If you have a business website, you probably want it to show up high on Google’s Search results. Even more important, you probably want it to attract customers. Before tearing your hair out trying to optimize your old website, no matter how much you paid for it, it might be time for a new one. Here are some questions to ask:
- Are you mobile friendly?
This is probably the most important question you can ask about your website. More people are looking at websites on mobile devices than on desktops. Google has announced that it may not display non-mobile friendly websites in mobile search results. While you could keep the old site and add a separate mobile site, there is a cost involved with the mobile site. You will likely have to pay for a new domain name and a hosting fee. Fresh content, so important to Google, will be more difficult when you have to update two sites. Since Google punishes “duplicate content,” there is a risk when adding the same content to a mobile and traditional website.
- Are you annoying your viewers?
If you still have audio or video features that start playing by themselves, most people will be annoyed, especially if your audio begins playing when they open your website at work or other quiet environments. Pop-ups that jump around while someone is trying to read your content are also annoying and no longer in vogue. Wall-to-wall type with no images can also be a huge turn-off for viewers.
- Does Your Website still use Flash elements?
There was a time when Flash was a great way to add movement and interest to a website. That time has passed. Apple will not even display Flash on their mobile devices, Google has banned Flash from its ads. Websites that use Flash open slower. Google cannot “see” elements enclosed in Flash, which can hurt your SEO.
- Does Your Website look dated?
Your Website is your virtual storefront. Would you keep outdated items in your store window? People are far more likely to stay on your page if it looks “cutting edge” and modern. Today, simplicity and minimalism are the trends. Some 2015 design trends include large headers, flat design, parallax scrolling and the use of storytelling in words and images. Here is an article about 2015 Web Design Trends. If your site looks like it is stuck in 2010, your viewers will notice.
- Have You Kept Your Website Code Up to Date?
As browsers have evolved, so has website coding. Google knows how to “read” code. If you are using antiquated code to accomplish the “look” of your website, you will see a drop in your page rank. For example, if your website still uses tables to define text boxes, you should consider an immediate update. Animations and reactive elements should be accomplished with CSS3 and HTML5 instead of older coding techniques.
Finally, whether you opt for a new website or decide to keep your old one, consider adding new content – either on your current pages or by adding a blog. Google leaves no doubt that fresh content plays a key role in website rank, and customers are sending a very clear message that they want to see more (valuable) content in order to help them decide whether to consider your company as a supplier of their needs.