Semalt Expert About Key Reasons Why Your Website Needs Upgrading

Years ago I had asked someone "in the field" to tell me in detail, why a website need to proceed with the upgrade. His answer was: does the one who owns the website love it? If not, you do not need any reason. He/she just has to make a new one, to love it.

The years have passed since then and the requirements have changed dramatically. Even if you love your website, keep reading this article. You will probably find that for your own website, it is time for a radical upgrade.

Gone are the days when it was enough to have a website. Internet users are more "wanted", selective, with many brands and companies competing for their attention. Therefore, it is essential to keep your website up to date with the latest design trends, technological developments, and the needs of search engines.

Not sure if your website is in urgent need of a facelift? Here are 10 reasons why you might need an upgrade!

1. It has no design that makes it stand out

The first impression on the gift is the wrapper, while a book is chosen for its cover. Similarly, on a site, the user will only progress to its content if the first 3 seconds have been gained from its appearance.

Is your website like everything else, does it not have something to make it stand out at first glance? to be unforgettable, to stay ahead of the competition? A fresh look for your website can make a unique impression.

Let's not forget, nothing shouts more "successful, modern business!" from a polished showcase with fresh content. Make sure you stay ahead of the game and give your followers a reason to talk about your site. It's a good way to turn both them and those who will hear about you into your customers.

2. It does not reflect the brand of your business

This has two parts.

First of all, in the webspace, every professional type has created its own image. A school has a different web design than a doctor's office. Blogs have a specific pattern, while a fashion page can "shout" from afar what it promotes without even reading any line of text on it. Does your page have a general, indefinite design that belongs nowhere? or does it, even worse, look like something completely different from what it is?

Secondly. Your page promotes your business 24 hours a day in the internet world. If you have recently changed the aesthetics of your company, have improved your brand or your physical space, if you have generally evolved over the last few years, then your website should follow this change as well. Otherwise, you run the risk of attracting the wrong potential customers, who would follow the old pattern of your business.
This brings us to the next reason.

3. You do not attract the right customers

You know that you have put yourself in the market right when you first answer the questions about what kind of customers you want. What do you do, what do you sell, so what do you want them to ask of you? If from the phone calls or the messages you receive, you encounter requirements that you can not meet, then the website gives you the wrong picture of your business.

The golden rule is to define your work precisely and present it clearly. Check both the content of your website and the photos you present, mainly on your Home page but also inside the site. Subtract the type of work (services, products) you do not and will not do in the future, and include new work that may not be so obvious on your site.

Lastly, make sure all your content is consistent, including colours, images, icons, fonts, etc.…

4. Outdated issues, outdated technologies?

The site is not like a good old wine.

It has happened to me more than once, customers ask me that their page does not have a responsive design (yes, you read that right). It does not adapt to mobile devices according to the modern requirements of Google, according to how new users (and the buying public) are used to seeing the pages on their mobile phones. But to display on the mobile, for example, the whole page in thumbnail, and the user to zoom in on it to see what he/she wants or to comfortably click on the image or button he /she wants.

Simply put, it has the look of a decade ago.

I know this need, from personal experience. The first page I made in the middle of the last decade had such a format. And because it was beautiful, I enjoyed seeing it like that when smart devices appeared, even through them. However, we can write dozens of paragraphs about the reasons why a modern website should follow the new technologies. Responsive design is one of them, and we will see it in detail in the next section.

5. Not mobile-friendly?

In 2022, such a thing will probably not happen. But if you do not have a mobile-friendly website, start looking for a new topic with which you will update it, immediately after reading the article. Or, contact us to suggest topics that suit your business.

It is worth clarifying something that is not often written, namely the difference between the following concepts: that of the website with responsive design and that of the mobile-friendly website. Let's be clear that the former does not necessarily mean the latter. We saw in the previous section that google can detect errors in a website with responsive design, classifying it as a non-mobile-friendly website.

The latest trends in friendly design include modern code. Automatically adjusting its appearance is just one of their functions. Another is to make sure that some parts of the page are gradually loaded, in order to improve its response speed. They take into account the touch screen function, so that it is clear what the response will be to each tap of the screen, so that the error - common on many websites - does not appear: "clickable items are too close together".

60% of searches are now done via mobile. Most likely, the first interaction that users will have with your website will be on mobile. The first image that we will give them and the first experience of use must be unique for them.

