Styles in web design move as fast as fashion trends. In late 2016, web traffic on mobile devices surpassed desktop traffic for the first time in history. If you haven’t had a website refresh in at least the last two years, you’ve likely fallen behind some critical trends. Even a website that has been out of date for a few years might seem good enough. But to clients and users who are used to the look and feel of the latest apps and sites, you may appear outdated!

Below are ten telltale signs that you’re in need of a website refresh.

1. Your Site Looks Worse On Mobile Devices

Does your site seem unrecognizable on a phone or tablet? That’s because you need an entirely different layer of coding than you did five years ago just to fit your content on a smaller screen. If you haven’t updated for mobile devices, you’ve definitely fallen behind. Mobile responsive web design means more than just fitting your existing site onto a smaller screen. It can also entail stripping down your content to something manageable for users on the go. If your product offers hundreds of different options and details for clients to pour over, you might need to limit what you can offer on a mobile platform. You want your clients leaving your site happy and ready to come back, not frustrated and moving on to another mobile site.

2. Slow Load Times

Does your site have lots of big HD images, animation, gifs and video to load on one page? This can get in the way of user experience and keep visitors from getting what you have to offer. You need to restructure your site, so users who need to see images aren’t waiting on irrelevant video content to load.

3. Decrease In Traffic

Do your metrics show a decrease in growth over time? If web traffic to your site has gone down, you need to analyze the market and see what other sites are offering. If you’re offering the same hot and trendy product that your competitors have, maybe you need help with Search Engine Optimization. A website refresh can embed these keywords into your code so that when people search for that keyword, you show up as one of the top results.

4. You’re Reluctant to Share Your Site

When people ask for your site, do you add the caveat “It’s sort of old” or “It really needs to be updated”? That’s no good for anyone. Not only have you sold your site short, but you’ve admitted that there’s a problem you haven’t fixed. If this is the case, you definitely need a website refresh. You should be giving out your URL confidently, sure that you’ve got what your visitors are looking for.

5. Blog Posts Are Ancient

If your site includes a blog, your posts should never be more than a couple of months old. Blog posts that are a couple of months old can signal to a user that you might be away working on a project that you just haven’t gotten around to updating them on. Blog posts that are approaching a year-old will have visitors ask why you haven’t updated them this “big project” they assumed you were working on. Stay fresh and stay in touch.

6. You Don’t Show Up On The First Page Of Search Results

How often do you Google yourself? You should do it often and proudly. If your site shows up on the second or third page of results, you need some help with SEO. Local visitors are going to have a tough time getting what they need from you. Likely your competitors have updated their SEO with current content, offering the most relevant products. If you want to compete, your website refresh has to include good SEO content and keywords.

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7. Are You Socially Connected?

How are your social media numbers? Do your Twitter and Facebook profiles all go back to your site? Does your site include icons for all of your social media accounts? Social media is becoming the top tool for driving sales and traffic to sites. A website refresh can get you connected to all of the channels where your potential clientele is. If you’re not on social media, you can trust that your competitors are there.

8. Do You Have Calls To Action

A call to action is a marketing technique to get a response from visitors. You want users to know you’ve got things to offer them, so you need to entice them to sign up for your mailing list or follow you on social media. A well-designed button on your front page can drive traffic to all of the places where you need it.

9. You’re Inundated With Spam

If you’ve got user information stored in your database, you need to be diligent about getting a regular website refresh. Spam emails or notices of a threat of attack to your server can alienate your customers or, worse, lead to a lawsuit. Web security is important to your users, and it should be as important to you. Users will appreciate that you’ve taken their data into account and remain repeat visitors to your site.

10. Visitors Have Technical Issues

Do you get emails from users complaining about issues with usage? Perhaps customers are trying to purchase your products and receiving errors. They could be trying to email technical support but getting the email address of an employee who is long gone. For every message you get about a technical issue, there are countless visitors who’ve encountered that issue and moved on. Make a list of all of the technical issues that users have brought to you so that when it’s time for a website refresh, you never lose another visitor because of that issue again.

Everyone Needs a Website Refresh

There isn’t a single website that doesn’t need to be regularly refreshed. For every update to a major enterprise site, you can bet there are dozens of developers working on the very next set of fixes. The same goes for small- to medium-sized sites. If you find yourself in need of help redesigning your site, contact us for a consultation. Good design can have an impact on your success in search results. We can help point you in the right direction and get your site climbing to the top of search results in no time!

Does Your Website Need an Updated Design?

by Stephen Gagnon

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