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Why Your Website Gets Less Traffic from Search Engines: It's Old
Posted on February 5th 2014
Classic cars only get better with age as their designs capture the essence of a by-gone era. People love to see and buy classic cars that haven’t been updated in any way, maybe even have their original tires from 1964. Unfortunately, not everything gets better with age. Case in point: your website.
Unlike a classic car, your website will drop in value if you keep everything original intact. Older websites, even those with a large user base making numerous repeat visits, will start to slide on search engine results pages (SERPS). Don’t worry though, this blog will help you bust out the polish and get your website ranking highly again.
Your Content Is Stale
Stale content is probably the biggest issue with older websites. Too often content hasn’t been updated since the website was first created. A telltale sign of stale content is when the latest news release was published during a past presidential administration. Not only does that look lazy and careless to users, but Google sees – and punishes – that behavior.
You don’t need to redo your entire website’s content, but you should update all of your core pages. Change up some of the content and include some of the keywords you’ve recently identified. Your news section should also be updated with current events and news.
The best way to keep a constant stream of fresh content is to set up a blog. You might not be able to write a new post every day, but at least post something of value to prospects once a week. Search engines love to see new blog posts published on a regular basis; users also like to see it because it demonstrates that your company is active and up-to-date.
Your Design Is Ugly
All of the little buttons, switches, and widgets that clutter the dashboard of an E-Type Jaguar have aged gracefully and look great. The multiple menus, navigation bars, and banners haven’t fared as well on your website over the years. Overall website design has shifted to a more minimalist look over the past year or two. Users want a less intrusive site blasting them with suggestions on what to visit.
You may not have the budget to completely revamp your website and that’s okay. At a minimum you should reevaluate your menu navigation to make sure it makes sense and all of the links work. Once you’ve done that you can start to look at the overall design aesthetics and improve what you are able to. Focus on fewer but larger high-quality images and graphics. You may even want to update the fonts used on your site to keep with current trends.
You Forgot About SEO
Things can start to get scary if you haven’t looked at the SEO for your site in a while. If you didn’t do the original SEO then you absolutely must look at it. The sad truth is that the original SEO tactics used when your site was launched may be considered hurtful according to Google. All of the money you spent buying links a few years ago may have actually been the nail in the coffin for your website. Log in to the Google Webmasters portion of your site and check for any nasty notifications from Google. Things might look bleak now but they can be fixed eventually!
I’m a big fan of classic cars but not a fan of classic looking websites. There is hope for your outdated website, but it will require some work on your part. Don’t get overwhelmed and think that you must change the whole site overnight – to expect that is unreasonable. Take the revisions one step at a time and think of it as a continual process. Eventually you’ll start to rank on the first search engine results page again!