6. Is your website slow to load?

The user has left the site since he/she has not seen a response in the first 3 seconds. The loading speed of a page is one of the most important things to watch out for.

Our goal is to get content first for less than 1 second, with a total page load time of less than 5. If you're not sure how fast your site loads, use the right metrics for the job.

Several online tools can give us the speed of loading our page. The Dedicated SEO Dashboard for example gives additional information on what we can do to correct it. Bad results mean you have a job. The slow loading speed can be caused by various reasons: heavy images, poor hosting, non-minimization of JavaScript, etc.…

7. High abandonment rate

You have obviously linked your website to Google analytics. Thus, you track both the number of your visitors and the page views, as well as the browsing they do within it. You may have invested in a good SEO or you may have advertising campaigns that pay off, having satisfactory traffic to your site. But if the dropout rate is high, then you have a problem. You lose a lot of potential customers.

The bounce rate results from users who visit a single page of your site, through a channel, and do not interact with it or continue browsing other pages, but leave the site. This is perfectly normal if you have a blog site or a news page. But if your website displays your services, and the user has not browsed it beyond the original, then something is wrong.

Depending on the type of site you have, an abandonment rate of between 40-60% is normal. From there, it's a sign that your page needs reorganization. The first image you give to the visitor is not attractive, and this can be due to many factors. 

8. Security

Let's start with the truth.

Any website, even if it belongs to the strongest credit institution or the strongest information service, can be hacked. There is no way to protect anyone if they are targeted by a "professional" hacker.

What we can see here, however, is how we can protect our page from the random developer who knows some basic principles for websites. And also, how can we protect ourselves from mistakes that we may have made ourselves.

Many website owners build a site and leave it to chance. By this I do not mean that they do not use it, do not advertise it, or do not interact with visitors through it, but the fact that they have not thought (or decided?) to do some basic steps to maintain it.

Getting regular backups from our site is a routine we need to get used to. If we can not do it ourselves, we should make sure it is done either through our manufacturer or the company that has undertaken its hosting.

Update the version of WordPress you use. It is a key element for your security, and the search for old versions, for which the existing errors have been published, are the first steps taken by the would-be hacker who wants to be "trained" in whatever it is that he/she wants to do. We take care to inform - with care! - and WP itself, but also consider the theme or add-ons that are installed on our page.

There are still several steps we can take to provide additional security to our website. For now, let's keep the following: that the older the technology of our page, the bigger - and widely known to the "experts"! - are the security gaps it may have.

9. SEO

In the SEO of a website we often refer to our site, so we will not say much here. Older websites may not even have an SEO design. Or have a satisfactory SEO for their time, which today, however, is not only obsolete but still problematic. Some of the actions that were necessary three years ago on a website today are unnecessary, while others, such as the introduction of meta-keywords, consecutive links or the constant repetition of keywords that do not correspond to the rest of the content, lead Google to drop our page in the low positions of the search engines.

The content of a 2-year-old or older website must be redesigned and rewritten from scratch.

Let's know one more thing. Google loves new content. Every time you make an update on your website, the search engines detect it. They index it and recalculate your page rank. Keeping your content up to date and in good quality increases your chances of getting ranked. Make sure the content you put in each time responds to users' searches, and you will see your new articles or new subpages appear more and more often in searches.

10. Are Calls to Action necessary?

Of course, they are.

Calls to Action are sections of the website that invite its visitor to a specific action. It could be a "Buy Now" button or a contact form with the majestic "Contact Us!" But it's not just that.

A Call to Action must be placed strategically, keeping the user interested by breaking the monotony of the text. It may urge them to take action, or invite them to proceed with a certain content of our website. It could be something like this:

Need more information?

Contact us! Send us your website and we will give you a free analysis of the points you need to upgrade!

With different tools like Semalt's Dedicated SEO Dashboard, we can achieve the same or different results. We can use a hover box, or a content box, maybe a blockquote to highlight a different part of our text. What we will use each time, depends on the aesthetics we want to give but also on what we want to achieve.

If your current site is limited to Call to Actions, incorporate such areas into selected locations. If your theme does not allow such adjustments, you have just seen another reason why you might want to upgrade.

Do not let your guests wonder what to do next! Give them the message you want, in a subtle and aesthetic way. And watch your page conversions increase.