10 Ways Old Website Design Hurts Your Business

Posted by Jazelle Handoush on 10/03/19

Music trends and Netflix shows (Stranger Things, anyone?) are rewinding time and taking us back. Unfortunately, old relics don’t always have a time and place in the 21st century.

When it comes to your company website, it’s best to leave the dust, old bones, and cobwebs for Halloween. An outdated look can send potential customers packing, even before the page finishes loading. In fact, your website often makes the first impression between your company and a customer. According to research by Stanford, 75% of consumers judge a business’ credibility based on the website alone.

It’s time to clear away those cobwebs! Here are 10 ways old website design can hurt your business and leave you lagging behind.

10 Ways Old Website Design Hurts Your Business

1. Branding Invisibility

Your brand speaks up for your company, even when you can’t. A strong brand personality can make a lasting impression, earning a “wow” long after someone leaves your website.

When it’s distinctive, a brand can help you stand out from the crowd.  However, that brand needs to remain consistent—everywhere. That includes:

  • Print materials, including billboards, flyers, business cards, and signage
  • Digital materials such as social media profiles & posts, digital ads, and (you probably saw this coming) your website

Brands change all the time. Maybe you’ve decided to go with a new color scheme or gave the company logo a facelift. Either way, those changes need to make an appearance on your website. Otherwise, your brand identity won’t remain consistent across your marketing materials. Neglecting your brand can leave customers confused about who you are and what you do.

2. No-Go for SEO

Let’s say your website incorporates your brand and shines online. Awesome! Is it attracting customers, though?

Old website development can hurt your business just as much as old website design. The behind-the-scenes stuff helps your website compete. Otherwise, you’re falling behind the other thousands of companies in your industry. SEO, or search engine optimization, helps your content stand out from that massive crowd. However, you need an SEO strategy and unique content to engage that audience first. What are your customers searching for? What questions are they asking?

Once you have a solid SEO strategy up and running, you can draw in a wave of new visitors. Then, it’s up to your updated website design to wow them and do the rest!

3. Mobile Mayhem

Old website design can also leave you neglecting a huge customer base.  Google is all about giving its searchers a high-quality experience full of convenience. Trying to navigate a huge website on a tiny screen isn’t exactly easy. Mobile-optimized websites, on the other hand, cut out the tapping and zooming. Websites designed for every device make it easier for on-the-go consumers to find what they need.

In fact, Google rolled out its mobile-friendly preferential treatment back in 2015. Today, Google still prioritizes mobile-friendly websites. Their mobile-first indexing checks the mobile version of your content before determining your website ranking. 

These websites get a boost in search engine pages, so Google users find the best of the best before the rest. If you’re worried your website is old-school, try using this tool. That way, you can determine if your website is good to go on-the-go.

4. No Way to Navigate

Speaking of “good to go,” where are your visitors going?

As a road map for your website, the navigation should appear at the top of each page. Proper navigation keeps visitors exploring from one page to the next. Otherwise, they’d have to backtrack to the last page.

Adding sidebars to internal pages and footer navigation helps, too. These menus encourage visitors to explore even on longer pages.

Your old website design navigation might not include the latest and greatest pages you’ve added recently. Organizing content into sub-pages can keep visitors from feeling confused. Twenty plus pages side-by-side on a single navigation bar throws user experience out the window. At that point, an old website design only encourages people to leave.

A laptop displaying CSS, representing old website design code.

5. Slow Speeds Ahead

Who here remembers the old dial-up sound? Yeah, in today’s quick-paced society, no one has time for that. Old website design that neglects optimization and page speed takes forever to load. By the time it does load, the outdated design is just a disappointment. 

53% of mobile website visitors will ditch a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load up. We want quick answers to our questions wherever we are in the world. An old website with slow page speeds can have a significant impact on:

Kicking your website up to top speeds can improve your search engine ranking, which brings more people to your site. It also encourages people to stick around and click around. Both can give your ranking a boost, too!

6. Below and Behind

Once your pages load, what’s the first image website visitors see? That first impression can determine whether they stick around or decide to leave.

According to Adobe, 59% of people will read beautifully designed content. Eye-catching content draws us in, even when we’re busy. Plain and simple doesn’t cut it anymore. Old website design didn’t consider above-the-fold content the way we do now. There’s no guarantee your visitors will keep scrolling. Today, leaving all the good stuff below the fold can leave you behind. 

Instead, above-the-fold content can make an impact that encourages visitors to keep reading. For that impact, you need:

  • Eye-catching imagery
  • A strong headline
  • An energetic call-to-action

Putting the right elements on the page in the proper order can turn old website design into a lead generating machine. 

7. Socially Awkward

Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat; the list keeps growing! Chances are a website last updated in 2001 doesn’t have those social media links on it. Updating your website can benefit every aspect of your marketing strategy. That includes using social media to share your content with new audiences.

To start, it’s as simple as adding social media links to your website header or footer. Websites with blog content can also add social sharing buttons to each blog post.  Encouraging social sharing on your website broadens your audience.

Better yet, you’re improving your social media marketing strategy, too. Now you’re reaching more potential customers across the web and attracting them to your content.

8. Prove It or Lose It

When customers are on the fence about trusting a new business, they check online reviews. After all, we want to use the best in the business. Adding testimonials to your website can offer visitors that proof (before they start searching elsewhere). It can help you stand out from the competition, too. You can update an old website with social proof by adding:

  • A dedicated testimonials page
  • A carousel at the bottom of the homepage
  • Client video reviews
  • A plug-in to display your Google reviews

Positive reviews from happy customers can improve your company’s credibility. As a bonus, it gives your local SEO and online rankings a boost, too. Each review is fresh content for Google to find on your website. Keywords within the reviews that relate back to your product or service support your ranking for those keywords.

Reviews also increase brand trust, which can keep visitors on your site a little longer. As they read your reviews and explore your website, the bounce rate decreases. A lower bounce rate (which increases when someone visits your site but leaves without clicking around) will increase your SEO.

9. Cuts Off Conversions

A call-to-action, or CTA, can turn your new influx of website visitors into a long list of leads. However, you need to set your website up for conversion opportunities, first. Old website design mostly focused on phone calls and emails. Why stop there? Instead, you can set your website up for micro-conversions by using:

  • Links
  • Lightboxes
  • Videos
  • Quizzes
  • Sign-ups
  • Downloads
  • Chats

These little actions can have a significant impact on your website performance. With each click, you’re keeping visitors on your site longer. Both encourage interaction and improve your SEO.

If the old website design doesn’t scare off your visitors, it could deter potential customers. Conversion-optimized website design, on the other hand, pays your investment forward. As a result, you’re improving your conversion rate, sales, and ROI by making one big change. A happy website experience can also keep people coming back for more!

10. Cramped Concerns

Some old websites squeeze as much content onto the page as possible. Online, there’s no limit on real estate. Use white space to your advantage. Adding white space helps your content breathe and makes it easier for people to read your content (instead of leaving their eyes aching afterward).

White space encourages visitors to scroll down the page, too. It also breaks up page content such as:

  • Headlines
  • Lengthy paragraphs
  • Images
  • CTA buttons
  • Forms

When site content is more comfortable to consume, instead of cramping your style, it helps boost your brand. Clean design tells visitors you’re convenient, easy to work with, and there to help.

Dust it Off: 10 Ways Old Website Design Hurts Your Business

Are you starting to see the cobwebs now? Don’t let old website design leave your online presence collecting dust.

Brush it off! Stand out from the crowd with an updated website by outsourcing your website development. Once new traffic rolls in, your new-and-improved website can convert those visitors into soon-to-be sales.