How Outdated Website Design Is Negatively Affecting Your Business

If your website is the backbone of your business - then why not prioritise it and keep it up to date with the latest platform updates and engaging content about your brand?

Your website should reflect the rapidly changing media trends that the economy, global markets and everyday consumers are experiencing. The average website needs major updating of its platform, function, and design, every 3-5 years.

As a creative digital agency we continuously come across websites with content and functionality that don’t reflect the advancements of digital media in 2022. A website experience needs to be memorable, showcase your brand identity and continue to attract the right clients to help expand your business.

We know it starts by understanding your client's journey from search to engagement and conversion. But if there’s inconsistencies between your brand presence offline and online, you’re likely to notice a lack of client engagement, retention and expansion. All things you want to avoid while establishing your presence in the eCommerce space.

So with that said if you haven’t updated your website in a while, here’s some tips on where to start. 

Read 7 of the latest website trends here

Website Design & User Experience

Is your website driving more people away than it's attracting? It's surprising how many little things can turn your customers away from your website - before they've had a chance to discover all the advantages your business has to offer. eCommerce industry research suggests that 90% of consumers will not buy from SMB websites that appear outdated or neglected. 

An outdated website reflects a business disengaged with the wants and needs of its clientele by leaving them with a poor experience. Particularly in an era where eCommerce is thriving, making sure your website continues to stand out is a necessity.

You need a competitive advantage that speaks to your clients before they see the product.

Content - trending imagery adjacent to your brand, engaging and informative video content, cohesive colour schemes and design function, and relevant blogs and FAQs. 

Aesthetics - this is where you make your first impression for your brand and business and where your user can visually connect to your products. Your website should reflect that of your brand book in terms of aesthetics. The website should have a sense of continuity in colours, fonts and images. This aesthetic should also correlate with how the brand presents itself offline too. 

UX / Navigation - how your user interacts with your website, the customer journey and final conversion action is the paramount reason for updating your website. Buttons, links, interactive features, check out procedures - anything that causes friction in the conversion process needs to be addressed. Drop off rates should be carefully observed and processes addressed and corrected.

Technology Speed & Functionality - Google suggests two seconds is the threshold for eCommerce website page speed acceptability. Google says we should be aiming at under a half-second. Your site speed, web apps, and other site technology need to be powered up to their full potential. Users will no longer tolerate the long loading and processing times. You need to shore up your processes, checkouts and conversions for fast seamless transactions.

Search - you need to be visible in Search platforms, use SEO for organic search, exceptional content, schema mark-up, and update your metadata and content often to provide relevant information to your users. Many sites that are over 3 years old have no metadata or schema present, and it's easy to fall through the cracks without these strategies in place. 

100% Responsive - Mobile First Design - we’ll talk about this until we’re blue in the face. Your website MUST be fully responsive and mobile-friendly. We do almost everything on our phones and by having clients be able to reach your website at a more user friendly and convenient level, the gap between your business and consumers grows smaller and sales grow bigger.


“GLOBALLY, 68.1% OF ALL WEBSITE VISITS IN 2020 CAME FROM MOBILE DEVICES—AN INCREASE FROM 63.3% IN 2019” (SOURCE)

 

The truth is - if your business isn't optimised for mobile you are losing conversions.

100% Responsive design, images, AMP Pages (speed), and site assets will all help your customers stay on your site and make the conversion you are looking for.

Website Security

Your website is vulnerable if you haven’t been regularly patched and applied security updates through hosting, web platforms, and CMS. It’s a worthwhile effort to benefit ratio if your website is hacked, subject to DDOS attack or goes down without a backup. 

Statistically speaking - it's only a matter of time.

 Here is the very minimum of what you need to be doing to maintain a secure environment and protect your online business:

Using HTTPS with an SSL Certificate - This is an added layer of encryption between your server and the user and a non-negotiable for Google Search rankings.

Software updates - Performing regular software updates, maintenance, and platform security patches. Don’t ignore those update notifications till it’s too late. 

Cloud and VPS servers - when your business is ready to grow and move from a shared server environment, these 2 options will allow you to scale with more flexibility and security. 

2FA and passwords - Most online platforms now require a longer more complex password including symbols, numbers, capitals and minimum length. Better still is implementing a two-factor authenticator like Google Authenticator. It’s that simple extra step that will truly secure your logins.

Browsing and antivirus - Viruses and malware are still out there and even the biggest institutions are still vulnerable. Educate your employees, invest in antiviral digital protection, and stay vigilant towards any emails or texts from unknown sources. 

Your website on Google 

Your appearance on any of the major platforms, search engines or browsers corresponds to the effort, relativity and budget afforded. When updating your website the backend deserves as much attention as the front end.

Organic Search Engine Optimisation

We go into this in further depth about SEO in this article but in summary, here are the top items you need to be concerned about.

Your website ranking is determined by website rank, URL age, backlinks, metadata, search relevance (bounce rate) and page speed. All of these factors will determine where and when your website is shown, how often, and in which position when someone is searching for keywords that you use in your website metadata. The better your site is optimised (SEO, site speed) and the more relevant and engaging the content (people stay for longer) the better your site will rank for organic searches.

Google's prime focus is to make sure that the user is getting the best websites showing the most relevant information. If your website is out of date and does not provide value to the user, then you are losing searches and business.

PPC Google Ads

We talk to clients about this every week. Get the content and conversion right, then launch your ads. Sending traffic to a website that has no clear call to action or purpose is throwing money into the wind. That traffic you are paying for is going nowhere. You need to have a VERY clear landing page that immediately tells the client what they are supposed to do.

Your Google Ads will be successful based on a combination of factors but mainly:

Page Rank = the quality of experience, relevance, and conversions created on your landing page.

Ad Quality - the quality, relevance and strength of your Ad copy.

Bid Strategy - how you are bidding for keywords, audiences, demographics, time of day, location, and placement. 

Modernising your content, providing relevant information around intent, and a great experience to your users will help you drive your paid and organic traffic to the conversions that you need to grow your business.

Many start-up businesses think it's more important just to get something up and online quickly as opposed to taking time to plan a website launch that is most mutually beneficial to both the company and client. Alternatively, many well-established businesses don't take the time to make sure their website stays in line with their brand’s key values, and instead often find their online presence no longer reflects their mission statement. 

To ‘future-proof’ your brand, you need to align your assets and activities with future growth in mind. Without doing so, you're limiting your businesses ability to quickly adapt to new technology trends, user experience losing consumers to your competitors.

Other important aspects a business should focus on is completing regular reviews of its website and surrounding online activities to determine if alternative or new technologies could further enhance its online presence.

Above all, businesses who re-assess their current website and decide to refresh or even start from the ground up, can rely on improved site performance, features and functionalities that provide a more personalised experience. You are more likely to convert your leads, better ROI, and more sales. And let's face it - that's why we're all here - right?

If you're ready to learn how to improve your website performance - or thinking about a website refresh, reach out to our digital agency Melbourne creative team, we'd love to hear from you.

 

Book a website strategy session today