What do you do when it’s 6 months after launch and you’re still not ranking for your keywords in Google? How about when your analytics tell you that mobile surfers spend an average of 1.5 seconds on your site before clicking away? What this means is that it’s time for an upgrade.
The fact is, this is just the Internet’s way of telling us that it has changed completely once again and we need to catch up. The Internet is constantly changing and evolving. Even sites that were made 3 years ago are totally obsolete by today’s standards. This is why businesses that are on the cutting edge of everything are the ones that always manage to stay on top.
It’s further complicated by the fact that small businesses can’t afford the massive technical department that big companies have. This means that when one of these architectural or functional changes hits you, it can send you scrambling to get caught up. It can really hurt to find out that your site’s yesterday’s news, but it just means there’s a little touching up to do.
So, how do you know when it’s time to hustle and get your website updated? Here are some warning signs.
A Razzling-Dazzling Flash Intro
Another thing that’s so yesterday is the Flash intro. Even 10 years ago they were considered corny by pros. Technology is wonderful, but it can also get in the way of what you’re trying to say to your visitors. Your message should be what they see, and not a crazy Flash intro that puts them into seizures. Don’t forget that people usually are in a hurry and the fastest they get what they are looking for the better for your brand.
No Social Skills
Your site and all of your efforts to communicate with you customers should be fully integrated with social media. More people are using Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and other social networking sites than anything else. They’ve got millions of users every day who go to those sites first to find out what’s going on. If you’re not on these sites, your company looks like it’s out of touch. Plus, there are lots of ways you can use these sites to further promote your business and market to your audience. I would recommend
Your Site Is An Immovable Object
Most sites are designed for PCs and laptops where they look great, but when you view them on a mobile device they’re downright cruddy. For example, some sites take an eternity to load on mobile devices. More and more people are using mobile devices like smartphones for web surfing, so you’ve got to be up-to-date and have a site that’s mobile-friendly.
In fact, you should be using the rise of mobile devices to your advantage. Features like 24/7 live chat, integrated social media, and auto-detection of browsers used on smartphones are all things that can make your site easier to navigate for mobile devices. In the future, people will be increasingly searching for information online on the go, so it’s a good idea to get started as soon as possible. One great WordPress plugin you could install is WPTouch which actually transforms your blog into a kind of a smartphone app and is fully readable by phones.
You Don’t Need A Web Designer
If you still have to outsource every web design issue, you should change this. Things change incredibly fast on the internet, and you need someone in-house who can make the necessary changes. Cutting and pasting code where it needs to go is not as complicated as it might at first seem, and we’re not talking about complete web design here but just some tweaks and changes. Training an employee or hiring someone to work full-time is essential for making changes quickly.
You Have A 'Frankensite'
So, you’re not much of a web expert yourself. Whenever it needs touching up, you hire some whiz kids to change this or that. After years of tweaking and slapping more bad code over the old bad code, your site is a complete monster. Although it saves money to hire a developer whenever you need them, you might want to hire one to stay with you over the long term, or even better, start all over again. All those different codes confuse the heck out of search engines and web surfers alike.
Where’s The Call To Action?
Finally, your site needs to be telling your customers to do something – in order for them to do it. This is called the 'call to action.' Rather than just saying to them, 'Here’s our company, this is what we do, have a nice day,' get them to sign up for your newsletter, buy your service or product, or donate money. Whatever it is you want them to do, it needs to be right there on the front page. Everything should lead right into that action, like a funnel.