The abbreviation SWOT comes from four English words – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. What is a SWOT analysis in business? In practice, it is basically an analysis of your business considering the above-mentioned aspects.
Nowadays, no company can function without a website. It is a very important element of any marketing strategy that also serves a business card of a given brand. It contains all the most crucial information about the company and its offer. However, many companies do not pay much attention to their websites. This is against the rules of how digital presence should be treated. The website should look appropriate and contain all the necessary elements. In addition, as time passes, the website might start looking out of date. Why is having a good website so important, and how does it hurt business when it is old? How do I know that an outdated website needs renewal?
How can a website impact your business?
It is not an exaggeration to state that in today’s market business online presence is mandatory. A website functions as the company’s best showpiece. How customers’ see the firm’s website translates into their overall perception of the brand. Therefore, the website should be functional, easy to use, intuitive and in line with current standards and contemporary, modern design. Such a website will demonstrate the professionalism of the company and its knowledgeability in providing the best customer experience. On the website, clients should be able to find all the information they are looking for with ease, as well as familiarize themselves with the firm’s offer. What is more, website visitors should have easy access to contact with the business in order to ask any questions or place an order.
The most important part here is the home page, which usually also functions as the so-called landing page. What is it? It is the place where users end up after clicking on a link, e.g., on social media or in Google search results. You need to remember that the first impression is generated the very second the user enters the website, so its neat and organized design is essential. In order for the user to stay on it longer and form a positive opinion about the company, it is necessary to provide appropriate materials on it. The content on the website is also important in terms of positioning in the search engine. A properly designed website definitely increases the prestige of a given brand, making it more recognizable and competitive.
This also makes it easier to attract new customers or stand out from the competition. In addition, it inspires trust and encourages clients who have already used its products or services to stay with the company. Why? Many people believe that there is no point in looking for something else if they are satisfied with the services or products they are already using. For the owner, the website is an attractive form of advertising, and for the user, a source of easy to access information.
What should a functional website be like?
A good website should consist of a few basic elements. First of all, it must contain all information about the company – its history, mission, contact and address details along with a map and information on how to get to its physical stores or headquarters and sometimes even insights on the owner and employees. Secondly, the website must contain information about products or services. Descriptions should be written in the language of benefits and encourage customers to order. It is also worth describing the production method or different stages of providing a service, as well as sharing a price list. In addition to the content, photos are also important, as they not only enrich the website, but also showcase the product that cannot be closely reviewed in person before buying.
Another crucial element of the website is the so-called USP, i.e., unique selling proposition. It can be a value, in the form of a slogan, displayed on the home page, which draws the attention of customers immediately after entering the website and distinguishes the firm from the competition. Elements that inspire customers’ trust are also extremely important. These include information about the company’s experience, completed projects, successes, awards or certificates confirming quality. It is also worth adding a section with the logos of companies that have already used your products or services.
Lastly, remember that your website should not only look good but also be user-friendly, intuitive and easy to use. It should have a legible menu that allows you to quickly find specific subpages. Make sure that everything is arranged in such a way that the website is neat and every important element is visible.
Outdated website – why can it hurt your business?
Not only the presence of all the most essential elements and the overall design of the site are important. It must not be forgotten that the website must also be up-to-date at all times. Many entrepreneurs create their websites and stop there. This is a huge mistake. A website cannot be “dead” if you want to create a loyal and active community. It is worth noting that software on our computers or applications on smartphones undergo regular updates. Their providers implement new elements from time to time because otherwise they would not work smoothly. People change the way their business cards and company logos look from time to time, so you should take care of your website as well. Remember that nowadays Internet users are very demanding. We live in dynamic times, nobody likes stagnation, so everything is looked at with reference to movement.
The page updates involve both refreshing the content and the back-end infrastructure. There will come a time when you want to change your logo, enrich the ways of communication between your company and clients, extend or improve the range of your products. You might want to take some action when you complete a new project, notice new marketing opportunities, gain new achievements or work with an important client. It is essential to update the page and include this type of information on it. It will be a sign for customers that the company is operating, developing all the time, and not standing still – this will positively impact their trust. What is also relevant is the fact that you should not leave materials that are not evergreen content without updates. For example, laws are constantly changing, so articles about them need to be refreshed regularly so as not to mislead readers.
When it comes to the back-end, you cannot forget about updating the engine or plugins because they are responsible for users’ comfort and security of the website. The most common issue with every old website is that they do not work as they should, especially on mobile devices. This is also something to keep in mind if you already have a long-standing website. Nowadays, almost everyone uses the Internet on smaller screens. In order to look good and be comfortable to use websites need to be adjusted to mobile requirements. Thus, when updating your old site, it is necessary to make it mobile friendly.
6 Signs a website is outdated
How to know you have an outdated website? Your attention should be drawn to slow loading of the page or its illegibility. Familiarize yourself with the opinions of website users because they can report irregularities they noticed, such as long loading time, broken links or out-of-date information on a given topic. Constant negative feedback indicates poor user experience. In such a situation you need to react fast and get rid of the problem. The website visitors will definitely appreciate that you did not ignore their comments – keep in mind that customers might never come back if you decide to do nothing. Lastly, remember that signs indicating that it is necessary to update the website can be seen not only on the website, but also, above all, in the website statistics.
