How do you know if you’ve outgrown your website?

28 February 2023 | | Blog, Marketing

The biggest understatement I regularly come across at work is “The digital marketing world moves quickly”. That’s like saying the Pacific is quite big, or the next nearest solar system is quite far away. The digital marketing world isn’t just fast moving, it shifts at lightspeed. Some things we took as standard practice six months ago are no longer relevant, changes to Google’s algorithm happen daily and need to be kept up with. In short, standing still is going backwards in 5th gear. Whilst some of these effects can be mitigated with regular SEO work, how can you keep a website fresh when it’s built to last for years?

In short, you can’t. Sorry, that seemed a bit fatalistic didn’t it? Well, let me clarify and say that you can’t indefinitely. Whilst any good website manager will continue to update plugins, refresh content and include new technology to extend the life of a website, there comes a point when the framework is too old, too outdated, to continue working with effectively.

On top of this, aesthetics change, as do people’s viewing habits. The internet has given us many things and has many positives, but it has somewhat robbed us of our attention span. Compare the verbosity of a website made 10 years ago with one created in 2023 and you’ll see that paragraphs are shorter, word counts are lower and imagery is far more prevalent. That’s not just down to advances making it easier to have more imagery on a website without causing a slowdown, it’s down to how a user consumes information on a webpage. The text needs to be punchy and curt or else you lose the attention of the modern reader. The design of the website must cater for a modern audience, and in digital marketing terms, modern is now and old is a few scant years ago.

So at what age should you be putting your old website out to pasture? 10 years? 8? 5? Well, as with most things in life, there’s no hard and fast answer. However, we believe that after approximately 6-7 years old a website starts becoming no longer fit for purpose. Bounce rate will provide a clue to this, but in reality changes in how websites are built will make a site of that age feel clunky and outmoded. Considering that your website is your main, if not only, marketing tool then that’s not a good place to be in.

However, if your website has been running for over half a decade then the strong likelihood is it has already paid for itself many times over. It’s done its job and now it’s time to retire it and move on to something new and fresh that will cover you for the next 6 or 7 years. Remember that your website is a long-term investment in your practice’s success, and in a world that moves at such a rapid pace, you can’t afford to leave behind the most crucial element of your marketing infrastructure.

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