliver your message to a site visitor the last thing you want to do is bore them, and 100 pages of information on your whole business are the last thing you should be doing to attract new customers. Short, snappy paragraphs are what brings in customers, people these days have a very short attention span so don’t waffle, get to the point and keep things moving along.
Another important aspect is to section information. It is important to make it clear to the site visitor that the information in one section is different from another. The use of color blocks is a good way to achieve this. This all helps in the site visitor quickly finding the information they need and reaching out to you.
8. SEO & Website Update
This is possibly the most important reason to update your website. Backlinks and other off-page ways of bringing visitors to your website for SEO purposes are old hat, Google will look at the relevance of your content to decide where to rank it in search results. Not updating your website risks falling down in rankings with each new update from Google. You may think that the content you have is great and professionally written but content that is 5 years old might put off search engine crawlers.
With a new website redesign, you’ll also have the chance to re-evaluate your keyphrase targeting and the overall conversion rate of your website. How people search and what they search for has changed dramatically over the last few years, especially with the explosion of mobile devices.
What’s more important than security? When you haven’t updated your website in a while it is more than likely that your website’s security is lacking. Hackers look for old dated websites because they are easy to hack, affecting both you and your potential customers. New technologies, software, and effective, user-friendly security plugins such as iThemes Security mean that your updated website will be far more secure.
10. Website Speed Optimisation
Older websites are likely to be running slowly and affecting your website’s user experience. Updated and minimized HTML and CSS coding together with Caching of content will lead to a faster website experience on any device and increase your website’s user experience, and that’s not only better for your site’s visitors but also for your SEO; Google gives priority to and encourages fast loading websites.
Web Development has always been a combination of various skills, from programming to SEO, visual designto user experience. Without the above 10 reasons to update your website, all you have is a web presence, nothing more. Contact us today and we’ll help you update your website so that you finally have a website that helps to grow your business.