Just last week, I was hoping to make a quick taco run for lunch at a new authentic Mexican place nearby. I’m a big fan of well-made carnitas tacos in particular, with the cilantro and onion! Hoping to check out the menu and scope out hours and prices, I looked up the restaurant on Google Maps, but quickly discovered that they didn’t have an updated website. No current menu. No price info. Not even a link to a Facebook page with photos.
I was bummed. How can I scope out this new spot, much less add it to my mental list of favorite places, if I can’t even get some basic info? Needless to say, I ended up grabbing lunch at one of the other places I was already familiar with.
Surprisingly, my experience isn’t unique. Nearly a third of small businesses don’t have a website at all. Meanwhile, a whopping 95% of businesses are running outdated software while others have antiquated designs.
Having a dinosaur site full of irrelevant content, broken links, and security holes is almost as bad for your business as not having a site at all, especially when the overwhelming majority of users don’t trust outdated websites. That means potential customers will gladly leave your antiquated page for a more modern and intuitive user experience.
The solution is simple: anticipate customer needs with an easy-to-use, updated website that looks great and works seamlessly. Our tech experts share their tips for keeping your site fresh and functional.
Signs It’s Time to Update Your Website
In today’s digitally saturated landscape, there’s very little excuse for subjecting your customers to sites with old-fashioned design and functionality. Younger users, especially, won’t even bother with a site that they won’t quickly load on their smartphone. Here’s how to tell it’s time for an updated website:
Be honest: how long does that little spinning wheel turn before your site loads? Why do you even have a spinning wheel (aka a “splash page”)? Splash pages are as outdated as slow-loading sites, which will hurt your Google ranking and encourage your customers to leave your page.
It’s Not Responsive
Responsiveness refers to how well a website scales to different screen sizes, browsers, and devices.
If a site looks gorgeous on your desktop computer but the moment a user opens it on a smartphone, headers are cut off, images are stuck in big blocks of text, or the whole thing just looks off, your website needs an intervention ASAP.
It’s Not Secure
If a site relies on old software or plugins that haven’t been updated in a long time, it’s vulnerable to hackers, data breaches, and cyberattacks.
It’s Hard to Navigate
One of the hallmarks of a website that is long past its prime is poor navigability. Pages with minimal color contrast that are cluttered with a bewildering mess of text and icons are a nightmare for users to navigate, especially if they’re using mobile devices (and most of your visitors are!).
It Has Expired Content
It’s astonishing how many websites feature outdated content. If your most recent blog post is from 4 years ago and you haven’t updated your contact info to include your newest hires or post-pandemic business hours, then you’re letting customers down.
If a website has plenty of visitors but no conversions, there’s a good chance that critical information is missing or hard to find, or that the content on your page is simply irrelevant or outdated.
Tips for a Fresh, Modern Website
Like trading in an old car for a new one, an updated website just feels fresh, invigorating, and ready to take you to awesome places! We suggest prioritizing the following features:
Especially important if your business has rebranded recently, brand consistency can do wonders for a website. Every design element, sentence, image, and function on your site should express the soul of your brand, creating a sense of familiarity and congruity in a customer’s mind. In simple terms, an updated website will hang together harmoniously.
For example, a silly and colorful animation might look inconsistent with black and white photos, while an overly wordy hero section can overwhelm a simple, minimalist page.
Modern, Clean Aesthetic
Decluttering isn’t just for your living room. A spacious, minimalist aesthetic is a great choice for websites. Not only does it look sleek and modern, but a streamlined site also helps your customers find what they’re looking for without having to pick through a jumbled wall of words and pictures.
Intuitive and Customer-Centric Design
Business leaders know that while getting customers to your website is a great place to start, it’s equally important that once they’re there, they feel comfortable and equipped to find what they’re looking for. Updated websites achieve that by emphasizing customer-centric design, meaning that it’s the user’s end goals that drive design decisions.
After all, when a potential customer lands on your site, it’s because they want to learn something or to do something, right? Whether they’re hoping to browse your products, book an appointment, or get in touch with your team, it should be obvious what buttons, links, or menu items they have to click in order to get the job done.
When exploring an updated website, ask yourself: is it easy to navigate, with every page, image, and video loading rapidly? After all, it’s frustrating to wait on a website that takes a long time to load or to hunt around for a drop-down menu.
The tech experts behind Buddy Web Design and Development suggest considering a one-page website design, precisely because it helps ensure a smooth browsing experience for your visitor. All the information visitors need is in one place as they follow a logical journey from being introduced to your business, to learning more about your product, to making a purchase or getting in touch.
Perhaps one of the quickest ways to spot a contemporary website is to check how mobile friendly it is. Fresh sites look great on all screen sizes and browsers and are just as quick and easy to navigate on a mobile device as on a PC.
From crisp, interesting images to optimized content that makes it easy to find your business, your website should be relevant and keep up with the latest user questions, needs, and trends.
Not only aesthetic trends, but also keywords, change all the time, and what your customers found important and were Googling a few years ago might be completely irrelevant to them today, especially since the pandemic changed so much about how we work, shop, and play.
Of course, it should go without saying that it’s essential to keep your contact information up to date. We’re saying it anyway because, obvious as this is, too many business sites forget to update their contact info, resulting in a loss of customer trust.
An Expertly Designed Website Speaks for Itself
Trends may come and go, but quality leaves a lasting mark. That’s why the talented team at Buddy Web Design and Development takes their work so seriously, consistently delivering superior websites for clients across multiple industries. If you think it’s time for an updated website for your business, we’ll be glad to hear from you here, and you can explore our work here.