Importance of an Updated Website
Forward-thinking businesses looking to grow their brand image, sales, and website ranking must stay ahead of trends and always be looking for opportunities to enhance their brand’s perception.
Whether you’re a small, independent business or a global brand that’s transformed into a household name, there’s one thing that you have in common – you both need a website.
But often in times, just having a website isn’t enough to rival your competitors, especially if it’s in serious need of an update.
You may be wondering how often should you update your website, and the simple answer is as often as it’s needed.
How do I know if I need to update my website?
More and more, search engines, like Google, are evolving their algorithms to prioritise websites with the best user experience in their search engine results pages (SERPs).
Without an optimised and updated website, you run the risk of losing existing SERP rankings, diminishing your brand visibility, and receiving less organic traffic.
Fortunately, an updated website is a great way of avoiding all of the above. Not only that, but it’s an excellent way of showcasing how your brand has evolved and fits within the modern business world.
That’s why we’ve crafted a list of the 13 most important signs that you need a website update.
So, without further ado, let’s get into it:
Inc Studio’s 13 reasons why your company may need a website update are:
- Your website looks like it was made in the 90s
- Design doesn’t match your brand
- More than two years since the homepage was last updated
- Stagnant or declining web traffic and leads (especially compared to your competition)
- Poor user experience
- Your website isn’t mobile friendly
- Takes far too long to load
- There is an inconsistent tone across the site
- Not optimised for SEO
- You haven’t uploaded new content in months
- Google Core Web Vitals criteria aren’t being met
- High bounce rate
- Your site is full of outdated images
1) Your website looks like it was made in the 90s
One of the most common and glaring issues we come across is websites that look nearly three decades out of date.
A website that looks like it was made in the late 1990s is going to reflect very poorly on your business as a whole.
After all, your website is often the first point of contact between you and a potential customer, so you need to make sure that the first impression is a good one.
By refusing to update your site, you could run the risk of making your business look out-of-touch, old-fashioned and unprofessional.
Considering that more than 75% of users judge a business’s credibility through its web design, this is something you really can’t afford to ignore.
So, if your website’s visual design is looking like it’s been pulled straight out of an episode of Friends, it’s time for an update.
2) Design doesn’t match your brand
Following on from our first point, the look of your website should be in line with your business’s branding.
After all, your website is an extension of your brand, so it’s important that the two are in sync.
If your website’s design doesn’t reflect the rest of your branding (such as your logo, marketing materials, etc.), then it’s going to create a disconnect for potential customers and disrupt your brand consistency.
3) More than two years since the homepage was last updated
Did you know that it takes about 50 milliseconds for a user to form an opinion about your website?
This quickfire opinion dictates whether users stay on your site or leave, so you need to get your homepage design right.
Ideally, you should be making regular changes to your homepage – at least once every couple of months for minor changes.
However, after one or two years, a full website revamp can help your company stand out from your competitors and give customers a far better user experience (but more on that in a little bit).
4) Stagnant or declining web traffic and leads (especially compared to your competition)
While we’re talking about your competition, we must highlight the edge an updated website can give you over your competitors.
If your website is starting to see a decline in web traffic or website leads, especially compared to other businesses in the same field, then that’s a sign that you need to take action.
An updated website can help increase website traffic and generate more leads for your business – giving you a big advantage over any competitors who are stuck in the past.
But that’s not to say those businesses experiencing serious growth shouldn’t consider a website update.
Keeping your website fresh and updated can ensure that your business continues to attract new customers and leads, meaning that you stay at the top.
5) Poor user experience
Is your website engaging for users to use? Is it easily navigated? Does the website look unappealing?
These are all important questions you need to ask of your website to ensure that there isn’t a poor user experience.
If website users are struggling to navigate your website or find the information they need, then that’s a strong sign that your website has a poor UI/UX design (user interface and user experience) and needs an update.
Not only will a poor UX frustrate potential customers, but it could also lead them to your competitor’s website – where they’ll have a much better experience.
Updating your website’s design is a great way of offering customers an engaging UX, which could in turn transform into more leads and web traffic.
