You’ve probably heard this somewhere along the way. Is it true? Probably. Here are 3 reasons why:
(1) First impressions matter.
So you have a web address. But if it’s a tired old site with a load of Flash code or outdated HTML, trust me, it’s not helping you. If you’ve got unclear page navigation or a clunky old design, your visitors will not be impressed. Showing customers that you care about your online presence shows them that you still care about your work.
(2) Your clients want to look you up on their smartphones.
As of 2014, more Internet searches are now conducted on mobile devices than on desktops. Additionally, 72% of mobile users prefer websites that are mobile-friendly and are likely to abandon a website and never revisit if it isn’t.
A mobile-friendly design has touch-friendly navigation buttons that resize when prospective customers or clients look you up on your phones. In certain cases, pieces of your content will also re-size. Users who cannot read or easily navigate your site on their phones will quickly go back to their online search results and find a site that works.
(3) Search engines (like Google) prioritize websites that are regularly updated.
By adding fresh content, your website will appear higher on the search page when Internet users go to Google or Yahoo! to find the services you offer.
Your website updates show that your content is relevant and more likely to be valued by prospective clients who are looking online for services like yours. As a result, search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo! will reward you with better visibility.
Designing your site with an eye toward how search engines will rank it is called SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. Fresh content is an important factor in the SEO equation, but not the only one. In fact, your website may be completely “un-optimized” for Internet searches no matter how fresh your content is.
Several years ago, a friend of mine paid $30,000 for a beautiful new version of her e-commerce site, only to experience a 50 percent drop in business that nearly devastated her company and took years to recover from. She went from being near the top of Page One on search results to being near the bottom of Page Two (where most users never look). Why? The fancy web design company she hired ignored even the most basic rules of SEO. This is more common than you would think! You can ensure you get good SEO by asking your designer about SEO basics. If they hesitate or speak in vague generalities, find someone else.
If This is All True, Why Doesn’t Everybody Update Their Website?
(1) It costs money.
Done well, updating a site is not necessarily cheap. This is a real deterrent for some businesses. With a less stable economy in recent years, it takes a business owner with a forward vision for marketing (and maybe even a budget surplus) to make it happen. It’s well worth the investment, but you may need to convince the senior management that the expense will yield a benefit.
(2) It takes time.
Somebody from your team has to coordinate the project, and the content doesn’t write itself either, which is an often-ignored aspect of website development. You need to dedicate some time and resources into doing it properly, or don’t bother doing it at all. You can help yourself by hiring a developer who understands how to write good content, too.
(3) Technology is always changing.
This is true, but it’s also an excuse, a bit like delaying the purchase of a flat-screen TV in favor of keeping your old 40″-deep model. At some point you have simply got to upgrade. With proper planning, your new site will last a number of years and not have to be overhauled constantly.
Bottom line: Updating your website doesn’t have to be as big of an undertaking as it may sound. You can choose to simply update the content, or freshen up the layout, or just make it a bit more SEO-friendly. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. I help my clients find the solution that works best for them.
Let’s get to work.
Email me for a 30-minute consultation. No pressure. Just creative brainstorming. And it’s free!