Modern businesses need a high quality website to deliver a professional online image and attract customers. They need a platform that showcases their company well, is visible on search engines and provides detailed information to prospects and customers.
The quality of a website can deteriorate over time, which is why it is important to keep an eye on the quality of the platform. You should evaluate it every year or get a professional audit done regularly.
Conducting an evaluation isn’t very difficult. Just ask yourself the questions below to determine if your website is in need of an upgrade.
1. Does The Website Have An Appealing Design?
If your website has a dated, old-fashioned design, it will not appeal to your target audience. People often click the back button within seconds if a website looks like it was designed several years ago and doesn’t provide the experience they are used to in a modern digital savvy world. And today, with mobile becoming the most popular device type for web browsing, having a website that is NOT mobile responsive is a major turn-off.
Browse through your website using different devices to see if the design is appealing across the board. Make sure the design is consistent with your branding and current aesthetics.
It’s also a good idea to take a look at your website’s bounce rate. Website appearance is often the reason behind high bounce rates, especially if your site loads quickly and performs well.
2. Does It Have Easy & Logical Navigation?
You don’t want your visitors to spend a lot of time trying to find what they need on your website. Good website design ensures visitors can get from point A to point B easily, which means your website navigation should be perfectly easy to understand.
Prioritize all of your menus and services. Place the most important items at the forefront of your navigation system and the least important items in the middle. Things like contact information and about us pages should be placed last.
Most people expect websites to follow a particular format and style. This means they know how to reach the desired page, or look for what they need. Clean, straightforward navigation will have a positive impact on user experience.
3. Is The Website Mobile-Friendly?
Traffic from mobile has long surpassed traffic from the desktop. The clear shift in traffic has caused Google to move to a mobile-first index. It ranks websites based on performance on modern mobile phones and tablets, before it ranks based on desktops.
A website is mobile friendly when it loads smoothly and looks great on a mobile device. All menus and navigation links must be easy to access and the images should be optimized for mobile viewing. If you don’t have a responsive website or a dedicated site for mobile visitors, you definitely should consider investing in one.
4. What Is The Load Time Of The Website?
Internet and search engine users are impatient. Around 47% of respondents in one survey said they expect a website to load in 2 seconds or less. Around 40% will abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
Load times on both desktop and mobile platforms are also a major ranking factor. Only sites that load quickly rank high on Google’s search engine pages.
All of these reasons make it pretty clear that you need to make sure your website loads quickly. Check its performance from an end user’s perspective to get an idea of the actual load time.
Better still run a diagnostic test using one of the many tools available online. These will show you not only site speed but also where bottlenecks are potentially slowing your site down.
5. Does The Site Deliver A Good User Experience?
User experience is the most important factor to consider when it comes to website design and performance. A site that delivers poor user experience has higher bounce rates, shorter session times, and lower conversion rates. As such, user experience is obviously a ranking factor.
Google knows how to determine whether or not a website will be able to provide a good experience to users. It will check factors like your website structure, quality of content, navigation, the authenticity of information, etc.
Check what kind of user experience your website offers by browsing it from a visitor’s perspective. Make sure your site offers a great experience on all platforms.
6. Is It Secure With An SSL Certificate?
An SSL certificate is a small investment, but it has a big impact on your traffic and conversion rates. Websites without HTTPS are marked as “Not Secure” in Google. This tag is clearly visible on the address bar and will impact the visitor’s trust in your website.
If your site doesn’t have an SSL certificate, you should consider getting one immediately. This doesn’t just improve your website’s reputation, but will also help you draw more converting traffic.
7. Is The Website Content Current & Up-to-Date?
Google wants to make sure its users always receive the most current and up-to-date information. It will look for sites that have recent activity and regular content upgrades. That’s one of the reasons people maintain blogs on their sites.
Even outside of regular blogs, you need to make sure your website has current, topical content. Upgrade your product and service pages regularly to ensure all the information is recent. This will help improve your reputation and make your site seem more trustworthy as well.
8. How Does It Rank On Search Engine Results Pages?
Your website ranking is a good indicator of its health. If you rank well in all of your targeted keywords – and rank high in many of them – your website has passed Google’s quality assessment standards.
If your ranking is low on all keywords and your site isn’t even present on the first two to three pages of Google search results, it’s time to optimize.
There are many tools available online that allow you to determine your search engine rank. Once you know your rank and it isn’t satisfactory, conduct a thorough audit of your site for the best results.
The answer to all of these questions will help you assess the quality of your website and determine whether it needs some repairs or upgrades. Experts recommend that you should upgrade a website once in 2 to 3 years. Research also suggests that an average website has a lifespan of 2.66 years.
If you want your website to keep performing, it is important to upgrade it regularly.