A modern look and user experience is one of the most important aspects for a website to look trustworthy, perform well in search engines and convert visitors.
Whether you have a B2C or a B2B business, your potential clients are constantly adapting to the latest technologies and possibilities. The quality standards they expect a website to meet are always getting higher.
Businesses often don’t put enough effort into updating their website and to prevent it from becoming outdated. Businesses that do realize their website needs a refresh often find themselves deprioritizing it for various reasons.
However, having a website that looks old can have a serious negative impact on your SEO rankings, conversion rates, online sales, customer trust and brand reputation. Older websites tend to see a gradual decline in the amount of visitors over time.
Your website visitors and potential customers will notice, and they might decide to contact your competitor instead, simply because of their modern website that signals trustworthiness. Your outdated website could drive website visitors away and into the hands of your competitors.
So how do you know if your website is outdated?
To help you get started, we compiled a list of 17 signs your website is outdated, including solutions and ideas on how to fix them. Don’t mind the sometimes slightly sarcastic tone, it isn’t personal!
Sign 1 – Your website isn’t HTTPS enabled
Let’s get this out of the way first.
In July 2018, Google’s Chrome browser started marking any site that does not have HTTPS enabled as “not secure” in the browser.
You’d be surprised how many website owners seemingly don’t care about this. HTTP websites are still quite prevalent.
If you haven’t installed HTTPS by now, your website is considered outdated and this will have a significant negative impact on your organic search rankings.
Solution: Contact your domain hosting provider and ask them which steps are required to install HTTPS on your website ASAP. It involves purchasing a Secure SSL Certificate which you can usually do directly with your hosting provider.
Sign 2 – Outdated social media icons
“Visit our Google+ page now for more information!” – John Doe, hopelessly stuck in his old ways
A quick way to see if your website is outdated is to review the social media icons you have listed. They are typically found in the top menu, a corner or the footer of your website.
It is not a good sign if you still have links to social media platforms that don’t exist anymore, Google+ being the most obvious one.
Solution: Double-check all of your social media icons and delete any old ones that aren’t working anymore. Make sure all of the icons link to the correct URLs and add any new social media platforms you are active on.
Which brings us to the next obvious sign:
Sign 3 – No social media icons at all
Wait… you do have social media accounts, right?
If you do not have links to your social media profiles on your website, or worse, if you don’t have social media at all, that is not good.
One of the most underrated aspects of a modern online experience is that your audience expects you to be where they already are. This often means a social media platform.
Not having a presence on social media limits your brand exposure and excludes the audience that is desperately looking for your products or services on these platforms. You’re missing out!
Solution: Create social media accounts on all the popular platforms, and link to them on your website. Then contact us to help make it look awesome.
Sign 4 – The copyright date isn’t updated
Most websites have a Copyright © disclaimer in the footer, which should contain the current year. To keep your website up to date, it is important to reflect this here. You’d be surprised how often this is overlooked.
Solution: Double-check your copyright statement and update the year. Please. Thanks.
Sign 5 – Use of old technology such as Flash
I remember the days when some friends of mine were creating funny Flash animations to make fun of each other.
That was probably around 2003.
One of the most obvious giveaways that your website is outdated is that you’re still using this technology. In fact, Google Search has stopped supporting Flash altogether.
You can do many fun things with Flash, but unfortunately, the internet has moved on. A surprising number of websites still use this technology, alongside other outdated technologies that aren’t typically used anymore these days to build websites.
Solution: Depending on how vital the use of Flash is for your website to function, the solution could range from simply removing the Flash elements to a complete website redesign and migration to a new platform.
At the risk of pitching our services too much: we do know a thing or two about creating great and modern looking websites.
Sign 6 – Your website isn’t mobile-friendly
Have you not noticed everyone looking at their smartphone all day? Perhaps you were doing the same?
In July 2019, Google enabled mobile-first indexing by default for every website. This means they expect your website to be mobile-friendly and easy to use on mobile devices.
We have all come to expect websites to be mobile-friendly since most of our searches are now done via smartphones and tablets.
If your website isn’t responsive and doesn’t work seamlessly on a mobile phone, that’s a very obvious sign it is ancient.
All of the most common website builders and content management systems currently in use are mobile-friendly by default. One can only wonder why. What are you waiting for?
Solution: Make your website mobile responsive or migrate it to a mobile-friendly content management system such as WordPress. Then watch your rankings skyrocket!
Sign 7 – Your website loads very slowly
When was the last time you encountered a terribly slow website?
Wait for it….
That’s right, it doesn’t happen anymore. When it does, your internet connection is usually the culprit rather than the particular website.
Google seems to agree, as there appears to be a clear correlation between page load speed and how high websites rank in the search results.
The obvious takeaway is that you need a fast website.
Solution: Start by plugging your website into Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool, which will provide feedback on what is causing the website to be slow. Google has also recently added a speed report into Google Search Console.
How to actually implement the technical changes required to increase your website’s page load speed is another story. This is heavily dependent on your particular website setup, the size of your website, the technology setup and the content management system you use.
If you need actionable advice to improve your website speed, do not hesitate to contact us. We got you covered.
Sign 8 – No recently added or updated content
Do you know what people think when they open your blog and see that the latest post was published ages ago?
Answer: they don’t think anything. They simply close your website and move on. Old news. It’s like reading last week’s newspaper.
There couldn’t be a more clear sign that your website is outdated, actually, as blog posts literally showcase the date they were published and/or last updated. This should have probably been Sign #1 in this list.
Does this mean that none of your content is valuable and everything is outdated? Absolutely not! But it does send the wrong message to your potential customers and to search engines.
Solution: Keep your blog fresh, up to date, relevant and full of valuable information. Show your audience that you are the authority here! They should listen when you speak.
