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Why your website needs to grow up and get a life

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Hands up if you put your website up more than five years ago and left it there?

How’s it look now? Has it stood the test of time? Are the content and images still relevant?

Oops, no Facebook Icon.  No link to your Twitter Account. No video, e-commerce, simple secure payment options. Now check out your competitors, especially if they’ve recently come online.

You’ll find that your opposition has made the most of the progress made in web development and thinking in the past five years. Even one year ago we could never have imaged the influence that Facebook would have on businesses as a means of attracting clients.

Back to your site. You might have been told not to have too include too many graphics or flash because it was slow to load and too annoying. Not any more. Faster broadband and quick loading systems on computers have now consigned these myths to the bin. Gen Y and Gen X love color and movement, graphics and videos.

You were probably told not to include too much text because people don’t read much online. Wrong again. Apart from the fact that people are reading whole books and newspapers online, a well written website that has all the information (and keywords) your customers need means they will stay on your site.

You were probably told not to fiddle with the site too much because any changes would be expensive, time-consuming and you’d lose your ranking in Google. Wrong again. Firstly, the growth in web design and development means that web companies are keen for your business. It is cheaper now to get a good website with all the bells and whistles than it was five years ago. Secondly, search engines eat up new content, love it and index it. If there’s nothing worth coming back for why would a search engine, or a paying customer, bother to return to your site. Get a blog, update it regularly, make it interesting and they will come.

Look at your graphics – are they as fresh and lively as they could be? Don’t start again because your logo and graphic are important to your branding and offline corporate image. But can you make it more contemporary?

And finally, your content. It would be surprising if your content was still as relevant today as it was five years ago. Surely there have been changes in your business that need to be communicated?  Expansion, new staff, new products, new services…giving your content a complete makeover is a quick and easy way to refresh and update your site.

So if your site has hit its peak in traffic, drops in ranking, fails to convert customers like it used to or you’re facing new competition, look at giving your website the upgrade it needs.

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