8 Signs of a Dated Website
Simply having a website isn't good enough these days. With the way the Internet is constantly changing and evolving, Web users expect more from the sites they browse. It's imperative that your company keep its website current and fresh because having a dated site could really damage your company's image.
Your website speaks to your business and portrays a certain image to visitors. It reflects the products and services you offer. If your design is of high quality standards, then visitors will associate that kind of standard with your overall business. A well-maintained website shows you care about details and that your public image is important to you. A negative Web presence could lose you future customers.
To avoid being overlooked because visitors deem your site as "behind the times", take action against these signs of datedness.
- Intro Pages - Introduction pages to a homepage force prolonged entrance to your site as well as add more clicking. These are unnecessary annoyances that will not be looked kindly upon by visitors looking to get information from your company. Intro pages also signal Google that there isn't any content (or at least very little content) on your homepage, which has many repercussions. Your home page is designed for one reason, to get users to the information they need quickly, either by a link, form or contact information.
- Poor Navigation - Illogical menus and designs will test visitors' patience and cause them to navigate away from your site. Having too many navigation sections or too many navigational links can confuse or distract the user, so keep it as simple as possible. Due to advancements in web technology there are many new options for designing your navigation for improved usability.
- 800 pixel width pages - Typically the standard resolution used is 1024 pixels. Everything is preferred in high resolution. As of this year, however, 1366 x 768 is rising as the most popular resolution choice. This sign is easily and quickly spotted by visitors so keep abreast with resolution trends.
- Broken links/code errors - Although these might seem like small issues, they can have a huge effect on visitors. In most cases, a broken link will probably cause a visitor to give up on browsing your site and navigate someplace else.
- Dated Web technology - If your website is operating completely under Flash, you're likely making your visitors' journey through your site much more difficult. Flash is meant to add graphic and media content to a site, not build one entirely. HTML and CSS were made to design websites that function more cooperatively. On the other hand, you shouldn't only stick to those platforms either. A mix of resources are needed to keep a website modern.
- Lack of new content and visitor interaction - If there isn't a consistent stream of new information available to your visitors, then you are definitely behind your competition. It is also important that there is an opportunity for visitors to interact with your site. Delivering current news and content shows visitors that you're busy and up-to-date, and allowing them to interact with your site in some way shows that you value their thoughts and opinions. A blog can be a great resource for informing your audience on relevant topics as well as giving them a chance to comment.
- No social media integration - By now most companies are managing social media accounts. It only makes sense then that those companies provide a link to those accounts on their website. These links should be visible and easily located. By providing visitors with social media links, you make it easier for them to follow and interact with your accounts encouraging further engagement with your brand.
- Not found on Google - Even though SEO is practiced by most companies with websites today, many still are not properly ranked for their business name. Others make no use of relevant keyword phrases either. Search engine traffic is huge for businesses as many Web users will look to Google or Bing to discover the site they're looking for.
The good news is that if your company is
showing any of these signs, they are fixable. Make the necessary
edits and devise a system for regularly maintaining your website.
Devoting constant attention and care to your site will give your
visitors a better experience that they will inevitably associate
with your brand, especially if it is their first impression of you,
and in today's world it so often is.
Are there other tell-tale signs of a dated website that you've encountered on the Web? What are they?