As a business, you have many things going on behind the scenes, like keeping up with sales, billing, offering supplies or services, and managing employees. Likely, one of the last things on your mind is your web design. However, this is often how your customers decide whether they want to do business with you.
According to Hubspot, 51% of shoppers surveyed used Google to research their purchase ahead of time. If your website is dated, it will dissuade potential customers from purchasing or ordering services from you. You might be asking yourself, “what does an outdated website even look like?” Below, we explain some of the warning signs you should be aware of to determine if your website is outdated.
Outdated SEO and Content Hurts Your Brand
Outdated content is a huge problem for websites. Your website is often the essential resource for potential customers to learn what products and services you offer. If that content is not accurate, it hurts your reputation. Each time the products and services you offer changes, you must reflect that change on your website so that your customers are not misinformed.
Outdated SEO means that your potential customers are not reaching your website due to changes in algorithms or obsolete SEO practices. For example, Google’s SEO Starter Guide states that you should avoid numerous and unnecessary keywords within your content. At one time, this was the way to show up high on a search engine’s ranking, but the quality of search results suffered. The type and quality of content are important from a user perspective. Fresh, relevant content also plays a large part in appearing high in search results.
Outdated Website Security Can Have Lasting Effects on Your Customer Base
When your website is outdated, security patches and updates may also be outdated. Without security updates, you are vulnerable to hacking. Hackers can steal important information such as usernames, passwords, and consumer data. Consumer data can include personally identifiable information (PII), which hackers could use to steal identities. This can lower your reputation with your customers.
Sucuri lists the impacts of hacked websites among their clients in their 2020 web survey. They found that companies had lost time as the most significant impact, but 26.4% and 25.6% reported a loss in confidence and a damaged reputation. Imagine if this was your company. Would you want to risk time, revenue, confidence, or reputation? It is also possible that you could be liable for damages to consumers following a data leak.
Non-Compliance With Legal Changes Can Limit Where You Offer Services
In 2018, the European Union (EU) passed the GDPR. It is the strictest security and privacy law in the world. It requires that websites that collect personal data be transparent with what information they collect and limit what they can do with that data. Even though you might not be in a country that is part of the EU, this law still affects you if you have customers within it or consumers who visit your website from an EU country. A web agency can help you comply with this law, and you can research it from the GDPR official website.
Another consideration is local laws governing your business. For example, if you have an eCommerce store, you must follow both state and federal requirements if you operate in the United States. You also must follow different rules if you sell products and services to consumers in foreign countries. Finally, you should regularly consult an attorney to ensure you are within legal compliance within your industry.
Outdated Website Design Frustrates Consumers
Ease of use is critical to consumers. Your web page needs to be easy to navigate. Users should easily navigate from whatever page they found while searching to your About Us, Services, and contact page. Google recommends something called breadcrumbs, which allows users to switch between pages within your hierarchy easily. ContentSquare released a benchmark report that stated 69% of all website content remains unseen by consumers. This is why it is vital to work with a web design company that can make your website accessible to all users.
One of the best website design practices is to make your website mobile-friendly. According to ContentSquare, 55% of their traffic over 12 months was from mobile devices. If your website does not have an interface that looks good on mobile, you could lose half of your potential customers.
Your website should look good to the users who visit it. According to Inc. Magazine, “ 38% of users will stop engaging with a website they don’t find attractive.” Consumers appreciate beautiful images and videos. Website developers should focus on designs that incorporate different forms of media and an easy-to-use layout without sacrificing performance.
Get the Help You Need With Web Design and Development
Creating a custom website for your business seems as easy as using Google.
When you search “create your website,” you’ll find results that include everything from a list of platforms to build on as well as courses available for those who want to do it all on their own.
But designing a website for your business takes time, experience, and a creative eye.
- What elements should you include if you want to generate leads?
- Does this website reach the audience you want?
- Is the design eye-catching, and will it bring in a solid consumer base?
- Is the message of your business clear?
It may seem like it’s going to be easy to create a website yourself — but almost every customer we have ever had that has tried to do it alone regrets it. It always takes longer than they think it will, and the result is never what they hoped for.
At Bhirst Media, we have experience building websites for various customers and a variety of different needs. We understand what it takes to build a website that looks good, is optimized for search engines, and is designed for lead generation.
You don’t have to try and do this alone — let us help. Check out our website design, development, and website care plans today.