Signs a website is outdated
1. The website is not displayed correctly on mobile devices
You should still meet the trends and adapt the website in such a way that it follows certain guidelines. Of course, visitors should also be able to use it easily. According to data published by GlobalWebIndex, mobile phone traffic currently accounts for more than half of the time spent online (50.1%). Data from Statcounter shows that approximately 53% of all website visits come from mobile phones, while computers account for 44% of the total.
The percentage of users who browse the Internet from mobile devices is constantly growing. That is why adapting the way in which websites are displayed on smartphones is an important element of modern design. The best solution is RWD, i.e., a responsive web design that makes the website adapt to the screen resolution of each device. Responsive websites ensure the comfort of use on smaller electronic devices, i.e., adjusted to the smartphone screen. Mobile Friendly Test, provided by Google, is a tool that allows you to verify whether the website works properly. If it does not pass the test with positive results, this could be one of the signs you need a new website.
Long loading time
The website loading speed is a widely discussed topic. Google confirms that 53% of users will leave if a website takes more than three seconds to load. In addition, each extra second of mobile site delay reduces conversion by 20% (research conducted by SOASTA).
If you have a feeling that a page is loading too slow, use the Google PageSpeed Insight tool – https://pagespeed.web.dev/. It shows page performance scores on a scale of 1 to 100 and provides information on what causes site slowdown.
3. Outdated content and keyword inconsistency
Keywords are very important for positioning in search results. Pages that have not been updated for many months are less likely to have relevant and fresh information searched for by users. If you wrote an article about something a few years ago, and after this time you change it a bit, it may turn out that the keywords you used in the past may be different than those that are popular today. It is always a good idea to update your old content to make it relevant and aligned with your current vision.
4. Outdated web design
If you have not updated your website for a long time, take a look at the graphics, fonts and design again. What makes a website look outdated? Particular attention should be paid to such obsolete solutions as illegible fonts, old and unprofessional photos, and clipart or Flash animations.
When you are creating a new website, make sure it is as up-to-date as possible. If the designing phase takes a long time, it may turn out that it will not be modern and relevant from the get go. The trends are changing dynamically. Outdated web design will hold you back and make achieving the expected results harder. That is why it is worth checking it again before you create the website.
5. Older website = higher bounce rate
The bounce rate shows how many people visit and exit your website without taking any action. If both your old and current content have a high bounce rate, there may be something wrong with your content or keywords. However, if only older content has a high bounce rate, it means that it should be updated. It is worth checking whether the older content is optimized for mobile devices and SEO requirements. You should also check if it loads quickly and has valuable links. Make sure that your content contains up-to-date information. Remember, however, that keeping the bounce rate in check is not always that essential. It is extremely important if you want to sell products or take service orders through a website, but for read-only content, it is just moderately important. There are situations when a user reads the materials looking for certain information and if he finds out everything he wants to know, he is likely to exit the page without taking any action. In this case, a high bounce rate is not something you should be concerned about.
6. Low conversion and engagement rates
On the company’s website, you should focus mainly on encouraging users to interact with it and complete conversions. Ideally, they will react, comment on and share your content. What is even more important, they will eventually purchase your products, subscriptions and e-books, as well as order products or services. You should update older content if its conversion and engagement rates are low. Perhaps your content should have more incentives to convert, calls to action and links connecting older articles with the new ones or allowing users to get to pages with conversion actions.
Website updating – when and how?
Before you start making updates, especially the more advanced ones, remember to save a backup copy first, i.e., the so-called page backup. Thanks to this, you can easily go back to what it was in case something goes wrong. Even a small error in the code can break the website completely.
How often should you refresh the website? It depends on the nature of your business. It is worth taking a look at the most important competitors and how regularly they update their pages. There is definitely a need to make some changes if you notice the above-mentioned signs a website is outdated. Adding small updates regularly is usually enough. It is good to introduce them gradually in order to evaluate their efficiency.
Specialists responsible for creating and updating websites
You can create and update the website yourself, but specialists will handle it more skillfully. There are also website generators that seem like the simplest solution, but they are the worst way of tackling the process of building your online space. What you need is a good CMS tailored to your needs by specialists such as Nopio, which provides responsive web design services. In our offer you can also find consulting and design projects with a focus on user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). Keep in mind that designing and constructing the website are not the only tasks you can outsource to professionals. The specialists can also work on the website all the time conducting regular updates and maintenance. Nopio can also take care of website performance optimization, which is important but often overlooked. The best example of website updating done by Nopio is the creation of a new design and rebuild of the Erlang Solutions website. Click here to read more about that project. The website updating was related to the refreshment of the entire brand. Nopio’s experience and innovative, cutting edge solutions made it possible to complete the project fast and within the budget.
Outdated website – summary
Can a business be successful with an outdated website? The answer is easy: no, it cannot. Outdated websites not only perform worse, but also repel users. Therefore, regular updating is necessary.
The impact of website on business is enormous. You can lose a lot due to its malfunction. It is worth knowing what the signs of an outdated website are and keeping track of the statistics.