A website has become a must for every business these days. If you don’t have one yet, it is highly you get one ASAP. About 70 - 80% of people research online before visiting a small business or making a purchase decision with them. Hence, your website is a vital part of your business. It is where you showcase and promote your products and services built to promote your brand.
Whether you are a big corporate or an SMB (Small and Medium-sized Business) doesn’t matter. Your site needs to keep up in terms of looks and functionality. To stay competitive in today’s online market, you must make many decisions to update your website. This article highlight and touches upon different components of a website like design, technology, and content. Depending upon your business, some of these elements may be more important than others. Nonetheless, it is vital to keep tabs on all of them.
Here are 13 reasons why you should update your website:
The first thing that visitors to your site notice visually is the design. As design trends are continuously changing, so should you. A site designed in 2010 or even five years back, which is relatively recent, may not reflect the new trends. There is an appeal in appearing “Old-School” in some niches, but you must understand that “Plain Old” ≠ “Old-School” or “Retro”. Your webpage is always viewed as a reflection of your business. If the design, colour palette, and content are not updated, it will reflect poorly on you. It will leave the visitors feeling that you are not much bothered about the business and brand. This will cause decreased traffic to your site and visitors’ engagement with your brand.
An excellent example is that we are moving towards uncluttering our lives in recent years, which is also reflected in current website designs. Clean, straightforward websites that make use of motion UI are gaining more and more followers. You should also be careful while following these design trends, so you don’t overdo them. When done right, a great website design has the potential to increase the leads you generate.
Visitors to your site also want to navigate to what they are searching for with minimal effort. A poorly structured site is the exact opposite of what they would expect. Suppose your website does not have a proper site structure in place. In that case, this will lead potential clients to subconsciously think that your business is outdated and structured badly.
Your website should highlight your products or services in a positive light that encourages visitors to find out more about you, which potentially leads them to hire you or purchase your products.
Load speed is the speed at which your web page gets loaded. As humans, we don’t find time in our everyday lives to do everything. In that sense, a website taking a long time to load is a massive turndown for the visitors to your webpage. No one likes a website that takes too long to load. Slow loading speed is the number one reason for a high bounce rate, which is another reason we will see down the list.
Slow load speeds can be attributed to many factors, which include but are not limited to: large images or videos, underpowered hosting, the coding of the site, and so on. These are individual factors that we will further discuss in this article. Optimizing these factors can improve the user experience as well. It is a win-win situation as enhancing the underlying components that cause low load speed will influence the users positively in their way.
Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page. A percentage of over 70% means you are doing something wrong and losing valuable leads and potential clients.
Checking your content, the navigation of your site along with its overall feel may give you some insights into why you may be losing valuable visitors. You can access your bounce rate statistic from Google Analytics. Having a bounce rate of less than 60% is considered to be ideal.
It is a must that you provide a safe and secure user experience to the visitors of your website. A fundamental requirement is that your website should have an SSL certificate. It doesn’t matter if you are an e-commerce site, a blog site, or a health organization. Data of your visitors, such as PCI, PII, and PHI, are stored on your site, and it is your responsibility to protect that data. Outdated security measures will be run over efficiently by modern hacking methods. Therefore, you must regularly update your content management system (CMS). If you have a custom-built security system in place, then make sure it is compliant with the latest standards.
Another factor to consider is the hosting company of your website. Make sure to host your website on a reputable company that focuses on security. Any hassle you may face with security is worth going through as it will help you in the long run.
The stability of a site depends on the web development software you use. To have a stable website, you must regularly update the software to benefit from it. Refraining from this will compromise your website's security and stability, putting the visitors at risk.
Old software codes will cause conflict with other software. An outdated plugin might display errors or not display images correctly, which will not create a positive impact on the visitors. Finding solutions to fix such issues is crucial as quickly as possible. Your website was probably built on what was likely the best software at that time. Keep in mind that technologies change rapidly. As a bonus to updating your web development software, you will enjoy the benefit of new and improved features, security, stability, user interface, and faster load times.
Mobile phones play a vital role in the buyer’s journey. According to a Salesforce report on digital shoppers, 71% of shoppers say they’re now using their mobile devices in-stores. Another report from AdColony on Car Buying pointed out that it is essential for 53% of car buyers to have their smartphone while shopping for a car.
