After putting much thought and care into the creation of your website, you might think you’re ready to move on.
Nope! Your site is like a living organism- as time goes on, it should grow and change. Your business is ever-evolving, why shouldn’t your site be? As your marketing strategy changes, you need to nurture this evolution so your site can accurately reflect your brand.
A website is one of the best ways to connect with customers, both new and returning, so your marketing team should be updating it in order to continue providing customers with the best experience you can provide.
Here are 3 common reasons to make updates to your site if it’s been stagnant too long:
1. Advanced Technology
If you’ve been focusing more on the look of your site, rather than how it functions, you may be impacting it negatively. If you haven’t updated either in a while, you are probably behind the competition in user experience and functionality.
The last thing you want is an outdated site that isn’t functioning optimally.
Search engine optimization is one of the most important “back-end” functions of your website. Without advanced SEO, your site is likely to be lost among the millions of other sites, meaning you are less likely to be found in an internet search.
Check that you are completely up-to-date with search engine algorithms. Engines like Google frequently make changes to make searching easier and more helpful, so you want to make sure your business is benefitting from these updates.
Other web standards to keep up with include browser compatibility, programming language, and mobile responsivity.
If your site does not work well on all browsers or users have a hard time using your site on a mobile device, you want to make these changes to maximize your access to your target audience.
2. Your Brand Evolution
As your business grows and time passes, the visual appeal of your brand might change. As styles come and go, you want a strong branding identity to represent who you are.
Many people are getting their first impression of your business from the website, so you want a site that represents you authentically.
Similarly, any content posted to your website needs to be updated regularly to keep the site relevant and show customers you are active online. Content marketing is a great opportunity to engage with your target audience and improve SEO, which is why it’s utilized by 53% of businesses in the US!
Larger design trends evolve as well, meaning you may need to update your site to avoid looking outdated. This doesn’t have to affect your personal branding, but staying up-to-date with current design trends is important for that first impression.
You don’t want an outdated site that will make potential leads think your business is outdated.
3. Usability and Navigation
Just like an outdated-looking website, a site with poor navigation and usability will drive customers away.
To take advantage of each lead to your site, whether visiting through promotion or organic traffic, visitors must be put on an intuitive path to conversion; your visitor should be guided to the area of your website that encourages them to go from a passing visitor to an engaged customer.
If a user is stuck going in circles, they’re more likely to leave the site. Your bounce rate is a strong indicator of how intuitive your navigation is. Sites that load slowly have the same effect on users.
Other usability issues you may run into include readability (including font size, color choices, and language comprehension), accessibility to the disabled, and performance across browsers.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines are available to help you evaluate your site.
Having several people in the office review your site is a great idea, but there are also services available that will test usability for you!
WhatUsersDo will record visitor experiences on your site and reach out to users to provide you with feedback from your target audience. UsabilityHub also uses real people to test your site and report back on their experiences.
Customer feedback is important for many areas of your brand, and your website is the perfect place to interact with your audience.
Your website is the digital headquarters of your company, so you should be consistently revisiting and updating your site to ensure you are providing your leads and customers with the best online experience.
Whether your updates happen in-house or are outsourced to an agency, adjusting your site to serve the needs of your business and customers is an important responsibility of running a website.
Thanks for reading,
Editor’s Note: Originally published in January 2019, this blog has been updated and edited for content in August 2021.