How Does Your Virtual Storefront (aka Your Website) Look?

How Does Your Virtual Storefront (aka Your Website) Look? image oldwebsiteHow Does Your Virtual Storefront (aka Your Website) Look?In the beginning  (early 1990’s) almost all websites were developed in HTML.  Animated gifs provided the movement and programs like FrontPage and PageMaker gave even the non-techies among us the ability to publish passable static websites. Back then, with only about 750,000 websites in the world, getting high on search engines like Alta Vista, Ask Jeeves and Dog Pile was not that hard.

Today,  dynamic websites using Web 2.0 technology are the norm. There are over 1 billion websites, and Google and Bing are the search engines of choice for most of us.

Businesses that have not upgraded their websites may be sacrificing search engine rank and be sending a dangerous message to their viewers…

What message is your website sending?

Cutting edge? Or tired, dated and old-fashioned?

Here are 6 reasons you may want to consider a website makeover:

1.  Your website is not Responsive.  People no longer sit at desktop computers to view web pages. They use laptops, tablets and smart phones. Websites have to functional and readable on all screens.  There was a time when we designed separate “mobile friendly” websites, but updating two websites and hosting them became both unwieldy and expensive. Today, Responsive websites give designers the tools to make sites look good on any connected device.

2,  Your website still uses Flash and/or other obsolete programs. Besides the fact that iPhones and iPads do not support Flash, this older technology slows a website up.  Google admits that it gives higher marks to websites that load quickly. There are quite a few newer technologies that will give your website the pizazz of Flash without slowing it down.  Bottom line:  websites that use Flash look dated and can slow up page loads.

3.  You have not updated your content. Overlooking that you are probably boring your return visitors, Google and other search engines like to see fresh content.  New content not only helps get you higher on search engines, but tells your customers that you are still in business. One of the best ways to add content is to connect a blog to your website and update it often. Each blog update is a new web page. Google and your customers will reward you.

4. You have not verified your site with Google Plus Local.  Google Places is long gone, and although Google automatically added sites registered on Google Places to Google+ Local, you need to make sure your listing is correct and you are on the map.  (If you have not verified your site on Google and Bing, you should do that too.)

5.  Your phone number, headings and important text are embedded in images.  Putting your phone number in text will turn it into a link on smart phones, clicking it will automatically connect customers to you. How Does Your Virtual Storefront (aka Your Website) Look? image Old computerHow Does Your Virtual Storefront (aka Your Website) Look? Just a few years ago, designers loved putting text in images to enhance the design. But Google can’t read images.  Today, if you want better search engine results, keep text out of images.

6.  Your website looks the same as it did in 2010 (or even 2012).  Your website is your virtual storefront.  Would you leave old merchandise in your store window?  Today’s technology offers many new designs and enhancements for websites.  Keeping yours up-to-date will not only help your search engine optimization, but will also present you as an up-to-date business that customers will want to do business with.

Need more proof?

 “55% said a poor mobile experience hurt their perception of a brand.”

“70% said that they would not buy from a poorly designed website.”

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