Signs your website needs to be updated

     
     

Published: February 8, 2016

Throughout our SEO journey, we’ve learned the importance of high quality content for search engines and people.  While aspects of your website remain static for years, your content can not.  A website is a living, breathing document that requires updates to survive.  Let’s take a look at the freshness of your site by examining both content and site design.


Content


In the article titled How Fresh Content Can Influence Rankings, Cyrus Shepard points out that websites have a freshness factor.  He goes through 10 reasons why fresh content is important.  While he does an excellent job covering the technical details, you probably want to know how this can help your website.


What can you do to improve your freshness factor?

  • Ensure all products and services are listed with current descriptions, photos, and any other critical information.  Remove old products or services no longer offered.

  • Add regular blog posts or news articles to your site.  Don’t add all content at one time, instead space it out over weeks, or months.

  • Update your homepage, based on your marketing strategy.  Highlight a new product,  service, or event.

  • Create pages that reveal details about your company, how you do business, who are you employees, what are your values, etc.

  • Ask customers and clients what they would like to see on your website.  Remember, your customers and clients are more important than search engines, so solicit their feedback.


Site Design


It is acceptable for your website design to remain static for a longer period of time.  However, your website design should still keep up with current design standards.  We have already discussed the importance of responsive design3, so what are some other signs that your website design might need a breath of fresh air.


Default File Extensions

Check out your web page addresses, if they end with a file extension, such as .html, .htm, .php, or .asp, your pages not have been optimized for search engines.  Hiding these file extensions makes it easier to link to pages and require less updates to your website and back links.


File Extensions


Lack of Focus on your Home Page

First impressions are as important on the web as they are in person.  Your home page says a lot about your business.  So keep it simple and professional.  Too much clutter, can cause confusion for your visitors.


Loading, please wait…

Slow websites and web pages are a discouragement to your customers and to search engines.  Google announced six years ago that they added “site speed” to their ranking algorithms.  If your website is slow, especially on mobile, it’s probably time for an update.


Focused Social Media Links

Social Media helps you communicate with your audience on a more personal level .  But don’t overdo it.  Select 5 social media links or less.  It isn’t mandatory that you are on every social media channel available.  In fact, certain social media channels are better than others, depending on your industry.


Bad Stock Photos, Clipart, and Wordart

According to the Material Design Specifications, the images on your website should tell a story about your company, products, or services.  You shouldn’t grab any stock photos, but rather select those that inspire, motivate, and trigger emotions.  Also, steer clear of the clipart and wordart, these scream amateur web design.


Outdated copyrights in footer

This is probably one of the easiest way to tell if your website is outdated.  Ensure that the year is updated annually, or remove it all together.


You are still using a Hit Counters

These are a long lost trend of the late 90s for sure!  Google Analytics is a very powerful tool that does so much more than tracking website visitors.  You can track the type of audience, behavior, conversions, and so much more.   Page counters are a thing of the past.


Web Hit Counter


Let’s wrap it up

Both content and design updates are necessary to keep your website fresh and performing well.  Working with professionals, like a web designer and content creator, is probably your best bet.  They will have the time and expertise required to keep your site current and continually generating leads for your business.


Categories: Search Engine Marketing, Web Design & Development
Tags: Website Design, Website Content, SEO


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