Trying to keep a business website up to date can easily be overlooked if you don't pay attention to what your competition is doing. Looking at your competitors' web design can give you an immediate idea of what you may need to do to keep yourself updated. But you can usually scope out things on your own by just looking at your own design and realizing what's really working and what isn't.
Take this five-question quiz and see what the most important web design trends are this year and for the future.
#1: Is Your Site Customized for Mobile Devices?
This is truly the #1 question today if you haven't updated your website in a while. That's because the use of mobile devices to look up websites has jumped to exponential numbers and expected to be standard within a short time. If you haven't updated your site in over five years, you're going to be drastically behind. That's because someone looking up your outdated website on a smartphone now wouldn't be able to see it formatted correctly in the mobile screen format. This means a frustrated customer leaving your site immediately.
The answer here is responsive design code so your website will automatically configure to the dimensions of mobile devices and tablets.
#2: Is Your Website Not Ranking on Search Engines?
All it takes is a website that's several or more years old to become outdated with SEO problems. SEO optimization tactics have changed somewhat in the last several years, and not getting it optimized correctly can end up ranking your site extremely low on Google or other search engines. By incorporating proper SEO technique, you can finally rise to the top as your site deserves. A proper web designer can immediately scope out what SEO needs updating for each page.
#3: Are Your Graphics Outdated?
Graphics in web design have evolved quickly in just the last five years. If you haven't updated since then, your site could be a major embarrassment in the type of graphics you're likely using. Flash animation, particularly, is now way out and can make you look overly archaic to new visitors. New special effects can give you a new edge, like parallax scrolling (a 3D-like effect), or even flat design that's a throwback to basics, yet still modern.
#4: Do You Have Links to Your Social Media Pages?
The integration of social media into websites is so standard now, anyone not doing that will be considered a dinosaur. However, any site not updated since the mid 2000s probably doesn't have integrated links to their Facebook or Twitter accounts. These should be made prominently clear so you can create a stronger connective string between your business and social media for more personalized customer interactions.
One thing you should never underestimate: Visitors to websites are astute enough to tell when content is outdated or not. They can tell through the information you provide and through referenced dates. Perhaps some content can be timeless if it's general information about a product you sell that you haven't changed. Regardless, there may be some things referenced that dates the content terribly. It may be details you'd forgotten about and didn't bother to check for updates.
Be sure to read all your content carefully and make sure it's up to date. A web designer will help scope this out for you and make it look more appealing and searchable using better font styles and effective keywords.
We can do all this for you here at EnvisionIT Solutions. Serving small to midsize businesses, we know how easy it is for a website to quickly become outdated.
Contact us and we'll work closely with you to incorporate the latest designs and techniques that will bring a new shine and prestige to your site. At the same time, use our IT support services as well to help keep your site running optimally.
Written By Mike Tungate
Hello! I am the Web Services Manager @ EnvisionIT Solutions. I create beautiful websites, branding and marketing systems for businesses. Let me know if you have any questions. I am an avid photographer and a lover of musical instuments.