Here are 13 important reasons someone might want to update their website:

  1. Your website’s functionality isn’t working – something on the site is wrong – links are broken, pages don’t load properly, functionality isn’t available…..there are many things that can go wrong with a website and it’s often due to the fact that people don’t update their sites frequently enough.  Browsers and platforms are changing at a rapid pace and this means your website most likely needs to be updated or even redone.
  2. Your website looks microscopic on the monitor – the best way to tell if a site is old or new is the size of the site on the page.  The newest sites are all “responsive” – this means that the sites resize depending on how big or small the device is that the client is using to view the site.  So in other words, it will look as good on a giant PC monitor as it looks on an iPhone telephone (note I said it will look good and it won’t necessary look the same). .
  3. No one can tell what you do, in less than 20 seconds.  20 seconds can seem like a really long time when you’re surfing the web and if your client can’t figure out what you do sooner than that, they’re going to leave your site.  Most web programmers don’t have the advertising strategy skills to be able to help clients figure out what to say and where to put each piece of text.  It sounds simple but many people leave a website because they can’t figure out what a website’s about in a reasonable amount of time – and in the world of websites, 20 seconds is an eternity!
  4. People can’t find what they’re looking for easily and quickly. In the old days we used to do all sorts of fancy stuff with website’s navigation menus but we quickly learned that people won’t stay on a site if they can’t find what they’re looking for quickly.  If your site doesn’t have a great (and by that I mean SIMPLE) navigation system, it’s time for a new site.
    Example of really AWFUL website

    Example of really AWFUL website

  5. Your website looks ugly or out of date. There are a lot of really unattractive, out of date websites out there. And worse than that there are so many websites that a) don’t portray the correct “positioning” to their clients and b) that don’t look anything like the rest of a company’s advertising materials.  This is a bad idea from an advertising perspective for about a thousand reasons but that’s another article.  As an advertising executive I think this is one of my #1 complaints – people often don’t  continue their branding or look and feel onto their websites.  As a result their websites look REALLY BAD when considered in combination with all their other marketing materials (and they look really bad even when not considering their other marketing materials, too).  Out of date or poorly designed websites make your company look unstable or untrustworthy. New, well designed, fully responsive websites can create a lasting impression and make a huge impact on the success of your business. (By the way that’s what “Positioning” is….the way your client’s perceive you in their minds i.e., are you a big corporation or the corner ma and pa shop?)
  6. Your content is old and stale.  If your site doesn’t have frequently changing text, it will get “old and stale” within about 10 minutes (no joke).  The problem is that many clients don’t have or don’t put the budget dollars into developing ongoing fresh content.  There is nothing more helpful to your site’s search engine standing than frequently updated content.  Make sure you not only have frequently changing web content but also you have a way to make those changes to your site.  You should be able to update your site instantly with news about your company and when you do, you’ll greatly benefit from the improvement in your site’s activity numbers.  You shouldn’t have to wait, the web is instantaneous, and your website should be too.
  7. Your website is difficult to find via search engines. Web browsers change and so do the algorithms of the major search engines.  Old outdated sites don’t get the attention they could get from the search engines – your site needs to be up to date, fully functioning and frequently changing in order to be able to get noticed by Google and Yahoo. . Websites that are updated will attract attention from the search engines and will rise in rank!
  8. Your website has too much text. This is one of the primary issues with websites and all marketing materials.  Clients tend to have a lot to say about their products and that’s great – but no one really cares.  If you have a lot to say and your clients really need to hear it – you can put that info in a downloadable white paper (PDF).   Customers have incredibly short attention spans and as a result 150 – 250 words per page is plenty.
  9. Your website doesn’t work in all the web browsers. Microsoft used to have the #1 web browser as recently as last year, now there are other browsers that leading the pack starting with Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari. I don’t think I need to say it but I will – your website needs to work no matter what browser your customer is using.
  10. Your website doesn’t work on smartphones – 17.4% of all web traffic  in 2013 accesses the web via a smart phone or other mobile device, up 6% from 2012.  If there’s even a remote chance that your clients are looking for your products or services via their phone, why isn’t your site visible that way?  There’s a good chance you’ll have to redo your web site to make it work with a smartphone but that’s a small price to pay to be able to access an additional 17.4% of the market. smart phones
  11. Your website doesn’t deliver any leads to you.All websites can and should have a way for your clients to sign up for something (a white paper or free e-book perhaps?) so you can collect their contact data and market to them over a number of times (aka frequency).  Frequency is an absolutely critical aspect of successful marketing and if you don’t want to communicate your advertising messages a number of times (in ads, on the web, through email and text messages, etc.), then don’t complain when no one knows about you and your website.
  12. You have a website but no one can find your contact info.  Your contact information should be up to date and easy to find on your website.  If it’s not, fix it.
  13. You are embarrassed to give out your web address.  You know it’s bad if you’re not proud of your website and you’re making excuses for your site.  If so, it’s time to get a new website.

For more information on how The Marketing Department can help you update your site or create a new site for you please visit us at www.mdept.com.  Of course you can always email me at Emily@mdept.com or call me at 832-732-5063.