Sign 9 – Your blog content is about previous years
Your blog content:
- The best wedding gift ideas of 2019
- Don’t ignore these fashion trends in 2018
- Top vegan recipes in 2019
Your website visitors in 2020:
Visitors want to see the updated content. Blog posts that talk specifically about a previous year tend to see a gradual decline in organic rankings and traffic.
The good news is that it’s usually pretty easy to update these articles to reflect the current year! It’s a really good way to regain lost traffic.
Solution: Analyse all of your current content and refresh it, especially when it specifically mentions previous years. The best wedding gift ideas of 2019 now become the best wedding gift ideas of 2020! Maybe add a few new ones while you’re at it?
Sign 10 – Your URLs end with .php or .html
Sure, there are plenty of examples of websites that do rank well with URLs such as /contactushere.php or /checkoutthisawesomecontent.html. But it doesn’t happen often anymore.
It usually makes internet-savvy visitors go down a trip through memory lane, thinking “oh I remember those times, that’s how URLs used to look back in the day!”
With “back in the day”, they are often referring to somewhere around 2005 at the latest.
On a more serious note: inherently, there is nothing wrong with URLs like this, and it’s a myth that you can’t achieve high rankings with them. However, it’s a good indicator that a website is outdated and could use a refresh. You are also missing out on a clear opportunity to SEO optimize your URLs with keywords.
Solution: Update these URLs so they look more like https://www.awesomewebsite.com/this-url-looks-awesome/. Did you notice the HTTPS part here too?
Sign 11 – No Call To Actions (CTAs) on your main page
Can we get to the point? People have a very short attention span these days (for better or worse) and they want to see what their options are right away when they land on your website.
Gathering conceptual information about your product or service happens elsewhere on your site, such as on dedicated landing pages or your blog. When visitors land on your main homepage, especially through a direct search for your brand, they want to see what you’re about and what you have to offer.
If you don’t have a CTA that directs visitors to your money pages, you are losing out. Big time.
Solution: Add one or several clear CTA’s to your main home page, above the fold so they are visible immediately. Examples: “Apply Now”, “Contact Us”, “More Information”. You get the gist. Land those customers!
Sign 12 – You’re using image galleries
I don’t think this one needs much explanation, but I have recently seen websites that are still doing this.
Image galleries used to be popular because there was no better alternative. These days, you can display images directly on the page, you can use image carousels, and you can embed Instagram posts directly on your website.
Besides, image galleries will slow down your website which we already established is not good.
Solution: Get rid of the image galleries and implement more modern solutions, which are ready-made and come out-of-the-box in every content management system.
Sign 13 – No Google Analytics installed
Okay, fair: the average website visitor isn’t going to notice that you don’t use Google Analytics. However, if you are a website owner, this is an indicator that you haven’t kept up with the times in general.
Google Analytics gives you insights into how many people are visiting your website and how they behave on your website. What pages are they interacting with and which ones are being neglected?
By analysing and interpreting these insights and statistics, you can actually solve a lot of the other signs mentioned in this blog post.
Solution: Install Google Analytics and get familiar with the platform. Alternatively, we can do it for you.
Sign 14 – Pages returning 404 errors
If users are getting 404 errors, it means they are landing on pages that don’t exist. Maybe they existed in the past, but you decided to delete them.
This is a bad user experience for your website and needs to be fixed.
Solution: Luckily, Google gives you direct feedback about the 404 errors they are encountering on your website. You can see this in Google Search Console.
What you should do is double-check the 404 error report and then redirect each of these URLs to the most relevant URL that is currently live on your website.
Sign 15 – Keyword stuffing in the website content
The thing about keyword stuffing is that it makes sentences look unnatural, because when you stuff too many keywords and you engage in keyword stuffing all the time, keyword stuffing causes the sentence to look like it wasn’t written by a human because of keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing!
See what I did there?
Keyword stuffing means you are using the same keyword way too many times, to the point where sentences don’t sound natural anymore. Google’s algorithm is sophisticated enough that it will detect this and it won’t rank your content.
It isn’t necessarily a sign of an outdated site, but it sure is a sign of very old SEO practices that used to work, but are now considered to be against Google’s guidelines and could get you penalized. Perhaps you have worked with an SEO agency in the past that has implemented this?
Solution: Analyse your content and check whether it is over-optimised for certain keywords. Then rewrite it and make it sound more natural. A quick way of checking it is to read your content out loud to someone, and check if it sounds natural.
Sign 16 – Lots of footer links and spammy footer content on every page
This is another outdated SEO practice that was widely used when it still worked.
News flash: it doesn’t work anymore.
As mentioned in Sign 15, it could be that a digital marketing agency you used to work with has implemented this on your website.
You could also include links to your most important pages. Just don’t link to every page on your site.
Sign 17 – Your website is built with Microsoft Frontpage or Adobe Dreamweaver
I wasn’t sure if I should even include this one, but I actually stumbled upon a website recently that was built using this technology.
If you’re still using this, you are literally 15 years behind!
Solution: Migrate to a modern CMS that will not only give your website a modern look, but also save you lots of time.
How Taksu Digital Can Help
If you feel your website is outdated and could use a more modern look, a refresh or simply a fresh pair of expert eyes looking at it, you are in good hands. Taksu Digital can help you with the full website refresh process, including:
- Conducting a thorough audit of your current website, determining the most important shortcomings and biggest opportunities for improvement
- Developing a brand new mobile-friendly website with a modern look and user experience, which follows Google’s guidelines and proven SEO best practices
- Migrating your current website to your newly developed website
- Ensuring your website meets the quality standards and user experience that are expected
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you suspect you have an outdated website that’s keeping you from maximizing your organic traffic, conversions and sales!
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