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The Internet has completely changed the way that we go about our business and how we attempt to reach potential customers. No matter what industry you are in, you need to make sure you have a website that is engaging, informative, easy to use, and optimized for the search engine result pages, as well as mobile usage. The difficulty that business owners have today is the fact that the web does not remain stagnant. There are always new trends and developments that you are going to need to adapt to, otherwise, you run the risk of falling behind. With that being said, read on to discover some of the clear signs that your website is due an update.

Little or no social media integration – There is only one place to begin, and this is with social media. Social media marketing has become integral to business marketing plans today. Having social media share buttons is considered standard. If you find yourself making excuses or assuming that your sector is not social, you are behind the times and you need to update your website. Integrating your marketing efforts is the only way to ensure success in the digital age.

Your website is not optimized for mobile use – This is a big one. Did you know that mobile Internet use overtook desktop Internet use a couple of years ago? There really is no excuse for not having a responsive website in 2018. Your website needs to operate optimally no matter what device it is being viewed on. If a user enters your website via their mobile phone and it is difficult to view and some of the tabs don’t work, they are only going to leave your website and look elsewhere. Not only does this mean you have lost a potential customer, but it also increases your bounce rate and causes your search engine ranking to fall too.

You use stock photographs from Flickr and Pexels – What’s wrong with these websites you may be thinking? There is nothing wrong with them. The issue is their popularity. If you use free stock photos from these websites, you can be certain that they are going to be displayed on thousands and thousands of websites all over the world. This does nothing to distinguish your brand and give your website a unique feel. While there is nothing wrong with using free photos for your website, you need to make sure you find photographs that look original and are not splattered all over the Internet.

Too many Flash modules – Another sign that your website needs an update is if you are relying on Flash to power a number of different elements on it. This is especially the case seen as one of the most popular web browsers, Google Chrome, announced that it would no longer be supporting Flash. This means that if someone using Google Chrome tries to access your website they are going to see a collection of unsupported and empty Flash modules. If your site still uses Flash modules, you need to start phasing them out sooner rather than later.

Your website is slow to load – Gone are the days whereby search engine rankings were determined based on keywords and links alone. While these two elements are important, the user experience now plays a critical role. Load speed, therefore, is a vital ranking factor. The Internet is supposed to be about convenience. People do not want to wait around for a website to load. If your site is too slow, they will simply go elsewhere. This damages your search engine ranking on a two-fold basis. The slow speed already has a negative impact, and then the higher bounce rate makes this even worse. You can use one of the many free tools that are available today to determine whether your site is too slow or not. If it is, try deleting large media files to make some more space and speed up your site. Or, perhaps it is time to change your hosting provider?

It looks dated – Last but not least, one of the clear signs that your website needs a refresh is if it simply looks outdated. Does your website appear amateur or old fashioned? If so, you are going to desperately need a refresh. If you used a free website builder, this is another indication that some changes need to be made. While free website builders can be tempting because they enable you to lower your costs, they will only cost you more money in the long run. This is because your web presence will struggle to take off because your website looks like many others. Not only this, but free website builders lack features and functionality, and they may be slow to use and lack security too. It is really not worth the risk. You need to make sure that your website is expertly designed and that it represents your brand perfectly.

As you can see, there are a number of signs that your website needs to be refreshed and updated. If you have noticed any of the signs that have been discussed above, you may be panicking. There is no need to. You simply need to make sure that you make the changes that are necessary so that you can stay up-to-date with the latest trends while also ensuring your website ranks highly and organically on the search engine result pages.

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