In today’s ever-evolving business landscape, outdated does not only pertain to content. Obsolescence is a bad thing. For a website it is bad business.
Websites are no longer online brochures or catalogs of your products and services, they are one of your most important communication and sales tools. And unlike cars, they do not come with a guarantee to cover mileage or in this case clicks or visits. The statistical average life of a website is 2.7 years before it needs to be rebuilt or at the very least refreshed.
New technology, plugins, AI, and developer tools are exploding into existence every day. Even those are not as important as making sure your website is optimized for mobile devices so all interactions, especially search, are effortless. Website development is now done for mobile first. You can check if your current site is mobile friendly by typing “mobile friendly test” in the Google search bar.
Content is king. Today your site needs to be a repository of content that goes beyond the sales process. You need to present expert content in the form of informative blogs and videos. In fact, video content is out stripping the written word in terms of effectiveness. If you are not providing subject matter expert information, you are not only behind the curve but are in danger of losing search rankings. You need to be found, which requires proper backlinking and metadata, and once you are found you need to shine.
Less is more. Tabs and drop-down menus are necessary for visitors to find the information they are seeking. That does not mean you need endless options. The UX (user experience) is key and, considering the average attention span is less that 10-seconds, site navigation needs to be seamless. Site architecture needs to be designed around the most significant pages and content.
Images add life. Dramatic, vibrant, and creative graphics, combined with photos and images breathe life into websites. Even the most mundane industries and companies can use a modern look and interface to optimize audience engagement.
Trump the competition. Periodically visit your competitors’ websites for a fair and honest comparison. Does your hold up? Are there areas for improvement? Think of it this way…side-by-side is your website sleek, new, and shiny or the old, dusty, tired one.
Perhaps 2.7 years is too aggressive a timeline for website redevelopment but the longer the time goes by it will become clear—to even the most stubborn business owner—that something needs to be done.