We see it all the time folks, unfortunately all too often. You either have an old website that was built in the time of html that you can’t edit yourself, you have no idea where it’s hosted and you’ve long lost the contact of the guy or gal who developed it for you, or you’ve recently hired someone to do it for you, a nice small shop or one-person provider, and it looks good enough, but you still can’t edit it or it’s not performing well in search.

Just this morning I was running a check of our keyword positioning (yes, SEO is a moving target and one where you can’t just sit on your laurels for years in hopes of being found by either search engines or real people). And I came across a new Bend Oregon business that was recently featured in our local paper.  Their new site was built by local provider, the one-man type – who we sometimes redo work for after their clients head our way. One look at the site, and I sighed. The clients of this spankin new website have no idea that while it’s still shiny and new, it’s not built to scale, not built with new technology and not built to compete well in search.

So, how do you know you need a new website?

Let’s run down a few of the problems I found with this website in a 20-second overview:

1. Permalinks

They looked like this: http://url/xxoo11989_xuu<$%_?m=93&s=673. Enough said.
If you can’t make out the meaning of, or the content this page holds, how are the search engines supposed to? A link should be written more along the lines of this: http://url/category/service-(or-product)-and-keyword).

2. Mobile-friendly

In 2014 we are no longer building traditional width websites (you know, the ones with large background images or margin along the sides.) As monitor resolution and mobile use has increased, we now build websites fully responsive, so that no matter what browser or device you’re on, the website fills the browser screen and provides an enhanced user experience.

3. Content

Even if your website designer/developer doesn’t write content, they should let you know when your content falls below recommended guidelines. This includes your page titles. We no longer use page titles such as “welcome” or “our company” if they can be avoided. We use helpful and content-rich tiles. If you are a bubble gum manufacturer, your “our company” page should be better titled “best bubble gum”, or in a way that makes sense for your business.

Other “how do you know you need a new website” indicators include:

4. Site Speed

Over 50% of browsers will leave a website that doesn’t load quickly (typically within three seconds). This means loss of users, clicks and potential fans or revenue for your business.

5. CMS

Content is king. You need to be able to update your content yourself to keep your site relevant and fresh. There are several content management systems out there, but we build all of our websites using WordPress.

6. Social Media

Social media is required for inbound links, inbound content and overall page trust. Your social networks should link back and forth to your website and ideally show your most recent web content so users can click from social media back to your site.Industry Trends

7. Industry Trends

If your industry is moving towards newer and fresher websites, especially if your competitors are launching new websites and you don’t want to look like your brand image is decades old, it’s time to revisit your own.

 

If your website has any of these issues and you need some help, contact our team for a free website audit. It’s part of what we’ve been doing for twenty years.

Best, Christina @ Savy