Having fresh content on your site is important; it keeps your audience interested and gives them a reason to return. Keeping everything current shows that you care about your website and visitors, while also maintaining professionalism. Too bad not everyone feels the same way. Below are 6 signs that your website content is dated (I have actually seen these examples on professional sites – I won’t call you out but you know who you are…).
It’s time to replace your staff photo.
- Your site includes a copyright date in the footer… and it is 2006.
Was the last time you updated your site really in 2006? That is a lifetime ago in the digital world! Unless absolutely nothing has changed about your business in the last 5 years, how can that content still be relevant? To fix this, do not just update the date to the current year, actually review and revise your content. It doesn’t have to take long to bring your company and product information up to date (unless of course you have really been neglecting your website). For some ideas check out the post I wrote with 5 quick things you can do to update your site.
- Photos and graphics look straight out of the 90’s.
In case you didn’t know the 90’s were 2 decades ago… people look different. How can someone seriously relate to your service or product when the model is wearing crimped hair held up with a scrunchie? People like to see recent photos, and trust me, they can tell by the quality and subject when a picture is older. The same goes for graphics; websites should not have rotating gifs or be very image heavy like they use to be. I am sure people will be making fun of our current pictures of business people and the use of rounded corners and gradients in 20 years, but, for now, make sure you keep your website graphics in the present!
- Your latest news or blog post was added 8 months ago.
If you have a news feed or blog on your site – great! You have a wonderful resource for visitors. If you have not updated said news feed or blog in 8 months however, you might as well remove it because it can end up hurting you. When visitors see that you actually did have recent news articles and blog posts at one time, they will wonder what happened. Did you stop caring? Has nothing new happened with your company? Is your company out of business? Make it a priority to get something new on your site and to keep adding at least monthly!
- The upcoming event on the top of your list occurs 3 months ago.
However cool it would be, I don’t have a time machine or a souped up DeLorean, and I’m pretty sure you don’t either (please correct me if I’m wrong!). If you want to keep an old event up on your site because you do not have anything else coming up, then you can use that space to tell visitors to check back and provide them information about the annual events you have or the types that you attend. Sometimes companies keep archived events up on their site as a resource. For example, at Hall, once a webinar has occurred we remove it from the upcoming list and place the recording on our archived webinar list.
- Check out our newest product! (It has been out for at least a year now…)
It is very exciting to release a new product or service – you get all your marketing materials together, make content updates on you site, and then do the big announcement online. Flash forward one year… do you still have the same “New!” notes throughout the site? It’s time to get rid of those and do an update. If your new product is still a big hit, change the material to say “Featured Product!” instead. At that point you can also gather testimonials to show that your service is a hit.
- If a product is “Coming Soon!” don’t keep us waiting forever.
How often have you seen a page or website that is constantly “Under Construction”? I am always frustrated when I do a search and end up on a page that promises to have what I want, but at some undisclosed time in the future. Sadly, these pages don’t always come to realization. If you find that you have some of these pages on your site, but have no plan in place for them, then take them down so that you are not leading on visitors by giving them hope and then eventually crushing their dreams (well maybe not that dramatic but you get the gist…). On pages that you do have a plan for, include a basic time frame of when the content will arrive, contact information, and links to other part of the site. This will let visitors know you are serious about adding this page and will allow them to get in touch with you and view other resources in the mean time.
Some of these examples are definitely on the extreme side, but it shows that when things get busy at the office, sometimes the website can be neglected! As I said earlier, it is important to keep your site updated so that you maintain your professional status and keep visitors informed. Before you find yourself committing these web content sins, make a realistic content updating plan and stick to it, because if I keep seeing those photos from the 90’s then maybe on the next blog post I will start calling you out…