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Your website is the most important aspect of your business. It allows you to advertise to customers all over the world and helps your target audience discover you effortlessly. However, it isn’t about just having a website, you also need to develop it to make sure that it’s driving business growth. If it’s not, then there’s no point in having one in the first place. 

For a lot of business owners, this can mean upgrading your website and making small changes to its functionality so that you can make the most of what it has to offer. The design, marketing, navigation, and speed are all crucial aspects that need to be looked at closely, and this guide is here to help you figure out exactly what needs to change with your website.

#1 Visual Appeal

Your website is a reflection of your business, and that is what people see when they visit it. A professional website that is filled with useful information gives readers the impression that you are an expert and know what you’re talking about. 

If the site appears poorly designed and out of date, customers are going to see someone who doesn’t care about them or their business. The layout should be consistent and flow nicely as well as highlight your products or services. 

Even little things like ensuring your blog remains recent so that any dated content is updated can help massively. People want to see that you are always working on your business and sharing new information – which is why dated content can play an important role. 

#2 It’s Got to be Responsive and Mobile Friendly 

We live in a mobile age, and that means smartphones have become the primary form of internet browsing. On average, people spend two hours browsing the web on their phones every day – twice as long as they are on laptops and PCs. 

It’s common practice to ensure that you have a mobile-friendly design for your website, and this uses responsive web design. What is it? It’s a collection of techniques that allow a website to flex and adapt to fit the size of the screen that it’s being viewed on. 

If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, the chances are that you are driving loads of potential customers away because they find it too difficult to try and navigate your website.

#3 Coding 

There’s a lot of technical stuff to consider. Is your source code valid? Does your website meet basic web standards? Is the technique and/or programming outdated? Web standards change greatly every year, and the techniques to build them become even more complex. 

If your website was developed several years ago, it likely has a lot of outdated HTML code that could be slowing down your website’s loading speed. As a result, you may find that your Google ranking is negatively impacted. 

Using modern techniques such as CSS coding can help to make your website mobile-friendly and speed things up a little.

#4 Reliance on Stock Photos

Images are important for any website, but many businesses have an over-reliance on stock photos, and it is a common theme for outdated websites. They can impact the immediate connection that a customer has with your website, but it doesn’t mean stock photos are all bad. 

What you have to consider is how it works alongside your vision as opposed to the vision of someone else. Are they also correctly optimised for your website so that they don’t impact the loading speed? You also need to make sure stock images come from a reputable source. 

The takeaway is that you can use stock photos, just don’t be reliant on them and ensure that the ones you do choose actually reflect your vision and the values of your website.

#5 Effective Calls to Action 

This is something that many outdated websites lack, and a successful call to action is excellent for converting users into customers. It’s a simple button or link on your website that drives those prospective customers into actual ones by completing the action. They should be highlighted on every landing page and should be interesting enough that users want to click on them.

#6 Tracking and Mapping 

This is what helps you track the effectiveness of your website, and older websites might not be properly equipped to do this. Some examples of tracking and mapping include:

  • Heat mapping 
  • Conversion tracking 
  • Analytics
  • User recordings

There is a whole range of online tools that can help you to achieve this, but you will need a modern and updated website in order to actually use them.

#7 Content

Your website visitors are looking for useful information, a solution to their problems, and this needs to be clearly communicated through your website content. Redesigning your website allows you to refresh the content, offering simple content that is on target and more effective. 

You have 2-4 seconds to engage a new user, and that is part of why content should be considered the most important aspect of your website next to the layout. Content that is fresh, unique, and gets straight to the point is how you keep people interested and coming back.

#8 Getting into SEO

People often dismiss how important SEO is for a website. Your digital marketing and SEO are very likely to need an update – especially if it has been a while since you did any work on your website. You see, SEO actually impacts your Google rankings. 

Search engines will take websites with the most recent content and place them higher on the priority list for rankings. You might have the best content in the world, but if you haven’t updated it for five years then it’s not going to be doing you any favours. 

The redesign can also give you a chance to think about your keyword targeting and your website’s conversion rates. After all, the way in which people search for things on the web has changed massively over the last few years – especially with smartphones.

#10 A Favourable Bounce Rate

This refers to the number of people who visit your website and leave without going to a second page. A bounce rate that is high is a sign of a website that is outdated and performing poorly. Usually, when visitors leave early it is because the website doesn’t give them the information they need instantly or they don’t like the way it looks. 

Google Analytics actually gives you a good look at what your bounce rate is like, and you should focus on the following areas when you are examining it:

  • Location: bounce rates should be high outside of your area of service only 
  • Device: different devices have different intentions, expect higher bounces from mobile
  • New or Returning: new visitors have a higher bounce rate so try to segment the results 
  • Medium: where they are coming to your website from can impact the bounce rate

#11 The Speed of Your Website

A website should take less than two seconds to load if you don’t want users to end up closing your website and trying somewhere else. Especially now with smartphones, people don’t have the patience to wait for websites to load up. A good website update will fix slow loading speeds.

#12 Make Things Easier on Yourself 

A website that has been updated will be easier for you to use and work on, which is the important thing. Updating blogs, adding products, and refreshing images should be things that you can do yourself without any hassle. It helps you keep your website fresh for your customers.

#13 Reduce the Risk of Hacking 

Hacking is becoming more and more prevalent, especially on social media and on websites. The thing is, security issues can become a problem for old and new websites but getting your site upgraded will help to reduce the risk of it happening to you. More secure coding technology and upgrades mean that it’s harder for hackers to get into your website. 

#14 Using Website Integration

There are many benefits to having website integration, and this is both in terms of your customers and also helping to make things easier for you. When your customers access your website they expect to see shopping, a blog, a speedy account login, support forms, and all the trimmings that are found on standard websites. 

Having all of those admin tools integrated makes life so much easier for you as a business owner, and while it saves you time it also means you can have a stronger focus on customer service as well as keeping your website fresh.

Final Thoughts 

Everything above will help you to determine if your website is becoming outdated and needs an upgrade to help it run better and also improve visibility and navigation. But what are you supposed to do in order to get the upgrades that you need to actually get the most out of your website? Well, we have the solution for that too. 

At One Web Creations, we are dedicated to helping you and your business thrive. We don’t just design websites from scratch, we can also update them so that they meet the criteria to run faster, better, and more efficiently than ever before. All you need to do is get in touch to see how we can help you improve your website.