One of the best things about the Internet is that it is constantly changing and evolving at a rapid pace. The way that consumers use computers today is dramatically different from even as recently as five years ago. Unfortunately, this can also make it inherently difficult to stay ahead of the curve. One of the major problems that the majority of small businesses run into is that their websites generally look outdated. If you can guarantee anything about customers, it’s the fact that they just won’t stick around very long if they’re visiting sites that they consider to be behind the times. Websites that are up to date have been proven to quickly convert customers and give companies the sales momentum that they need to grow and evolve in the 21st century and beyond.
Things to Watch Out For
One of the major signs that your website looks outdated involves the inclusion of outdated information. If it is filled with nothing but old blog entires and a years-old copyright date in the footer, your website is aching for a refresh.
Another key sign that your website looks outdated is if it doesn’t work properly on mobile devices. Keep in mind that smartphones like the iPhone or Android and tablets like the iPad or Samsung Galaxy are all different sizes, so you should always be using responsive web design tactics to cater to all of these audiences.
Flash animations are also a key sign that your site is outdated. Many computers, like all of those sold by Apple, don’t even ship with Adobe Flash installed by default anymore.
Things to Consider
If your website software is outdated, the site is at risk to certain security vulnerabilities that put not only your business but your clients at risk. Updating your website is actually easier than a lot of people think, especially if you’re working from a content management system (also called a CMS).
One of the major reasons to give your site a refresh involves speed. Newer, sleeker websites are just generally faster than older ones. Google and Bing are also using speed to rank sites, which is another reason why it is so important. You can use tools like tools.pingdom.com and webpagetest.org to test your site’s loading time at any point.
An updated site can also generate increased sales, especially if you’re using landing pages and call-to-actions. Landing pages in particular are a great way to shorten the sales cycle.
Updating your site also gives you a great opportunity to integrate with social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and more, all of which can be used by your visitors to organically share content with all of their friends in the digital world.
You could have all of the high quality content on your business’ website in the world, but it ultimately won’t mean much if it looks like it was designed in 1995. By keeping just a few basic things in the forefront of your mind during the design process, you can have a site that excels at converting customers and generating sales.