All the above points to one thing: having a mobile-friendly website is a huge advantage. A website which people cannot browse easily on a smartphone has little to no advantage over its competitors. It is crucial to test the functionality and responsiveness of your website on various devices and optimize them accordingly.
If your website is slow or has any technical issues, then the first thing you must check is its coding. How your website is coded plays a vital role in improving many factors explained in this article. By optimizing your site’s coding, you can make it better: faster, simpler, lighter, and more secure. Make sure your site is coded according to the standards set by the W3C.
Search Engine Optimization is a powerful marketing tool to flood your site with relevant organic traffic through keywords, links, and more. Every time you update the contents on your website or blogs, Google and other search engines crawl and index your pages. All search engines love good-quality content. If your site’s contents are correctly optimized, then your site gets ranked higher. You gain more organic traffic to your website by being ranked higher than your competitors.
It is in your interest to know that poor-quality content can be the downfall of your website. It is widely known that Google’s Panda algorithm can lower website rankings in search results for keyword stuffing and repeated content, amongst others.
In the last few years, Search engine algorithms have been particularly demanding on the quality of content. So much so that they have created principles for websites to comply with if they want to keep high rankings in search results.
If you have used stock images on your website, then they may get outdated with time. Outdated images do not attract the audience. First impressions should be the best impressions as they have a lasting effect. So make sure to update the images as and when you decide to improve the visual appeal of your site.
After the first impression, you further captivate your visitors through your content. Great visuals followed by sub-par content won’t do you any good. Your written content should be attractive while also providing the reader with information about the product or service you provide. Take the opportunity to update your old content while redesigning your website.
Remember, your visitors don’t have much time, so try as much as possible to grab their attention asap. Catchy keywords and phrases can work wonders when combined with the right imagery and UI/UX.
The effectiveness of your website is vital from a marketing standpoint. It is a must to always have an eye on the statistics of your website. The number of organic users visiting your website, unique users, the amount of time they spend on your website, and so on can give you many insights for improvement. You can view all the stats through your Google Analytics account.
There are also newer techniques to study your user’s behaviour and check the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. Techniques such as heat mapping, user session recording, and conversion tracking can give you more in-depth insights into how visitors interact and traverse your website.
Call-To-Action buttons, or CTAs for short, are more than your regular buttons or links. Adding CTAs mindlessly here and there has no use. They must be placed strategically to keep users engaged with your website and improve lead conversion.
You should never leave visitors to your website wondering what they should do next. Guide them to perform an action that is positive for you and them. Also, be on the lookout for broken call-to-action buttons. Remove them entirely or replace them with valid ones. You can integrate the action of users who click on a CTA with Google Analytics to get an overview of its effectiveness. Lower conversion ratios can also be attributed to factors like not having a compelling CTA or a broken link.
Having useful third-party technology and plugin integrations can significantly benefit you by giving various insights. Plugin integrations also help ease a lot of processes that can require some heavy backend coding. Adding plugins means updating your website’s coding, but it is a must if you wish to stay ahead of the competition. Here are examples of a few must-have plugins for your website.
There are many more reasons why you should update your website. The above 13 reasons are just the tip of the iceberg. With us nearing the end of this small article, a question arises. How often should it be updated to keep yourself competitive and attractive to visitors? This question is a topic on its own. But in short, updates regarding security and SEO should be done monthly. At the least, they should be checked and monitored regularly. Content updates such as blogs and articles depending on what your business is about, and the time frame can range from daily to weekly. Usability and effectiveness should be evaluated yearly during a site audit.
It is recommended to make design and infrastructure updates every 2 to 3 years, even though that can be a long time in terms of technological advances. It is best to see what works for your business and keep an eye on your competitors to see what they are doing to stay in the game.
As listed, the benefits of regularly updating your website are immense. Regularly updated quality content can improve your ranking in organic search and drive traffic. A modern look shows your visitors that you are keeping up with the latest trends. Using the latest technology keeps your website safe and earns users’ and search engines' trust. The point of this article is not to convince you to update your website just for the sake of changing. A website exists to promote your work, help potential customers get to know you better as a brand and get them excited to work with you.
Similarly, we at Roamsoft are also excited to work with you to provide your visitors with a great experience when they enter your website. We aim to provide you with a smooth experience creating and maintaining your website. Our experienced front-end and back-end developers and UI/UX designers can help you build and update your business’s website. We’ll be happy to offer you assistance or consultation.