Websites are powerful entities that promote you 24/7 and with an up to date website you have a superb marketing tool at your disposal.
On the other hand though a website that is out of date has the potential to harm your brand.
Having a fancy design or the greatest looking website in the world doesn’t make you appear up-to-date, the silly thing is it’s the simple aspects of your site that can make you appear stale.
On a daily basis we come across websites that have certain elements that are outdated. Simple 2 minute tasks that once implemented can bring a website into the present.
Here are a few areas of your website that can hold your website and brand back.
Do you own a shop and have recently decided to change your opening hours? Perhaps you have decided to close early on friday afternoons to focus some time on other tasks. The problem is the contact page on your website notes your shop is still open 9am-6pm. A customer decides to pop into your shop at 5pm only to find you are closed. Not good and a simple change to your opening hours could have prevented you potentially irritating a customer.
FIX: There are many places online where you need to check up on here, not just your website – directory listings, Google My Business, Bing Maps, Facebook page. They all need to match up.
Websites that show dates from a couple years back come across as stale. Visitors will hesitate and wonder whether the website is still relevant, if you are a business the visitor will wonder whether you are still trading.
Dates can appear:
- Website Footer – In the website footer near a copyright or all rights reserved notice (tip: consider using dynamic dates that update themselves each year)
- Blog posts – Most CMS websites display blog posts with the following details – titles, excerpts, descriptions, blog image and date. If your last post was months or years ago a visitor will cotton on to the fact the site is outdated (quick tip: if your website only posts every now and then over regular scheduled posts then consider hiding the date altogether) – if you cannot locate the ‘hide date’ setting you may need to seek out a web developer to help with this by editting the source code or using CSS to hide the date.
- Events – Be wary of publishing old events on your website and not publishing any new events.
- About – In your about us section where you note your years of experience and or display your business established since date. Do these match up with the current date?
Fix: Update dates or hide unnecessary dates, use dynamic dates via PHP functions.
When was the last time you checked the general look and functionality of your website?
It is recommended to check in with your websites regularly.
Websites that are built years ago may use obsolete code or code that no longer works as it did with updated browsers. A part of your website may have been incorrectly built for the device you are using.
- Text off screen
- Missing spacing around text or images
- Form fields extended off screen
- Links that no longer work
- Navigation bars or dropdowns that do not function
To do: Open up your internet browser, input the address and check all pages throughout your website.
Do you notice any mistakes or elements that just look off?
Fix: Depending on how you access your website – either fix the issue or get in touch with a web developer who can locate the root of the problem.
“It’s recommended to check your website regularly.”
When was the last time you updated your latest work and shared it online?
Everytime a potential client visits your website do they still see that your latest project was the job you completed three years ago?
Having regular work on your website is important on so many levels – a clever way to boost your search engine rankings, fresh content for google, show off a variety of skills on your website, provide types of projects closely matching potential clients and their upcoming projects, appear as a go to active local business or national brand, show you take an interest in your business and take pride in their work.
Fix: Add some life to your website by showcasing new photos of your work from the past couple months.
Social media page feeds can be embedded on your website. These can assist your website by appearing current simply by publishing latest updates from your social media straight to your website.
Perfect right and simple too. Yes and no let’s have a look at this scenario which is common amongst inactive facebook pages.
What if you have a facebook page feed on your website but you have been really slack with social media recently (or at all since setup!). When a visitor interacts with your latest piece of content and they see you last posted months or even years ago, it does not look good on your part.
Fix: Consider a post schedule for your website, once a week or month is better than randomly here or there. Or remove the social media feed altogether. Your profile maybe out of date but at least your website will appear current.
CONTACT FORMS / SUBSCRIBE FORMS
Online forms that visitors submit, sending you their information is a goal all websites want to see. A conversion like this is valuable however forms can display errors or suddenly stop working due to an update made at anytime. If a client runs into an error when using your form they will likely abandon ship and look elsewhere.
Tip: Regularly test your forms to ensure you are receiving the submissions that you require.
Fix: The issue is unknown however diagnosing the issue is a good place to start. Double check the form code, check the php version on your website (can be old ie 5. not 7.), has there been a recent plugin update for your form? Has you website platform made a recent change? Still unsure? Seek a web developer.
DO IT TODAY
Inaction costs money and running an out of date website is quite simply unacceptable if you run a professional business.
Recommendation: Seek a website or marketing professional to audit your website. You will find many companies will offer this free as an introduction. Obtaining information about your website is valuable knowledge not to be ignored.
In fact we can do this right here at Lucent Dynamics – simply send us a message with your website address and we will get back to you with suggestions and actionable tasks you can implement almost immediately.
Simply having a website online should not be perceived as one less thing to worry about.
It should always be on your mind. It needs to be up to date.
It is strongly advised and good practice to regularly check in with your website and inspect all aspects to ensure you provide visitors with a smooth experience. Go one step further and ask friends, family to test out your website and ask for feedback. For a professional approach and immediate answers get yourself a website audit or have a marketing / web consultant run through the website.
Here at Lucent Dynamics we understand the importance in keeping websites current and fresh with content and updates. Search engine visibility and customer interaction is a key topic in managing client websites. We work with our clients to ensure their website performs on a consistent level all year round.
Get your website checked over today by sending us your website address and contact details or fill in the form below. We will reply with a prompt review of your website.