Imagine you’re getting dressed for a job interview. Would you scan your wardrobe and choose the perfectly pressed outfit or the wrinkled shirt and pants that’s been soaking in your dirty hamper? You’d likely choose clean clothes because you want to make the best impression possible. And while we don’t judge – other people do. The same rule applies in the digital realm: you want to represent your brand in a way that is modern and clean. Let’s look at the benefits of regularly updating a website and how it could impact how people perceive your brand!
Web Design: Keepin’ It Fresh
Your business is important to you – and you probably want it to be important to other people too. An outdated or hard-to-navigate website can turn clients off before they even know who you are. If your website looks or feels outdated, your prospects will turn away and not look back. So, how do you instantly captivate potential customers? Easy: keep your website up-to-date by using safe web practices and custom web design!
The top 6 things to focus on when updating a website are:
- Updating Your Website Security
- Boosting Your SEO
- Keeping Up with Technology
- Keeping Your Content Fresh
- Improving Loading Speed
- Updating Your Website Design
Securing Your Website
Security should be one of the top priorities for businesses both large and small. We hear all too often about large companies that get hacked, compromising information such as clients’ credit cards or social security numbers. This leads to a lack of trust and also hurts the business – clients may choose to go to their competitors for fear that their information might be compromised again.
Lock it Down with SSL
SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, is a secure form of transporting information from a server to a browser.
One of the top reasons websites get hacked is because of the vulnerability in the framework and platform on which their website is built. Wordpress is not only one of the easiest platforms to use, but it is one of the most secure sites for your business to be built on.
New releases come out every few months for WordPress, and the software is easy to update to the latest version. There are security features built into practically every new release of WordPress. They spot vulnerabilities and improve their software before the issues affect your website. Websites that stay on older versions of WordPress are more likely to get hacked, as hackers can find out what WordPress version your website is on and worm their way in through backdoor portals.
Be sure that the company you choose to build and/or host your website holds the security of your website in high regard. Your security should be their top priority. Even when using a secure website platform, the backend configuration of your website can play a key role in the security of your website. A poor backend configuration can lead to security breaches.
It’s important for your website hosting company to be aware of possible security issues and have a plan in place to protect your site against them. Ask your hosting firm how often they update the version of WordPress your site is on or the plugins within it – the best firms offer a plan where they will update them on a quarterly basis to ensure your site is secured often. See how often they backup all the data on your website. Ideally, they will do so daily, so if there is a breach or an issue that takes your website down, they can quickly restore to the working version from the previous day.
Let’s say you’ve got a goal of working out to get toned up. You visit the gym 8 times over the course of 2 weeks and feel accomplished. Do you stop there? If you’re dedicated to your goal: you shouldn’t.
The same principle applies to SEO. If you are truly dedicated to landing top placement for specific keywords and content, you need to keep putting in the effort!
Plus, companies like Google are always changing their algorithms. The best way of staying ahead of these updates is by regularly updating your website content. This shows Google that you are a reputable source which will result in higher rankings and more visitors to your site.
Stay Ahead of Tech Trends
Updating a website regularly is also important if you want to keep up with technology. Technology is always changing and you want to make sure your website is changing with it. Doing so will give your users the best experience which will make them want to visit your site more frequently.
Keep Your Website Content Fresh
Keeping your website’s content updated can help your business in a number of ways.
Better Content Gives You More Traffic
Keeping the content up to date on your site helps build trust between you and your customers. Most likely, customers rely on your site for useful information on whatever market you are in.
Updated information also helps build domain authority. Domain authority, briefly explained, is how much of an authority on a particular subject your website is. For example, Wikipedia.org has one of the highest Domain authorities out there, because its content is always well researched and reviewed by editors – plus you’re not distracted by unsightly or unrelated ads. Google holds this in high regard when trying to match search inquiries with useful and relevant information.
Have you ever visited a website whose copyright is 2014 and the latest blog post is years old as well? Does it make you wonder if they’re still in business, or if they still service your area? Having outdated content on your site, mentioning things like an old location of your business or not-modern technology, can be perceived by your potential customers that your business doesn’t keep up with the latest trends. Anytime a customer reads content on your site that makes them go “wait, I don’t understand that” or “wait, that’s not right”, you’re hurting your credibility.
Keyword Content Strategy
Another place to update your website is your keywords. Having pages on your website that speak about a specific topic is only useful if the keyword(s) are mentioned. For example, if your company provides A/C Repair, then you should have a page on your website dedicated to A/C Repair. Businesses can also use city-specific pages to help them get found in particular city markets, such as Raleigh, Durham, or Cary, NC.
It’s important to keep the keywords on your website fresh as well as the content. Perhaps you’ve expanded into another city in the past few years, or are selling a new product or service. If you don’t update your keyword focus, you’ll continue to get traffic for your first city and service, but not for your new ones.
Improving Page Load Speed
It’s no secret that people don’t want to wait for information. When they log onto a site, they want to get their information quickly. If your site takes too long, they’ll find one that is quicker.
Updating a website regularly should also improve loading speed. Website updates that use new technologies and cleaner code can lower your website’s bounce rate. This can also improve your Google ranking.
Updating Your Website Design
Many businesses focus only on content and internet marketing but fail to address the design and navigation of their website. Some of the things to avoid on your website include difficult navigation, colors that are either too boring or far too obnoxious, and unnecessarily long customer contact forms. All of these things can lead to a website that steers customers away even if your content is top-notch.
Mobile-Friendly Web Design
60% of web traffic now comes from mobile devices like iPhones, iPads, Android Phones, and Tablets. This means that if your website is not mobile-friendly and easy to view on a smaller screen, you could be missing out on over half of your potential customers. It’s that simple!
Keep the Target Market in Mind
A website’s design should focus around the needs of the target customer. This means providing easily accessible, engaging content that the ideal customer within your target market will find useful. It also means that the website is ultimately focused around converting those visitors into customers. Your target market may change over time as you expand your business, hire new employees, or invest in new tools, so be sure you’re adapting the content of your website accordingly.
Final Word on Updating a Website
We are driven by wanting to have the latest and greatest. We like for things to be new, refreshing and up to date. If this is how our culture is driven, why should your website be out of date and stale?