5 Reasons Your Website Needs an Update
Having a website is no longer simply a flashy accessory for a business or organization; it’s an absolute necessity. But a successful website is not something you can set up and forget. Website trends are extremely fluid, and what works for you now will not work a year from now. Visitors to your site will absolutely notice if you don’t keep up with the times, and it will definitely have a negative impact on their impression of your organization or business. We have created a countdown of five ways you can tell that your website needs an update and how to fix it.
5: Your Website is Outdated
If your website looks like you haven’t updated it in years, visitors will be instantly turned off. A negative first impression is difficult to shake in any context, but it’s certainly true of the online world. If you want people to care about your website, your content, and your products, it has to look like you care about your website.
Since website trends change like the weather, sometimes it helps to get a professional perspective. Web developers know what’s "in" right now and how to set it up. They can give you a set of tools that you can use to make your website really stand out. Many developers have designers on staff that can make your website look exactly the way you always imagined.
4: Your Website is Hard to Find
When someone does an internet search, they may not know your website by name. You could be offering the deal of a lifetime, but if they can’t find it, they won’t buy it. For example, if you Google the main service you provide and your location (i.e. the name of your city) and your site doesn’t show up on the first page of results, that should be a red flag that you need to overhaul not only your site’s keywords, but your site’s content in general.
Through a process called search engine optimization or SEO, creating quality content and modifying the keywords and key phrases used in your website content will greatly improve your searchability. For more information about writing quality web content, take a look at this other article.
3: Your Website Isn’t Connected to Social Media
Did you know that over 1.5 billion people now use Facebook? Consider that there are only 7 billion people in the world. That’s over 20% of the world population. In Canada and the United States alone there were 219 million active Facebook users per month in 2015. The point is this: if your website isn’t integrated with your social media accounts, you’re missing out on tons of potential site traffic. Modern content management systems (CMS) like Plone have social media integration built right in, helping to convert your social media visitors into website visitors, and vice versa.
A great feature that we are starting to see more and more is embedding social media feeds directly on your website. We like this tool because site visitors can see your social media posts without ever leaving your site. Any time visitors are rerouted off your site, there is a chance that many of them won’t return. Keeping them around increases the chances that they will do what you want them to do, whether that means buying a product or simply reading an article.
2: It’s Hard to Make Changes
If your website was custom made for you, you may find it difficult to make changes once the site has been launched—depending on the technology your designer used. Today, there are countless platforms, called content management systems (CMS), that designers utilize to create sites that are customizable to specific needs while also being easy to modify as needed. The templates within the Plone CMS for example make editing content pain-free, even if you’re not as computer-savvy as Bill Gates. Check out this Acronym Monday article if you’d like to learn more about content management systems.
1: Your Website Isn’t Mobile Friendly
There is no greater weakness for a website than being unresponsive for mobile devices. More than half of all web users today view content on their smartphones and tablets. If your site isn’t optimized for users with those devices, you’re losing tons of potential traffic through frustrated users (not to mention they’re not likely to come back after their first bad experience). Most of us have been there: visiting the desktop version of a site on your phone and having to pinch around in order to find what you’re looking for. Redoing your site with a responsive theme and a powerful content management system will ensure that your website works for everyone, broadening your reach.
Web design for a mobile-first world has become the standard. If you are having your website redesigned by a contractor, and they aren’t offering you a mobile-friendly design as part of your project, they aren’t doing their job right. Call them out on it, and ask for a mobile friendly design to be included.
All five examples don’t have to be true for you to think about an update. If even one of these items is true of your website, you should consider giving your website a facelift, or you might consider a complete overhaul. Here at Wildcard Corp., we utilize state-of-the-art tools to provide you with a range of technology solutions to suit any need. Contact us now to get started on updating your website. If you have a problem, just name it. We’ll solve it.