Is your business website outdated?

by Promotoon October 09, 2015

In the Art of War Sun Tzu said, “Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster”.

When it comes to your business and your competitors, do you know your own businesses website? Or to be more specific, do you know your own website and how terrible it looks compared to your competitors.

Even if you had a brand new website made less than two years ago, there is a good chance that it is already out of date. You may have invested a large amount of money into the cutting edge technology that was website design at the time, but two to three years later, there is a good chance that….. your website is out of date.

That is just the speed with which technology, usability and design are changing.

Search engines, such as Google, made a decision earlier this year to change their search algorithm to now preference mobile friendly sites and punish websites that do not scale for different sized screens. This was a huge ‘official’ step in the mobile revolution that has taken over the Internet and personal computing. No longer are old and outdated websites a preference in search results.

What does this mean for you as a Perth business owner? If your website is not mobile-friendly, then when people search for your industry, products or services, your website will appear lower on mobile search results compared to your competitors who do have mobile friendly websites. That means that customers will be visiting your competitors sites before yours.

Do not fret though, this could be a great chance for you to get one up on your competitors if they too are late to the game.

If you want to check to see if your business website is mobile friendly and has a responsive design you can use Google’s free mobile friendly test. All you need to do is enter your business websites domain name and it will tell you if your website is mobile friendly or not. If not it will present you with a list of things that need to be fixed on your site.

So now that we have addressed the mobile friendly issue, we need to have a little chat about website design.

If your site is not mobile-friendly, there is also a chance that it is not current with website design best practices. What does this mean?

Your website probably looks a little dated.

Have a look at your own businesses website and take your business owner glasses off for a second to think about your website as if you were a customer looking at it for the first time. This can be hard to do because your website and your business is your baby. Everyone loves their own babies, but no one is ever brave enough to tell a parent to their face that their baby is ugly. The same is probably true for your website!

What should you be looking for?

With an open mind, you want to firstly look at: Text, colour and spacing.

Modern websites have a simple easy to read font. If your website text is in Times New Roman or Comic Sans then it is definitely not going to be appealing to a first-time visitor. The font should be easily readable so that your online customers can quickly scan the information. Also keep the number of different sizes of you fonts limited. Larger font sizes should be used for the headings and a consistent, smaller font size should be used for the body of text.

The colour scheme of your website has an important influence of a visitors mood and first impressions of your business. Use three of four colours that work together and complement each other. Conflicting or bright offensive colours that are all over a page make a site look busy and confusing. If you are going to use a bold colour, use it sparingly and only for your Calls to Action (CTA’s).

The spacing and placement of information (text, images, videos) on the pages of your website is also important for ensuring that the design of your website is modern and appealing to online visitors. A website that has all its information presented in a cramped box layout is a clear indicator of a site that was designed a few years ago for a smaller less responsive computer screen.

A flat design is a modern web design acceptable best practice. This means that a website’s pages appear smooth with flat textures, solid colours and easily readable fonts. A “flat design” refers to a design without shadows or 3-D effects of any kind. A fat design also loads faster and is easier to read on mobile devices. If you currently have a lot of graphical elements on your website, these need to be simplified and flattened to make them scale more easily and load faster on the mobile version of your website.

In summary, website design is a fast moving train with acceptable website design principles constantly changing. Unfortunately for business owners, if you want your website to appear modern, current and relevant to today’s market, a one-off investment into web design is not going to be enough. This has been amplified by Google’s official algorithm change which now preferences websites that have a responsive design to meet the needs of consumers who are using their mobile devices more frequently to view web pages. If your website was made a few years ago, there is a very good chance that your site is not mobile-friendly and also appears a little dated.

Have an honest and open look at your own website and compare it to that of your competitors. If design principles are a bit beyond you, or you don’t have the time to dedicate to updating your website, seek out the help of a professional web designer to modernize the look and feel of your current website.

Your website is an employee that works 24/7 for your business. Invest in making if the best it can be so that your customers choose your business over your competitors.  Then once you have the best looking website, call a reputable Melbourne SEO company to get you more traffic!

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