Every business knows the importance of having a website. But based on the number of outdated websites we’ve come across, it appears far too many business owners overlook the importance of keeping their website current. It is not just the fact that an outdated website appears ‘out of date’. Following are four reasons why having an outdated website can hurt your business:
1. Instantly Hurts Your Company’s First Impression
Potential clients are researching your business or your services online before deciding who to hire or to purchase from.
A recent study performed by Microsoft Corporation revealed that the average human attention span is now 8 seconds.
If your website doesn’t grab a user’s attention in the first 8 seconds, they will click away. In those first 8 seconds, users have little time to read your home page – they are judging based on its visual appearance and their first impression of your website. If your website contains outdated images and content, is reminiscent of the style of the early 2000’s, or is not mobile-friendly (more on that below), it will instantly reflect poorly on your company. Users will have a negative opinion of how you run your business – they will think ‘if you don’t care about your company’s online image, or don’t care about your mobile users, than your service will be lacking as well’. It can turn a potential client away from you and towards your competition.
2. You Will Lose Mobile Users
I am always surprised to see how many websites STILL are not mobile-friendly. Consider these statistics:
- In 2015, 64% of all in-store sales, or sales to the tune of $2.2 trillion, were influenced by the internet
- 4 out of 5 consumers use a Smartphone to shop
- Wi-Fi and mobile-connected devices will generate 68% of all internet traffic by 2017
- Google says 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing, and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead
Mobile consumers can no longer be ignored. A website that is not responsive or mobile-friendly is losing 4 out of 5 potential online customers, and 64% potential in-store sales! Need we say more???
In addition, Google uses mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor. If your website is not mobile-friendly, it has likely been dropped in the SERPs (search engine results page.)
Current websites are designed to be responsive to various device sizes. That means they will conform to render properly on everything from mobile devices to ipads/notebooks to desktops. This allows you to service your potential clients online, regardless of the device they are using.
3. Your Website is Not Search Engine Optimized
Although search engines have become increasingly sophisticated, they’re still not able to understand a web page the same way a human can. On-page SEO includes several techniques implemented on web pages to assist search engines in deciphering and indexing your web pages properly. It provides your website with the necessary foundation for optimal search engine ranking.
Outdated websites are not built with current SEO methods, and so often do not rank as well as current websites, or sometimes do not rank at all (such as websites built with flash).
4. Get in Trouble With Google
Google has rolled out several updates recently, and penalties can be levied against websites with questionable SEO practices that may have been popular in the past. Some of these are:
- Keyword Stuffing. This is one of the easiest way to get dropped from SERP rankings. Adding a large volume of keywords in your content used to be a tactic that would increase your rankings in search results, but with abuse by spam and other low quality sites, the practice of using too many keywords can harm your rankings. Especially if the keywords are irrelevant or unrelated.
- Low-Quality Content. Quality content, according to Google, includes original, authoritative, meaningful content. Websites with little content, or content that is copied from other websites are considered low-quality and may be penalized by Google.
- Link Exchanging. Link exchanging is an old SEO tactic that can be hurting you today. While proper link building can be helpful, mass-linking to/from unrelated websites, as was common practice a few years ago, can result in Google penalties levied against your website.
If your website is outdated, it is possible that one or more of the above tactics were used on your website. If so, you need to update your website sooner rather than later.
What Are Your Next Steps?
Take a good look at your current website. If it hasn’t been updated in the last couple of years, it is likely time for a redesign.