Having an updated site is a huge part of giving users the ultimate user experience. For instance, your site users can’t enjoy using your site if the pages load slowly because of outdated features in your site. Also, unresponsive sites are downright outdated since they aren’t up-to-date with the mobile devices most people are using today to access the internet. The importance of having an updated site can’t therefore be ignored. It is however important to note that many site owners have problems discovering whether or not their sites are outdated. Apart from the obvious clue revolving around visual designs, many site owners don’t really know how to identify a site that needs updating. If you happen to be one of those site owners, look no further. Below are top signs to look out for when you want to know if your site needs an updated.
1. Your site traffic doesn’t convert into sales
This is by far one of the most common and obvious ways to tell that your site needs a major update. An updated site usually has good user experience which results in sales since people can easily find and buy the goods or services they need from you via your site. In case you are getting lots of web traffic but you are still having problems making sales, it’s time for a major update on your site’s usability features. You can use tools like Google Analytics to trace the origin of the problem. It could be anything from slow site speeds to lack of effective checkout systems. Whatever the problem is, it has to do with outdated site features.
2. High bounce rates
Bounce rate refers to the number of visitors who enter a site and leave without viewing other pages. A high bounce rate is an obvious sign of an outdated site. Website users usually leave a site hurriedly without visiting other pages simply because they don’t find what they are looking for instantly. A high bounce rate is also a sign of bad user experience simply because users can’t leave a site that offers instant gratification i.e. you can find exactly what you are looking for in seconds. High bounce rates should prompt you to reconsider a major upgrade on your site’s first impression and usability. You should concentrate more on the pages that matter most i.e. home pages and product/service listing pages.
3. Slow speed
If you site takes too long to load, this is another obvious sign that you need an update. Slow site speed is one of the main reasons for bad user experience. No site user wants to waste their precious time waiting for a site to load fully. In fact, slow site speed is one of the main reasons for high bounce rates. Given the highly competitive nature of the internet, there is always another site capable of offering what your site offers. Internet users are therefore extremely impatient. You should consider shrinking image files, optimising browser caching etc. to increase your site’s speed.
4. It has become difficult to update your site yourself
Technological advancements have made it possible to do things which were once reserved for specialists i.e. designing and updating websites. If your site has updated features, there should be no reason why you should hire someone else to do basic updates. Content management systems solve simple site update problems. With a good content management system (CMS), you can be able to do basic and complex site updates on your own by keeping complex functionality low and choosing the right theme for your site.
5. Your site isn’t responsive
As mentioned above, majority of internet users today are accessing the internet via mobile devices i.e. Smartphones and tablets. An unresponsive sites won’t allow users to access the site in its entirety using mobile devices. For instance, a Smartphone user may not be able to access some links in your site. Images may als be distorted. Responsive sites can be accessed perfectly using any device capable of accessing the internet. You must therefore consider upgrading your site to an adaptive design to make it more responsive. It is important to note that you don’t need to create a separate mobile version of your site if your site is responsive. If your site isn’t responsive, it’s definitely time for an update.
6. No social media traffic/linkage
The importance of social media today can’t be overlooked given the fact that social media sites are second in rank after search engines when it comes to driving traffic to websites. The most popular social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ have over 1 billion active users on a daily basis. Social media traffic can’t therefore be ignored by any serious website owner looking to take advantage of everything available to them to establish competitive advantage. If your site doesn’t receive a sizeable chunk of traffic from social media websites, this is a clear sign that your site needs an update. Also, if you haven’t incorporated social media features i.e. Facebook and Twitter share and tweet buttons, your site is outdated. You need such features as well as business pages on social media sites to ensure you don’t lose out on valuable social media traffic.
7. No update/promotion features
Gone are the days when you could afford to set up a site without sign in features or features for sending your users news and promotional content. Including such features is one of the most effective ways of capturing majority of the leads that visit your site. If you’re operating a site which doesn’t have such features, you obviously need to update your site. Up-to-date sites have all the features needed to capture all leads. The sites also have features for frequently updating users on new things/promotions.
8. Old content
If your site still has content you created months or years back, you also need to update your site. You must work on creating fresh content frequently to ensure your site visitors are engaged at all times. Fresh content also ensures your site is optimized for search engines at all times. It doesn’t matter how insignificant the content might be to warrant a change. You must rewrite content in your site frequently creating new content where necessary to enhance user experience.
In summary, the above information highlights the most important and common signs to look out for when you want to know if your site is outdated. Although there may be other signs that can enhance the process further, the above signs are adequate enough to guide you on the right path.