There’s no denying the importance for a business of maintaining a modern website capable of captivating impatient internet users. You know what I mean—we all suffer from shortened attention spans thanks to the internet. But you can conquer the mainstream norm and get your website up-to-date. All it takes is a little elbow grease and a sharp eye for the sign of the times. So here they are— our top signs that your website needs revamping.
Visitors bounce away
Once you get familiar with analytics, you’ll be able to see your bounce rate (If you don’t know what ‘website analytics’ means, then we’ll have to make a much longer list). The bounce rate indicates the percentage of visitors that leave your site from the very page they’d arrived at. A high bounce rate means your website needs some help. Here are some reasons it’s so high:
- Slow loading time: How patient are you? Can you stand by for a whole minute while a website loads? I sure can’t—and I’m quick to click away when I find a website that’s dragging its feet.
- Bad looks: If your website is ugly, you can’t expect visitors to stick around. Bad color configurations, unnecessary flashy promotions, tiny text and poorly-organized content are just some of the problems that might exist. Here, you’re going to need to ask friends or co-workers what it is about your site they don’t like. Be receptive!
- Unintuitive navigation: If visitors can’t find their way around your website, then they’ll bounce off in a fury. Make sure your website is easy to navigate.
Smart Phones Explode
Well, they don’t explode, but when you try to view your website on a smart phone, you see uber-small text. Or broken images. Or nothing at all. Your website must be optimized for mobile. You don’t even have to pay for a separate mobile project – instead, you can just pay for a responsive design. This means that your website will shrink or fit to expand the screen it’s being viewed on, taking the font size with it! Responsive designs will also resize images, add or subtract sections for different types of devices, and transform your main menu so that it works for mobile users. This has become par for the course in web development these days, and users are beginning to expect it on every website they navigate to.
Updating means a lot of copy and pasting
If you’re like we were back in the stone age and find that every time you want to upload a blog post you have to copy and paste code, then you’re way out of touch with modern times. If your website is not using a Content Management System (CMS), then it’s definitely time for a reboot. Transferring all of your content to a new, coherent CMS can be a painstaking process, but it will save you many hours in the long run. Some CMSs have responsive design built in to their templates. If you are not familiar with graphic design, there are companies which offer services to build and design websites for you.
Your site uses Flash or iFrames
This is a no-brainer for all developers. There was a time that websites were built with Flash—sadly, they still are. We’re not saying that Flash sites are ugly. On the contrary; they can do a lot of cool stuff (CSS is catching up). SEO is not applicable to Flash. If Google can’t correctly index your site, then visitors won’t be able to find it. The same goes for those outdated HTML iFrames, which kill the indexing process entirely. This is the primary reason to keep your website’s code and code languages up to date. Search engines will not stand for outdated and outmoded development practices. Be sure to regularly read up on Google’s best practices for SEO.
Organic Traffic is Nil
That brings us to the final sign that it’s time for a serious overhaul: no organic traffic. Your website should be optimized for search so that it gets in front of the right eyes. First and foremost, this means getting rid of the aforementioned Flash and iFrames. Further, this means that you need to get serious about targeting for relevant keywords in your business and creating content that Google gobbles up happily. If you have no organic traffic, you need to start learning about SEO.
There are other signs that it’s time for a new site, but I’m confident that this list will help you decide whether your website should be marked for reprocessing.
This article was originally published as 5 Signs Your Website Needs Revamping by Cale Graham on October 9th, 2014.