How Often Should You Update Your Small Business’ Website?
By now, almost all business owners understand the importance of having a website. However, just because a business has a website, doesn’t mean it is useful to their business. When a person visits your site, it takes only seconds for them to form a lasting opinion. While there is no definite time frame as to how often you need to give your business’ website a makeover, most Fortune 500 companies update them every 2-3 years. For example, it is a good idea to update or even rebuild your website if your company is rebranding, your product and service offerings have grown or the bounce rate on your website is extremely high. If you’re still not sure whether or not you should update or rebuild your current website, there are a couple of questions you should ask yourself:
- Does my website professionally represent my business and brand?
When a person is interested in a product or service, they will conduct thorough research online to view their options before making a purchase. If their first impression of your website is that it is outdated, unprofessional or abandoned, then you could be risking the loss of a potential sale. Your website is your business’ representative and a huge part of your online presence. It sells you and your business all hours of the day, every day. Be sure your website represents your business in a way that reflects your hard work and dedication to your customers.
- Is my website mobile friendly?
If you are certain your website represents your business professionally, then the next thing to ask yourself is whether your website is mobile friendly. Today, over half of internet searches are done by a mobile device. If your website is not mobile friendly, you could be losing more than half of your potential sales. It’s also a good idea to visit your website on different browsers and mobile devices to ensure it appears similar to every viewer on every device.
- Is my website user friendly?
Having a user-friendly website is about the visitor’s experience. Your visitors should be able to access all the information they need quickly and effortlessly on every device. Organizing the content on your website so it’s presented in relevant categories makes it easy for visitors to navigate between pages. Lastly, how long does it take for your website to load? Visitors expect your website to load within 2-4 seconds. If their expectations aren’t met, they will go somewhere else to find the information they need. For example, many organizations who cater to senior citizens overlook the fact that the font on their website is too small and difficult to read.
- Is my website delivering the leads or conversions I’d expect?
If you’re using various digital marketing methods like blogging or email marketing to grow your business or to connect with your customers, but you’re not seeing the conversions, then your visitors are most likely not finding what they’re looking for. It may be time to strategize a new layout or change the contents on your website.
- Do my competitors have a newer website?
It goes without saying that you should never base what’s best for your business off what others are doing, but if your competitors have a website that’s professional, is easy to navigate and works better than yours, then you will be at a serious disadvantage. If your website is behind your industry standard, then consider giving it an update to put you back on the map. Don’t assume that your clients/customers are not going to your competitors’ websites. They are most likely comparing you to others in your industry to determine how serious you are about your online presence and their experience on your website.
Why it’s Important to keep your website up-to-date
Overall, there isn’t an exact rule for how often you need to be redesigning or rebuilding your business’ website. If your current website looks professional, is mobile and user-friendly and generates leads, then you may be in the clear. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep your website updated with fresh and valuable content.
The most effective way to update your website regularly is to have a blog. It’s an easy-to-use platform that will position your business as an expert in your field and promotes your work with your customer base. If you’re a freelance business, then it will benefit your business to regularly update your website with new pictures of your work to keep it relevant.
A website is a tool that should support your business goals. When used properly, it can help boost your marketing campaigns, build brand awareness and create strong customer relationships. Over time, your business goals may change, but if your website is up-to-date, it will help you control your business’ narrative or message to your target audience faster than any other marketing tools.
It shows your website is alive and active
If there were two businesses that sold the same product or service and one website had an active blog or a support forum, which one would you trust more? Most likely the website with an active blog or a support forum. Publishing content that is informative and relevant to your visitors proves to them that your website is a place they can rely on for support and valuable information. Otherwise, your visitors may think you’ve gone out of business.
It improves your websites SEO
Search engines rely on newly shared content to give the person searching the best, most relevant results available. The more content from the same website that’s indexed, the higher the website’s ranking will be.
Updating your website regularly is content marketing
Content has become a huge way to generate sales and promote brand awareness. It is the component that communicates what your business offers. Carefully constructed content delivers your business’ message and ultimately persuades your customers to purchase your products or services. However, it’s important to note that in order for information to be considered content marketing, it needs to be valuable, relevant and consistent. If it lacks value or relevance but it’s consistent, your readers may consider it spam.
It’s good for social media
If you can produce fresh content for your website regularly, that gives you something to share with your followers on social media. They are your greatest asset. Keep in mind, people only want to follow your business on social media if you post content your audience can engage with or share with their friends.
When to Update Your Business’ Website
Just having a website is not enough, you need to ensure it’s consistently kept up to date. As we’ve discussed, when to update your website will depend on a number of factors. The bottom line is that you need to keep it fresh and relevant whatever time frame you decide is best for your business.