What Parts of My Website Need to Be Upgraded?
The first step in any planned website update is to identify the areas that are most in need of attention. Which ones are having the most detrimental effects on user experience, and which have the greatest potential to boost your search rankings with an improvement?
Some areas to review include:
As we have mentioned before, a growing majority of people use mobile devices to access websites, and Google continues to place greater emphasis on websites that are built for a great mobile experience.
If your website looks good and performs well on desktop, that does not necessarily mean it will provide the same results on mobile devices. Your website must be responsive – in other words, able to adjust its size and capabilities to fit the screen it is on.
If your website doesn’t do this, making sure it does is an extremely high priority.
Does your website reflect your current brand style guide?
If your logos, photos, color schemes, offerings, and other elements are not up to date, you are creating a dissonance that may confuse potential customers or drive them away. And, simply put, you’re not showing people the fresh face of your organization that you want them to see!
Older websites may not be optimized for fast loading—and the longer they take to load, the more likely it is that impatient visitors will look elsewhere. If your overall loading time is more than 2 seconds, that is a detriment.
What could be causing slower loading times? Some of the most common culprits include:
- Hefty images that are not optimized for web use
- An outdated theme
- Underperforming hosting server
In addition to causing slower load times, an older website theme can also cause problems with general functionality. It may not be compatible with newer or updated browsers, cause portions of your website to look janky, or simply make forms, buttons, and other pieces not work.
Test your website on new browsers, acting like a potential customer. Do not pass off any inconvenience you find as “not that bad.” (Your users won’t!) If you feel you might be too biased in a review, ask someone you trust to give you their unfiltered criticisms.
Content and SEO
Is your website providing your users easy access to the information they most frequently look for?
(A good way to judge is by thinking about the most frequent questions your customers or clients ask you. Are the answers found on your website? They should be – or at least a call to action on how you can help them find what they need to know!)
Adding good content to your website is something you should do more often than with every overall website upgrade, but a review period is a good time to take measure of what you need to include. You can then schedule this content out to be added regularly, helping Google see you as more active and up-to-date.
Any content that is underperforming or not attracting the types of clients you want to see should either be revised, restructured, or eliminated altogether to prevent it from dragging your website’s search results standings down.