Are You Making This Mistake On Your Website?

Oops keyYour website is one of the most important marketing tools your business can have. It is your 24/7 salesperson that never sleeps. Unfortunately, it can also one of the most ignored parts of our business. This is the first of a series of articles that discuss common website mistakes, and how to correct them.

An Outdated Website

The most common mistake I come across on websites is simply that they are outdated. This can manifest itself in a few different ways.

  • Design – The design of your website is a key factor to keep in mind when reviewing it’s effectiveness. When visitors view your website, they will make immediate assumptions based on its design and layout. If your website appears outdated, visitors might assume that your business is not keeping up with the times. If the layout makes the content difficult to read, you may be perceived as being unorganized.
  • Stale Content – This can be anything from having outdated events listed on your website to a blog that has not been kept up to date. There are, of course, some pages of your website that will not have to be updated as often – pages like the “About Us” or “Contact Us”, but even this content is worth reviewing from time to time.
  • Photos – Photos are just as important to keep updated and professional as is the written content. Are you displaying a photo of yourself that is a few years old? Or one that was taken by a friend or relative? Less than professional looking images can give that impression that you are cutting corners.

The Solution

Knowing what to look for is half the battle. I suggest reviewing the main content on your website every 6 months. Ensure that it is portraying the right image to your potential customers. Visitors want to know one thing – WIIFM (What’s In It For Me), so ensure your website clearly explains the benefits of doing business with you.

If you have a blog, create a schedule for updating it on a regular basis. You should be posting new content at least once a month, but try to aim for weekly or bi-monthly updates.

Review your images. Are they outdated? Do they portray you in a less then professional light? If you are using stock images, do they compliment your business?

And finally, have a good hard look at the design and layout of your website. Better still, have someone else do it for you – someone who you can trust to tell the truth. Does your website look like it was designed a few years ago? Is it easy to navigate? Is the content laid out well and easily read? Are there any spelling or grammatical errors?

As a general rule, you should be looking to update the look and feel of your website every 1 – 2 years. This doesn’t necessarily need to be a major overhaul – it may simply mean updating certain areas of the website, updating images, or making some subtle changes to the colour theme.

On the other hand, if your website is more than 3 years old, and has not been updated or maintained on a regular basis, it might be time to think about a re-design. Aside from having an outdated look, there are other areas that will likely need to be attended to – outdated programming, search engine friendliness, etc.

But, those are topics for another day.

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Mark Pridham

Mark Pridham is the owner of The Pridham Group, a digital agency based in Saint John, New Brunswick. A life long resident of Saint John, Mark is passionate about design, entrepreneurship, and supporting and promoting local businesses.

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