3 Killer signs your website is outdated

…and just how badly that can damage your business.

Hurray! Your new website is done and live, so now you can sit back and relax – just waiting for the results to roll in, right? Wrong! Truth is, the hard work is just beginning, and that is keeping your website current, engaging and running smoothly – all things that require attention on an ongoing basis.

Truth is, if people are looking for your products or services, the first place they look is online. This is great news! This means your website has the opportunity to WOW them (if it can be found, see my article If you build it, will they find it? for tips on this), as well as build credibility and reputation to lovingly nudge them over the line into becoming a client of yours. Where many sites fall down is; the attention span of people looking online is shorter than ever and if they arrive at your site to find that the information on there is out of date / hasn’t changed in months – or worse still, parts of the site aren’t even working (*shocked face*) – they’re not going to stick around.

But hey, you don’t have TIME to be constantly checking or updating your site – you have a business to run! Besides, (you tell yourself) it’s not that bad, nobody will really know if the information is out of date …will they?

To help you properly assess if it’s time you found some support for your site, let’s identify three easy things to look for in your website today, to tell you if it’s time you had some help with this:

Does it look great on your (new) mobile phone?

With new models being launched almost daily, it is hard to keep up with the demands of smaller / larger screens, high resolution / fast loading options for your website on every brand of mobile phone. But if you don’t have this regularly checked, you’ll be effectively alienating a huge swathe of early adopters – people who can’t wait to grab the latest technology to improve their lives. If your target audience includes young professionals, this is a particular concern for your site. A regular check will ensure your site stays up to date with the tech in their pocket and you stay in their mind as a company who moves with the times.

Has the technology moved on?

I’m no fan of change for the change’s sake, so we’re not talking about redesigning your site every six months because orange is so “in” right now! I’m talking about the nuts and bolts technology your website runs on. This can include plug-ins for your content management system – have they had an upgrade lately? If not, there’s a potential security hole in your bucket that may leave your website vulnerable to attack or even being hijacked altogether. Another thing to check is Google algorithm updates. When these change, you may need to make changes to your site just to maintain your existing visibility and position in the listings. If you aren’t checking these things regularly your site could not only be left behind, but could disappear altogether.

(This is the real killer) – Does your enquiry system actually work?

Be honest – when was the last time you actually went to your website and filled out the enquiry form / hit the Call Me Back button / sent yourself a message? Most clients of ours are simply (and understandably) far too busy to do this on a consistent basis, but without it you could be missing vital sales and enquiries. Testing needs to be carried out using an external email address ideally, and again, on a regular basis for true stability and peace of mind.

When I started my company many years ago, almost every client said they would “take care of” this aspect of ongoing care for their new website. I quickly learned that they just didn’t have time – and anyway why would they, when websites weren’t their area of expertise? That’s why we introduced our Maintenance & Support plans, to provide ongoing care and technical guidance for every website we built. 

The value of this was really brought home with one client who owned a small chain of hotels in the Cotswolds, each in a stunning setting and an absolute magnet for the wedding market. We created several sites for them, each designed to appeal to this specific target audience and each with an ongoing Maintenance & Support package to provide all of these with consistent, continuous monthly checks of all the key points above, plus carrying out any updates they required as we went. In one round of regular checks, we noticed that although the enquiry form was being submitted, nobody was replying. Further testing showed the enquiries were going to a specific email address at the hotel, which we could see was not being monitored. A quick call to the manager and some re-routing of their internal IT system and they avoided a very near miss of a £20k wedding booking enquiry who was about to go elsewhere as they hadn’t heard back!

This is the reason that regular reviews and testing of your website (pubic display and hidden tech / codes bits) is so vital to your ongoing success. Try not to think of it as yet another thing you have to do but something you can schedule as a regular, ongoing check that your website is visible and functional – because that’s what really delivers results for your business.

If you’d like to have a chat about outsourcing this for your website, reach out to us at www.fatpromotions.co.uk/contact and book a quick call to discuss your needs – we’ll be happy to help.

Want 5 easy ways to make more money using skills you already have? Grab your FREE copy of my eBook, Leverage Your Expertise Online, today: www.fatpromotions.co.uk/leverage and discover how to create new income streams by unlocking the hidden profit in your business through your website.