In this article you’ll learn 5 key reasons why you should update your website. A website today is the cornerstone of all your marketing activities. It drives brand awareness, leads and sales. It’s a bit like a salesperson – you set targets for them, you monitor and review, you train them etc. Well a website is no different – it’s costing the business just having it up and running so you want to make sure it’s on top form and delivering results – if not just like one of your sales team you want to know why.
So when do you need to update your website? If you’ve not done anything with your website in over 24 months then now is the time to start thinking about it.
1 | Website Design and Visual Appeal
You may find that your website no longer represents your brand. Your company has moved on and the website has been left behind – both in terms of the visuals and also the brand story. It’s no longer speaking to your customers in the right tone of voice. Web design trends move on and whilst being on point with the latest and greatest web fashions isn’t required for a successful site you do want it to reflect a company that is moving with the times.
2 | Website Performance Review
You realise you haven’t a clue if your website is delivering leads or not. You don’t know how many people visit your site in a month, where from, how long they stay or what they do on your site. You may even be using paid advertising and don’t know if this is working or not. You know your company numbers off the top of your head but how much revenue and profit is related to your digital marketing efforts is a black hole. It’s time to implement tools that allow you to drill into your website data and make that all important ROI assessment. Things to look for:
- where does your website traffic come from – geographically, Google, social media, direct, paid
- is my site fast enough
- is my site mobile responsive (more on this later)
- what is the demographic profile of customers to my site
- how many customers go to my contact page and complete it
- how many convert into a sale and where do they come from
3 | Security
Not very sexy but when a website is hacked it’s a truly miserable experience for all concerned. The quickest route to being hacked is out of date software. Yes, software goes out of date in terms of features and functions but it also goes out of date because a security loophole has been identified and a software company issues an update to fix it.
A hacked site will be taken off line by your hosting company and depending on how good your hosting company is you may be helped out but you maybe left in a no mans land of no help and no where to turn. You may not even have up to date details for who set the site up for you many years ago – phrases I here all the time – “oh a friend of a friend did it for me” “oh my daughter does a bit with computers and set it up for me”
All this was great when you first started the business but now your website is a business generating hub that shouldn’t go offline – other than for planned regular maintenance and security updates. When was the last time anybody told you how long your website has been up and running this month – figures like 100% or 99.9% should be the norm. Again if you don’t know now is the time to find out. Your hosting company may be able to provide this or if you have a web company working alongside you then ask the question – if you are paying for monthly maintenance then they will be monitoring this for you. Tools like ‘Up Time Robot’ are great for this.
Another element of website security is protecting data that is sent between your website and your customer. This is a big topic these days but without out a doubt you need to check your site is using an ‘SSL’ certificate. Find out more here – Get Your Website Secure.
4 | Mobile Friendly
A website these days needs to work on a desktop but equally it needs to work on tablet and mobile. Customers will be visiting your website in increasing numbers by tablet and mobile devices. A website not mobile friendly will drive your customers away in droves. We’ve all become very sophisticated in our expectations of how a website should work. The adage of ‘don’t make me think’ is never truer than when applied to a website.
Using a website that is not mobile responsive will mean customers running a mile. It’s also one of the elements used by Google to rank websites. How do you know if your website is mobile responsive or not? Try using it on a mobile or from your desktop make the browser screen narrower to mobile screen size – the page elements – the visual and text elements should automatically adjust to the screen size and not just vanish off the screen.
5 | Google Search – SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
Ok so you’re pretty sure your site up to date and visually stunning. The final reason to look at updating your site – is can your customers (enough of your customers) find it? There are really only 2 ways to drive traffic to a site – by ranking in google search results (known as organic search) and paid advertising traffic.
To be found organically in google search in the first 1-2 pages (page 1 is what you should aim for) takes time – a great deal of time and work – 6-12 months to see real results. Paid traffic is instant and can with care and attention lead to a pretty decent cost per lead. Most of the social media platforms offer paid advertising these days and for certain types of business can be very effective. Very often a two-pronged approach is best – work on the organic searches and let this build and use paid advertising as the quick fix now.
SEO is how you work on organic search results – to cover the basics you need to do the following (some of which are one offs, others regular):
- research and establish the ‘keywords or phrases’ you want to rank for and use them in your website
- make sure your site has an SSL certificate installed (see section earlier)
- make sure your site is mobile responsive (see section earlier)
- make sure your business name and address are consistent across the internet so google know it’s the same business
- post fresh regular content on your site using your chosen keywords (this is becoming increasingly important)
- have a social media presence and link it to your site
- get other established websites to link to your website using one of your keywords
You can read more on SEO here –7 Top Tips To Improve Your Google Ranking
The aim of this post isn’t to get you to update your website – it’s to start thinking about your website in business terms – if it was a machine in the corner of the room printing leads and sales for you – you wouldn’t ignore it – never insure it, never have any maintenance cover for it, you’d make sure it was looked after and kept churning out those sales and leads for you. Try to think about your website in those terms. Built correctly and maintained regularly a website will give many years faithful service. At the very least give it a lick of paint once a year!
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Stop wasting time on the Internet!
Like most business owners, you are probably distracted and overwhelmed by the possibilities of doing business online.
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