Your website is the virtual face of your company. Internet users often judge a book by its cover. If your website or landing pages are outdated, not user-friendly or eye-catching, you will lose potential customers.
It is more than just your website content that needs to be frequently updated. With the growing menace of hacking and other malicious attacks, security updates should happen regularly. If your site uses a content management system (CMS) like WordPress, the CMS, and plugins need to be updated. Technical and content updates may also be needed to make your website more search engine friendly. Server level configurations, settings, and bandwidths can need updates. Below are just a few examples of updates your site may need.
Visual Appeal – A stunning, professional website will make customers believe your business is professional, credible and authoritative. On the other hand, an outdated website with poorly created images and outdated content can actually hurt your business image in the eyes of potential customers. Content updates are needed to remove any dated content, images, video, events and other content elements that are no longer relevant.
Responsive and Mobile Friendly – A significant portion of internet users use their smartphones to browse the internet on a daily basis. Therefore, it makes sense to have a responsive web design which makes your website viewable on all types of devices. The website automatically resizes for the device, keeping all essential features. When potential or returning customers try to reach your site via their smartphone and receive an error, it is very frustrating. They tend to then search for a competitor where their needs can be met rather than waiting until they are in front of a desktop. Updates to your site may be needed to keep it responsive and mobile friendly as newer phones, and mobile platforms emerge.
Stock Photos – Using stock photos is easy, you do not have to take the time and expense of hiring a photographer. However, can you find stock photos which portray your vision? How similar are these photos to your competition? Your images should stand out if you want your business to stand out. In the long run, stock photos will cost you more money due to the loss of business. An eye-popping image will leave an impact on website visitors.
Code Updates – Cluttered HTML code can slow your website loading time down considerably. Google does not look kindly to this, and it can hurt your ranking position. CSS and code optimization can increase page load speed and allow web pages to adapt on different devices. With web standards changing consistently, updates are frequently needed to make sure your site is compatible with various browsers, screen resolutions, and emerging technologies.
CMS and Plugin Updates – As CMS platforms add features, newer versions are often released. Your website should always be running on the latest versions of these platforms and the plugins used on your site.
Technical Error Fixing – Over time, as content on the site changes and it evolves, errors can creep in. It is important to continually monitor and fix errors like server errors, broken links, etc.
Secure Browsing – If you still use HTTP to serve your web pages, your site needs a protocol update. Secure browsing is becoming a necessity with the growing use of the web on mobile phones. Search engines require websites to offer secure browsing and updating your website to be served through an SSL certificate.
Application Updates: If your website uses custom software or apps, these web apps and web services may need periodic updates. Similarly, if you have mobile apps, you need to update your mobile apps to offer new features and stay current with the latest mobile platforms and app store requirements.
Website Framework Integration: Your website framework needs to be updated just like the software applications you might use, such as Microsoft Word or Excel. If you are using a web hosting service like WordPress or PHP, updating the website software must be done manually. These host services only rent the hosting space to you. They are not liable for updating the website framework.
If you are using a do-it-yourself (DIY) hosting service like WIX or Squarespace, software updates for the framework are done automatically. You will not have to check for updates as they maintain them.
With an outdated website framework and you are using outdated technology, making it easier for hackers to get into your website. Hackers do a significant amount of damage before you even notice it. Keeping your website updated, ensures your security is up to par.
Automatic updates can be set up for some of the technical updates needed. However, when a website auto-updates, it is important to make sure other errors do not emerge.
Effective Calls-to-Action – Do you have an interesting call-to-action link or button placed on your landing pages? Readers need to know what to do next if you want them to stay and interact. Placing a call-to-action in the spot where you believe your reader should do something, will keep them engaged with your page.
Measuring Effectiveness – Determining which parts of your website are benefiting your business, will help in choosing what improvements to make. Measuring tools are available which integrate with your updated website and monitor different aspects. Different aspects of measuring can include user recording, conversion tracking, and heat mapping.
Content – Keeping your content fresh and unique is key to keeping visitors coming back. Your visitors want useful, relevant information to what they are searching. They do not want to see a bunch of fluff or filler words which they will skip over. Relevant content determines how effective your website is.
SEO and Digital Marketing – Search engine optimization techniques need to be updated as often as search engines update or more. Old SEO techniques could get your website penalized. Ensure the keywords you are targeting match the keyword research results you should be doing.
Simple Navigation – Easy-to-navigate websites increase the user experience. Visitors will determine their experience by any snags they run into trying to reach their destination, how long it takes them to find where they are going, and how many links they have to click. Use relevant, not confusing, keywords as navigation links.
Bounce Rate – When visitors do not find what they are looking for instantly, they leave and go to the next competitor. They do not want to click through your website to reach their intended search. Make sure your keywords match your landing page content. If you have a high bounce rate, your website is likely outdated and not performing.
Website Speed – Slow page load speeds is one of the main reasons visitors bounce from your website. In today’s fast society, visitors want information fast. Google, among others, provides a tool to check page load speeds.
Website Integration – Customers want everything they need in one place. They do not want to jump from website to website to get what they came for, such as contact information, shopping, or support forms. Your website should be integrated with all functions you need to make your business run smoothly. Options to integrate with your site would be a billing and customer relationship management (CRM) system, back-office order fulfillment, and tracking. Incorporating these features now ensures fewer mistakes and errors.
Social Integration – Integrating social media features with your site can help in a number of ways. Your visitors can share your content and like your business on various social channels. You can also incorporate single sign-on and social sign-on features on your site.
Content Updates and Website Maintenance Services from Flying Cow Design
As an end-to-end web presence management firm, we help our clients overcome their marketing challenges through a wide range of services including branding and graphic design; domain registration and hosting; web design and development; website security and updates; technical and website maintenance services; internet marketing and content services.
Contact Flying Cow Design today for an analysis of your website. We can help you with all your website update needs.