By Nachum Langsner
There are some subtle yet significant indications that a website is outdated and irrelevant. Make sure your website maintains its integrity and prevalence by avoiding these eight mistakes.
Building an incredible website is the goal of any modern brand. You can have the best-looking website in the world, a loyal customer base, and a strong social media following. However, a small yet subtle mistake can make an incredible difference when it comes to your brand’s website credibility. Certain content oversights are the hallmark of the outdated and unprofessional.
All businesses need to cultivate high website credibility, both in the eyes of their online audience and for the sake of strong SEO page ranking. But some things can all too easily slip the net when it comes to updating your content, and it’s essential to pay attention.
Let’s take a close look at the most common mistakes that could impact your online brand website credibility.
Common Website Credibility Errors
Aging Copyright Year
Every website has a copyright year in the footer. This marks the last date that your website and pages were updated.
Google, and therefore the entire online community, puts a great deal of weight on recent publications, which means it is vital to both update your website frequently and to update the copyright year at the same time.
Of course, this little number is extremely easy to miss when your website team is focused on integrating the latest features, honing templates, and adding new content.
In worst-case scenarios, your copyright year might be two or even three years out of date. This not only harms the reputation of your brand for thoroughness, but it can also make your website and content look more outdated than they are.
Outdated Blog Content
A well-populated blog is a great source of information and SEO for your business. The right blog content can cultivate readers and leads long after the content is written, but the more recent your blogs, the more relevant your content will be rated.
While most businesses put some effort into the blog, many give up after a few months or a few years and stop making an effort to create inventive and relevant new content each month.
However, if your website hasn’t published a new blog in over two months, much less six months, it can look as if your brand is losing energy and focus. This is especially true for new readers and leads who may be excited about the first blog they SEO-connected to and are eager to see more than your brand has to offer.
Never leave outdated information on your website, except in blog articles with clearly posted dates. Don’t leave references to the hot summer hits of three summers ago, or blogs that assume everyone is home during COVID lockdowns, or analyses using outdated stats. This might be acceptable in a dated blog from your archives, but not in the content that you are presenting as recent, relevant and competitive.
You have two options when it comes to keeping your content up-to-date; you can republish timely content each year or you can keep your writing style general and evergreen so that still-relevant tips and guides are not artificially dated by references that age poorly.
Embedded Social Media Feeds
Not long ago, embedding a social media feed into your website was the latest thing. However, like some trends, this feature has come and gone in terms of popularity. Today, the latest trends are infographic animations and floating live chat bubbles in the lower right-hand corner. Websites that are still showing outdated trends show that the website itself is not being regularly updated in alignment with the latest designs.
Social media feed embedding has a hidden downside in addition to being a trend of the past; it can show when you’ve stopped updating your social media, or if you have migrated your social media account without updating which feed has been embedded. This can make your website feel outdated and may even look as though the business is no longer open.
Lack of Organization
A good sitemap matters, and so does internal navigation. Having all the features and pages is not useful if your website visitors can’t figure out how to navigate from page to page.
Having an optimized web page architecture and well-structured content makes it effortless for visitors to find the information they seek and deepen their understanding of your business.
A user-friendly site design positively impacts the overall user experience and engenders trust in prospective clients.
Stub Articles and Unfinished Pages
When a website is built, every page begins as a template and/or a stub.
Stub articles and unfinished pages have the minimum possible content, perhaps just a single paragraph as a placeholder for blogs and service pages. While you no doubt intended to fill out these pages, it’s months – even years – later and your leads are still seeing just the placeholder content.
Stub articles look like an early and half-hearted effort, but unfinished templates come across as uncaring and unprofessional.
It takes less than a day to fill out content on each of your service pages, particularly if your later service pages have more content that you can easily match in style. Let your audience know that you care about offering complete information and every step of their on-site experience by updating your incomplete page content.
What happens on your website if a link breaks, a link is moved, or your readers enter a URL that is not quite right? Without intentional tailoring, your online visitors will see a 404 error page. Fortunately, there are some very effective ways to take control of your on-site 404 experience.
First, regularly scan your website for broken links and make sure they are updated on every page – especially if you change your internal linking structure. From there, however, you can also create a custom 404 page that charmingly redirects your website visitors back to the main page or tries to help them find the real page they were looking for.
Unclear or Uncompelling CTAs
Finally, your calls to action (CTAs) matter. These are potent cues that, when used purposefully, can increase conversions and initiate connections with clients. That said, there are good CTAs and bad CTAs. Some CTAs are clunky and overly promotional. Some CTAs are unclear and don’t leave your readers knowing where to go or what to do next.
Audit your CTAs and judge how you would respond if you were a lead considering your brand for the first time. Do you feel that your curiosity was satisfied and that the page offered what it promised? Do you feel trust in the brand and are inspired to take the next step? If not, rebuild the end of each page until the CTA naturally guides readers into the next level of the conversion funnel in your brand’s signature style and voice.
Improve Your Website Credibility with LocalBizGuru
If your website is not living up to the relevancy and quality standards that your brand hopes to exemplify, it’s time for a change.
LocalBizGuru can help you hone your strategy, catch oversights, and make sure your website credibility reflects the incredible brand you’ve worked so hard to build.
Nachum Langsner is the Co-Founder & CMO of LocalBizGuru, a full-service digital marketing agency based in Cleveland, OH. He has over 10+ years of experience in the SEO industry and is a frequent presenter and instructor of digital marketing and SEO seminars for entrepreneurs and small business owners in the Greater Cleveland area for organizations such as COSE, Jumpstart, the Better Business Bureau, Score and the Ohio SBDC at CSU.