2016 seems to be the year when everybody wants to clean up their website. And that’s no surprise, given how much is changing in the website space. Customers and clients are coming to expect a new user experience. New web design styles are toing and froing. And websites are now being used in different ways. All of this means that content creators are looking to the future and thinking long and hard about their websites.
But it’s not all about how a site looks. It’s also about how sites respond and behave in the wider ecosystem. Visitors want sites that load quickly and are fast and responsive. And they also want sites that connect with social media, blogs, and other sharing applications.
The fact that clients now demand so much has left many people in small businesses feeling left behind. How are they meant to keep pace when things are changing so fast in the world of web development? Often, it’s with difficulty. The following are all warning signs that your business is falling behind on its web development.
Your Copyright Footer Is Out Of Date
The most concrete sign your website hasn’t been updated for a while is the date stamp on the copyright mark. Usually, the date stamp is found on the footer of the website, next to terms and conditions. If the stamp says anything other than 2016, then you know that your site hasn’t been updated for a considerable length of time. In fact, the actual date shown gives an indication of how long it has been since your site was revamped. If the last time your site was updated was in 2009, then your website is probably not as user-friendly as you would like.
But the most worrying consequences of an out of date site is not the diminished user experience. It’s the message that it sends out to your customers. Customers will wonder why your copyright is out of date. And they’ll wonder how much you really care about your product and your business.
Search Engines Still Haven’t Found You
Getting customers to your website is a major priority. But they are going to find it hard to navigate there if search engines can’t find you. If you’ve been running a website for over a year, but still don’t show up in search results, you need help.
The problem for many small businesses is that SEO requires a lot more work than just inputting keywords. The search algorithms for sites like Google and Bing change all the time. And that means that websites need to respond in kind if they’re going to be found. The other problem is that SEO also depends on the responsiveness of the site itself. And that means that your site needs to be coded correctly. Usually, it’s only web developers who have the skills to work out whether everything is fully optimized.
Your Site Isn’t Working As Intended
The most obvious sign you need web development services is when your site doesn’t function properly. Often, sites will issue visitors with error messages. And these error messages destroy the user experience and reduce conversion rates.
Error messages are often a sign of a deeper problem with your site. It could be incorrectly coded. Or it could be that you have a lot of broken or incompatible elements. This is the type of problem that only web developers can resolve. Getting disparate plugins and apps to work together in harmony is difficult.
Another problem is broken links. Fortunately, you can fix broken links yourself. But it requires that you regularly check and update your website.
Your Site Is Losing Visitors
It’s hard to imagine being successful without a great website. Websites are now so intimately involved with how we work and the content we produce. And so one of the most worrying signs you need help is if your visitor numbers are falling.
Falling visitor numbers can, of course, be a sign of all sorts of problems with your site and your business or project. But more often than not it is actually the fault of the site itself. You may be hosting stale content. Or search engines might not be finding you. Whatever it is, it’s something that needs to be addressed quickly if you’re going to continue being successful.
Your Visitors Aren’t Navigating Beyond The Home Page
As a website owner, it’s your job to grab the attention of visitors as soon as they arrive. That means that it’s essential that you have a great homepage that directs visitors to the content they want.
But many website owners find that their visitors aren’t going beyond the home page. Google Analytics tells them that they arrive at the site, and then leave almost immediately afterward.
Ask most web developers, and they’ll tell you it’s likely a problem with your homepage. Either you’ve got the design wrong. Or, for some reason, it doesn’t appear relevant to your clientele. It’s not always obvious what to do for many website owners. And often changing your homepage to something more appropriate requires an expert hand. Sometimes it’s just a small, subtle cue that puts customers off. Other times, it’s the layout or the navigation that causes issues.
If you notice visitors aren’t exploring all of your pages, it’s time to contact a web developer.
You’ve Got Website Loading Issues
Visitors have demanded fast loading websites ever since the internet was a thing. But it’s only in the last five years or so when that has become a fact for the masses. Your competitors now all have fast-loading websites, thanks to faster broadband. And that means that you should too.
But here’s the problem. A lot of small businesses are using template builder sites as their web hosts. And, as a result, they’re getting poor performance. What they need are two things. First, they need a developer that can streamline their website so that it loads faster. And second, they need a more rapid server on which to store their site. Slow servers and customer happiness never go hand in hand.