Your Baby’s Ugly: How to Know When Your Website’s due for an Update
Your website is your baby. You conceived the idea and after months of development you unveiled it to the public bursting with pride. Like any new parent, you thought it was cutest, most perfect thing you’d ever seen.
Well, I’ve got some sad news for you: your website might not be as cute as you think it is. Given the pain of bringing it to life, it can be a tough thing to admit. But admission is the first step to recovery. Here are five warning signs that your website needs some work:
It’s Smartphone Challenged
If your mobile experience is lacking, you are missing out on a huge percentage of your audience. Mobile is quickly becoming the first place users interact with a website. And search engines like Google will actually rank you lower in their search results if you have no mobile presence or if it’s load time is too slow. You need to be able to transition to a variety of devices without your user experience or design suffering.
Its SEO is So-So
SEO, aka Search Engine Optimization, measures how regularly you are adding new and unique content to your website. If you’re not frequently adding keyword targeted content to your site, your search engine results can suffer—making you less visible to potential customers. Wondering how good your SEO is? Do a quick Google search for your company and see how you rank in the search results.
It’s Got the Bounce Rate Blues
Bounce rate is a great litmus test for the effectiveness of your website’s first impressions. It measures the percentage of visitors who arrive at your website and then leave immediately. And online, you never get a second chance at a first impression. Whether it’s caused by poor visual design or bad user experience design, a high bounce rate is a sign that visitors don’t think your product or service is worth the energy of navigating your website.
It’s Old Enough to Drink (And Then Some)
There’s no such thing as “Old School” when it comes to websites. So if your website looks like it was launched in 1985, trust me it’s ugly. Expired trends like pop-ups, wacky hover effects, dated language, and Flash animations only make you company look out of touch. Making sure your website is evolving with the times is always a good idea. But be careful not to overcorrect: innovation is only effective if your design is still intuitive.
It Fell Off the Brandwagon
Have you rebranded recently? Changed your language or evolved your business methods? Now is the time to reevaluate your website and make sure you are presenting a cohesive message to the world. In many cases, the website may be the first taste of a company a prospective customer gets. You want to make the most accurate and flattering impression possible with a design that tells the right story.
So, without the rose-colored glasses, is your baby really as cute as you thought it was? If not, show it some love. Skilled professionals can take your website under their wing and make it something really special.