Being embarrassed about how outdated your website is can be, well, embarrassing. It’s like knowing your car needs new brakes, and every time you come to a stop sign you’re reminded by the loud squeak they make, but you know it isn’t cheap and don’t want to deal with it right now.
The truth is, leaving your website to be outdated can not only be embarrassing, but it can be detrimental to your business.
More than likely, there’s a direct competitor in your area that is keeping their website content fresh and relevant, completely outpacing you with their online traffic.
Today, I’m going to talk about seven signs that will tell you if your website is badly outdated and ready for a tune up.
1. Your written content is no longer relevant
First, ask yourself — how long ago was my website updated? If you invested in a brand new, custom website and haven’t touched it since, the odds are that the content on your website is no longer 100% accurate.
What if a particular service you offer has shifted? Or your pricing has changed?
Having copy on your site that no longer speaks to what you do or who you are, is only misleading customers and turning them away.
If your website copy, or written content, is more than a year old since it’s been touched, then your website is very outdated.
How to fix this: Start with the homepage — what can you change TODAY that will help potential customers better understand your business and what you offer. Create clear, concise messaging that speaks to them — meaning, don’t use fancy industry jargon, use words they’ll understand.
2. Your leads and/or sales have decreased
Take a dive into your sales reports or your form submissions for leads, and compare them to previous periods — maybe when your website was more recently updated.
If you have noticed a recent decline in the number of leads from your site, or a similar decline in your total sales, this could very well be a sign your website is outdated.
Often times, users will abandon a site purely based on the design of that particular site. If this is true for you, and your website design is outdated, then users could be going elsewhere.
How to fix this: Revisit the customer journey on your site — how does the checkout process look? How easy is it to access what they need? Is it clear what you are offering? Optimize and prioritize this journey so it helps customers do business with you with zero roadblocks.
3. Your visitors are dropping
If you have Google Analytics, or another tracking software installed, and you’re noticing that your overall page views and unique visitors is trending downwards, this is another sign of your website being outdated.
Some things to look for here is any pop-ups, or other distracting types of features on your site. These can deter users and cause them to bounce immediately.
Additionally, if they go to check out your blog, and your last post was from 2018, well chances are high that they’ll think you’re just no longer relevant.
How to fix this: Remove any distractions or interruptions on your site, and look to update your blog by publishing a new post at least once a month.
4. Your website is slow
Did you know that most users expect a website to load in 2 seconds or less? Reality is, it should.
If your website feels so slow that you can browse Facebook for a minute while it loads, then your website is totally outdated.
With proper performance optimization, a good web host, and an updated website, you can eliminate the slow loading times easily to get your website loading in under 2 seconds.
Plus, a slow loading time could be contributing to the visitors dropping like we mentioned in #5.
How to fix this: Check your website host — if it is GoDaddy, Bluehost, Host Gator, or several other notorious hosts for being slow, you need to change. Additionally — are you uploading images to your site that are full-size? The large files could be bogging down your site speed big time. Optimize your images with a compression plugin.
5. Your user experience is lacking
Go visit a website that you REALLY love. Like, it’s so easy to browse, you enjoy reading and digesting the information, and have zero issues finding what you are looking for.
Now go to your website, what do you experience? Is it the same pleasurable experience as the site you love? Can you easily find what you need? Is it aesthetically pleasing and organized?
If not, your website is definitely outdated and could use improvement.
How to fix this: Start with your website navigation, and work on organizing it and simplifying it into an easy to use portal for the information on your site. This is the key foundation to a good user experience on any website.
6. Your customers are giving negative feedback
Are you suddenly receiving negative feedback from your customers? This is a time to not get angry and ignore them, but pay close attention to what they have to say.
Sure, you can get a bad apple from time to time, but often you’ll find out valuable insight into what they’re experiencing and why they wrote that review.
It’s possible your site is misleading and once they received the service and/or product from you, it wasn’t what they thought they’d be getting.
How to fix this: Meeting and exceeding expectations is important — take in this valuable feedback as constructive criticism and improve your website so that you can clearly communicate your services/products.
7. Your design hasn’t been touched in years
If it feels like you haven’t updated or refreshed the design of your website in more than 3-4 years, you are desperately in need of a redesign.
In theory, and based on a study, a website’s lifespan is roughly 2 years and 7 months. There are so many factors that play into how long your particular website will “last” — and by last we mean how long it is effective and relevant for.
Some of those factors include: design trends, your business evolves, your industry evolves, search rankings, and many more.
One thing to keep in mind, depending on your industry, is there are new competitors in your market every day. If you don’t touch your website’s design in more than 3 years, you are drastically losing business to so many new, better functioning sites that are competitors.
How to fix this: Always start with the homepage — this is what most people see first, and a refreshed homepage design can help. But in the end, what you need is a full website redesign.
So, how’s your website lookin’?
There’s 7 easy signs to tell you whether your website is outdated. But really, if you’re just straight embarrassed of your site and don’t even want to share it, you are beyond ready for a new site.
Taking on a new redesign can be overwhelming, which could be a contributing factor into why you might have been putting off updating your site.
However, with a good web designer at hand, to help you at each step and really build you a goal-oriented site that’s fast, functions well, and looks great, it’s not as bad as you might think.
Plus, the longer you wait the more customers you’re losing.