by Owen Williams
Websites play an integral part in the marketing of the majority of modern businesses. So why then do so many of us leave our websites to rot instead of consistently investing in them to ensure they continue to produce results? Here are a few pointers on the benefits of keeping your website up to date and moving forwards instead of leaving it to gather dust in the corner of the Web.
Content. Keeping your website fresh with new content can have tremendous search engine benefits and also helps to inspire loyalty among your visitors. A website that appears active, up to date and interesting is far more likely to produce conversions and repeat visitors. When a website appears to have very old content it makes a bad impression and doesn’t show your business in the right light. We have all seen sites where the ‘latest news’ is from two years ago and half the team members have probably moved on. It’s an instant turn off. Just keep it fresh and relevant and you’ll find people spend more time on your site and visit it more often.
Maintenance and security. So many people fall foul of not maintaining their websites. I bet there are a great many of you reading this who use open source solutions such as WordPress? Well this is fine, as long as you keep them up to date. If WordPress sites are not kept up to date with the latest version then they could become vulnerable to cyber attacks and hacking. If you have an e-commerce website this is particularly important. But also remember that it is not always just a case of pressing the ‘update’ option either. You may have plugins or other features on your site that could conflict with the new version and need to be coded correctly by professional developers. Taking out an ongoing maintenance contract with your web suppliers can provide peace of mind and continuity. An up to date site is a secure site.
Analytics and online marketing. Insight and evolution are key to a productive website that generates leads and engagement. So many businesses either forget to install analytics on their site or don’t bother checking it once they have. This is a fatal error. Collecting data on user behaviour and using it to improve your website is essential to achieving return on investment and enhancing your online reputation. If you are regularly analysing the behaviour of customers on your site and using that information to meet and exceed their needs, then you will see results. Your site becomes an evolving thing that grows with your client base.Use your data to improve. If you’re running an Adwords campaign then you need to see what is working and what is not. How about using techniques such as A/B split testing to try different things and get better results? They say the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
Brand reputation. Your reputation as a business is impacted by your website, whether you like it or not. A tired, outdated looking site will not inspire confidence in potential customers, regardless of you being a law firm, fashion label or recruitment agency. Is your site responsive for mobile devices? If it’s not then you could be getting penalised in the mobile Google rankings and your customers could be finding the site tough to use. Brand loyalty hinges on good experiences and if your site doesn’t reflect your business to be professional, forward-thinking and engaging, then don’t be surprised if you don’t get the results you’re looking for online. It can also affect internal morale, with team members becoming disenchanted and even embarrassed by a company’s online presence. It’s hard to sell or buy in to something that you’re embarrassed by isn’t it?
So there you go, just a few little points to demonstrate the value of keeping your site up to date and not ‘stuck in a puddle with wet feet’.