6) Your website isn’t mobile friendly
In today’s mobile-first world, website optimisation for mobile devices is essential.
Considering that 59.4% of all web traffic in 2022 came from mobile phones, it’s crucial that your website’s content is tailored for mobile users.
In fact, Google actually favours websites with responsive mobile-compatible designs when indexing websites for their first page rankings.
So, if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you could be losing out on a lot of website traffic (and potential customers).
7) Takes far too long to load
Did you know that website users expect pages to load in just two seconds?
And, if your website takes longer than three seconds to load, up to 40% of website visitors will abandon the page.
That’s a lot of potential customers!
There are a number of factors that can affect website loading times, such as website hosting, images, videos, third-party apps and website code.
An experienced web developer will be able to identify the issue and make the necessary changes to help improve your website’s loading times.
8) There is an inconsistent tone across the site
Your website should be an extension of your brand, so it’s important that there is a consistent tone and feel across the site.
If website visitors see inconsistency in the website’s design, messaging or even just the overall tone, they could get confused about what your business is all about.
Not only that, but website visitors could get the wrong idea about your target audience, products or services.
A website update can help ensure that there is a consistent tone across your website, which will in turn help website visitors understand your business better.
9) Not optimised for SEO
While creating a visually appealing website is a massive step forward for many businesses, without utilising an effective SEO strategy alongside the update you may find it hard to make a dent against your online competitors.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an integral part of any online business, whether they’re a small, independent company or a mammoth world beater.
While SEO is known as a commonly used style of writing, it’s actually much deeper than that.
There are a number of factors that go into SEO website design – making it an extremely important part of any website update.
Without a planned-out SEO strategy, potential customers could struggle to find your website on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) – even if it’s you that they’re looking for!
10) You haven’t uploaded new content in months
If your website has a blog, ensure that new and engaging content is regularly uploaded.
Not only will this keep website visitors coming back for more, but it could also help improve your website’s SEO.
When search engines crawl websites, they take note of new content – so if you’re uploading fresh blog posts on a regular basis, your website is likely to rank higher in the SERPs.
11) Google Core Web Vitals criteria aren’t being met
This is just a fancy way of saying that your analytics need to look good.
Your website’s Core Web Vitals report will show you how your page is performing, based on real-world usage data.
A Core Web Vitals report will show data from three metrics:
- URL performance, grouped by status (Good, Needs improvement, Poor)
- Metric types (Largest Contentful Paint, First Input Delay, Cumulative Layout Shift)
- URL groups (Groups of similar web pages)
Although these reports can be pretty complex when Core Vitals are met, users are 24% more likely to stay on the page, even before any content has even been painted.
12) High bounce rate
Following on from our last point, one key metric to keep an eye on is your website’s ‘bounce rate’.
This measures the percentage of website visitors who leave after only viewing one page of your website.
Ideally, you want your website’s bounce rate to be as low as possible.
A high website bounce rate could indicate that website visitors are landing on pages that aren’t relevant to their needs, which could in turn lead to them leaving your website altogether.
13) Your site is full of outdated images
The image choices on your website should be under scrutiny as the copy used to fill the page.
With studies showing that users spend almost six seconds looking at your website’s main image, it’s clear that your image choice plays a vital part towards your website’s success.
Your images should be engaging, relevant to your brand and align with the page’s message, otherwise, the user’s experience will be downgraded.
Although this is the last point on our list, it’s by no means to most unimportant.
There’s still so much more to updating a website
Thank you for reading our guide on how often you should update your website and its 13 signs.
While actively editing your website to meet our recommendations will massively improve your website’s performance, that’s not to call this a definitive list.
Truth be told, this list is only scratching the surface of issues that could lead to you needing to update your website.
There is a range of issues both online and offline that could seriously affect your ability to go toe to toe against your online competitors, such as broken links, outdated copyright data, and web browser compatibility (just to name a few).
Inc Studio is an ROI SEO, brand and website design company focused on taking businesses to the next level. To find out more about us, click the link.
To contact us with an inquiry, simply send us an email and let us know about your business!