Out With The Old… In With The New. 7 Reasons You Need To Update Your Website In 2020
A new year is a perfect time to shed outdated practices and start anew.
When was the last time you took a critical look at your website?
In the online world, your website is the face of your business. It showcases who you are and what you do.
Websites are meant to be living entities that grow along with your business.
Just like fashion, technology changes with the times. What once looked fresh and modern may now look old and outdated.
Use these seven questions to help you identify the key areas on your site which can benefit from improvement.
1. How does my website stack up against my competitors?
Make a list of your competitors’ sites and evaluate them in terms of look, design, and functionality. Screenshot the design features you think work well and think about how you might incorporate them into your own website.
Look also at what your competitor might be missing. Do you have a key differentiator that sets you apart from the competition? Highlight that difference on your website.
2. Can visitors easily find what they are looking for when they visit my site?
Users should be able to use your website intuitively. Put yourself in the shoes of your visitors and ask yourself how easy it is to find key information on your site. How many clicks does a visitor have to make to get to the information they are looking for? Look out for broken links and page redirects, and fix these along with any outdated content.
3. Is my website design mobile responsive?
Most people aren’t looking at your website on a desktop or laptop anymore. They are looking at it on a phone or tablet. Check to see how your website looks on a mobile device. If you need a magnifying glass to read it then your website is most likely not mobile responsive.
Having a mobile-responsive site (ie one that automatically changes its layout and placements of certain menus and buttons automatically) is important because Google now gives ranking priority to those sites that are mobile friendly. In fact, Google has stated that it will penalize websites that aren’t mobile-responsive, so if your site isn’t optimized for mobile devices, you’ll likely lose out significantly in the organic search rankings. To check if your site’s design is responsive, enter its URL into this Google tool.
Below are some tips from Search Engine Watch to ensure your website is mobile compatible:
- Use a responsive website design that adapts to mobile devices or create a mobile version of your website that is properly redirected for mobile users.
- Use Google Search Console to add and verify the mobile version of your website.
- Make sure that all the content formats used on your mobile site can be crawled and indexed (check using the txt testing tool ).
- Ensure that content is consistent across your mobile site and desktop site.
- Test your page speed using PageSpeed Insights. If your page is slow, use an auditing tool to find and fix uncompressed content, page errors, and other elements slowing your website down.
4. Does my site still use Flash?
There was a time when Flash was a key element of every new website, but nowadays Flash is seen an embarrassing relic of the past. It is no longer a matter of IF browsers will stop supporting Flash in the future, it is now a matter of WHEN they will do so, which means you need to take steps now if you want your site to be usable for the widest range of people in the future.
5. How good is my website traffic?
The most common mistake I encounter when I work with clients, is they have no idea if their website is even attracting any visitors. Unless you regularly track your website performance, you will have no idea whether it’s producing results or not. Use a tool like Google Analytics to monitor your site’s performance.
Has web traffic declined over time? Are there fewer people coming to your site? Do they stick around or “bounce” off your site too quickly? Bounce rate is a contributor to your site’s search rankings, and it refers to the amount of time someone is on your site before “bouncing” off to another site. If you have a lot of people who look and quickly click away, it tells search engines you don’t have useful information on your site.
6. Is my website optimized for search engines?
If you want more people to find you online, you need to optimize your website through good search engine optimization practices. SEO (the ability to optimize your site for search engines), is a detailed and sometimes confusing process, and you may want to hire an SEO expert to do it for you.
If you don’t want to hire someone, there are search engine optimization tools available to help you do your own SEO — and many of them are free. I’ve put together this list of the best free SEO tools out there to help you instantly improve your online marketing.
Further Reading: 7 Tips For Ranking Higher in Google In 2020
7. How fast does my website load?
How fast your website loads is critical — a good site will load in 2 seconds. Research shows that a single second delay in site load time can reduce your conversions by 7 percent. If your site is taking longer than that, consider that around 40% of people will leave a website if it doesn’t load in 3 seconds.
Pro Tip! Optimize your images for faster loading. A lot of websites have images that are relatively large, which take a lot of time to load. Resizing your images can speed up the loading time.
To Wrap Up
Your website is pivotal to your digital marketing strategy. It takes time and resources to optimize your site to deliver the best experience possible, but if you are serious about how your business performs, you need to get serious about the performance of your website too.