Are You Ready for 2019?

As we close out the year for 2018 and look forward to 2019, is your business ready? More specifically, is your website ready to tackle the year in style (and with the appropriate functionality)? If your website was built more than three years ago, or if you haven’t looked at your site’s content in a while, it is likely underperforming. As you set your business goals for the coming year, you need a website that works to promote those goals, not one that holds you back from achieving them.

Time for an Upgrade?

If you suspect it might be time, it likely is. To help in your evaluation of your business website, there are four main areas to consider. These are the most likely ways in which your website may be behind the current standards and user expectations.

Design

When you visit other websites, both in your general online activity as well as your competitors’ sites, do you see things you wish your site had? In comparison, does your site have the feel of 2012 (which in Internet design terms might as well be the 70s)? Your kitchen doesn’t look like this (or your clothes or hair for that matter); you don’t want your website to look and feel out-of-date either. Many clients feel after investing thousands of dollars in a website that they can mark that off the list for a while. But that “while” is shorter than your budget likely wants it to be. Internet design trends and standards change quickly. If you don’t keep up, you risk appearing out of touch. Your site users may, logically, attribute that same attribute to your business overall.

Content

The content on your website should reflect the dynamic nature of your business: new products, new services, new employees, new markets, new contracts won. The growth and timeliness of the content on your website should reflect the most up-to-date information about your company. If you fall behind on this, it reflects poorly on your business image. And like the design issue above, you risk giving the impression that your business is stale and out-of-touch. Take an afternoon before year’s end to review the content on your website. What is inaccurate? What is missing? Make a plan to make those updates. Better yet, have a brain-storming session with your key personnel and develop a content plan for the first quarter of 2019, assigning ownership to each story to ensure accountability.

If you don’t have the time to update the content yourself, let us help.

Content: Review + Update

Mobile-Friendliness

I have been making the pitch for upgrading to Responsive Web Design for a while now. Truly, it is time. If you have not yet made this investment in your website, you are now behind. Google began considering this factor in their mobile rankings back in 2015. If your site has lost visibility steadily in the search results, this may be the culprit. Here is some additional information on this critical upgrade:

Responsive Web Design

The search visibility implications alone should be sufficient motivation to make this upgrade. But if you need additional rationale, consider the fact that over 50% of the traffic to your website originates from some type of mobile device. The usability of your non-responsive website is frustrating to those mobile users and creates a negative impression. It may, in fact, be frustrating enough that they simply hit the back button.

Secure

As of late July 2018, websites without https enabled will display with a “Not Secure” warning in Chrome. This is not where you want to be. If you are still not using https, this is an update that needs to happen right away. Not only is security an important issue, but the warning associated with your site and your business in Chrome is not the business image you want to project. Many clients have asked if that matters because they don’t conduct secure transactions on the website. The answer is, yes, it matters. Based solely on the impression that the “Not Secure” warning makes.

These final two (mobile-friendliness and having a secure server certificate installed) are MUST HAVES in 2019. If either or both of these is an issue with your site, it is time for an upgrade. Both of these are considered by Google in the ranking and presentation of your site in the search results. Given the competition for online attention, you cannot afford to have these two technical site issues working against you.

Let us know how we can help. Let’s start the year off right!