Do you love your website?
More importantly, do your customers love your website?
As a business owner, it can be difficult to gain the necessary perspective to determine if your website is up-to-date. We get it, you’re a busy person. As an entrepreneur, you have your hand in just about everything. Having to worry about whether or not your website is optimized for ‘Google AMP pages,’ or is meeting the current ‘https security protocol’ is asking a lot.
The truth is, though, that things move fast in the digital world. A website built even just five years ago can look tired and dated today. And your customer isn’t the only one noticing, Google notices too, and ranks you accordingly!
While your ranking on Google may not be at the top of your list of priorities as a business owner, but for web-based businesses, especially, it should be.
In no uncertain terms, your business website is your billboard, your brand, and your storefront –all in one click, and the place customers will go to learn about your products and services.
It is essential that you keep your website up-to-date to ensure your first impression makes an impact. Even more importantly, you want to be sure your website’s doing its job of drawing in traffic, and converting as many visitors as possible!
With this in mind, let’s take a look at six excellent reasons you’ll want to consider updating that website –this year!
- Your Content’s Collecting Cobwebs
You’re going to have a tough time ranking high on Google if you aren’t keeping your content fresh. It’s also going to be increasingly difficult to maintain your existing customer base if you aren’t always offering new, fresh content.
We, as humans, love the new shiny thing. So why not be the bling they are seeking?
Pure and simple. Fresh content means more traffic.
By keeping content relevant and up-to-date, you’ll be able to develop a relationship with your customers. You should be continually trying to position yourself as an influencer in your industry. In order to do that you must communicate with your target audience.
Posting updated information also develops your domain authority. This is a ranking assigned by search engines that determines your level of authority on a certain subject.
Let’s look at Wikipedia.org for example. It is the bee’s knees in terms of domain authority. Why do you ask?
Because it is cited in college term papers millions of times?
It is king of the hill because it produces loads of informative and relevant content. This content includes a first-rate linking strategy, and anti-spam measures to keep the content genuine and non-promotional. Google holds this in high regard when trying to match search inquiries with useful and relevant information.
If it’s been more than a year since you’ve reviewed the content on your site, then it may be a good time to perform a content audit, that is, an in-depth assessment of your current content, taking into account your future content strategy.
Performing an audit will also help you in freshening up your content. Even for your cornerstone, evergreen content, you’re going to want to review it from time to time and make sure everything is relevant.
The days of creating a website and letting it ride are long gone. The average purveyor of the world wide web is much pickier and increasingly savvy these days. Consider the immense amount of information available and the number of brands and businesses competing for their attention.
That means competition, lots of it. The bar continues to be raised.
If you want to survive in this ocean of content you cannot simply tread water. No. You must learn to swim with the sharks. This means keeping your website fresh and current, as well as taking advantage of advances in tools and tech that are available today. Finally, it means keeping up with the best practices in terms of SEO.
I also recommend going back and seeing what articles or content got the most engagement, and then looking to repurpose those articles to gain even more traction. Repurposing can be as simple as simply re-sharing them, or even creating additional forms of content around these articles –such as infographics or podcasts. Another idea is to update and add to the articles to keep them up-to-date and make them even more sharable. Think: creating a skyscraper post out of an article that performed well.
Quicksprout provides the details on a 5-step content audit that you can easily follow, or even outsource to a Virtual Assistant if needs be.
- Your Security is Lacking
Not the most fun topic, but something that’s important nonetheless.
Making your site secure should be a top priority for businesses large and small. Not only do you need to ensure the integrity of your site, but you also have a responsibility to protect your customers’ data as well.
The option of having a secure site is long gone in 2019. Nowadays, it is an absolute requirement. Your customers want security, and Google demands security.
The best way to cover yourself security-wise is by making the switch to HTTPS. This will not only improve consumer confidence in your website and brand. It will also boost your search rankings as well.
- Your Theme’s a Bit Outdated
Let’s talk a little bit about user experience, or as we call it in the biz, UX.
This primarily has to do with the theme, design, and layout of your site. How easy it find what you’re looking for? A good website should be an intuitive tool that helps your visitors, not something that’s a pain for them to navigate.
With every New Year comes an updated web standard. Tools and technologies are continually updated. This is primarily due to shifting tastes and design trends. What was cool last year may not be tomorrow. Remember Flash websites and preloaded audio? Ouch!
Now, keep in mind that this extends beyond just aesthetics; a good user experience includes everything from ease of navigation, speed, and how much friction there is when visitors try to complete different actions. You should tailor your website navigation to focus on nudging the right visitor toward the must-have experience.
If you want your business to succeed, you need to be proactive with your marketing approach, and update your look to keep up with the times. This means if your site is over two years old, it’s far behind in terms of looks and functionality.
The code is probably outdated, slow downloading speed. Especially when it comes to mobile devices. This can hurt your rankings, especially if you are not optimized for Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages). And with mobile visitors accounting for more than half (52.2%) of all website traffic worldwide, ensuring that your website caters to the mobile crowd is important.
- You Haven’t Optimized Through A/B Testing
Do you know what elements on your website are working and what aren’t?
With some minor tweaks and a little testing, there is a high likelihood you could improve your conversion rates.
Conversion rate optimization isn’t guesswork. You must test, and analyze results before implementing changes. A/B testing, also known as split testing, is an excellent method for accomplishing this. Put simply, this technique involves creating two versions of something and testing them against one another.
A/B testing can dramatically increase your revenue, and the good news is that it doesn’t have to cost a lot. Sometimes it’s the most basic changes that make the most significant difference. So do some testing! You might be surprised. Even small changes like using a different image, a different message, or different colors can increase your conversion rates.
Check out Neil Patel’s article on mastering the split test.
- You Could Use More Traffic
Is your site integrated for Google Ads? What about Facebook or LinkedIn ads? If you’re not, it should be.
You may think Google Ads costs too much (why pay for clicks when I can get them for free?) or that your customers don’t use social media (everyone does). But an adequately optimized ads campaign can make you a lot more money than it costs. Like we said, there’s a very good chance that most, if not all of your customers are using social media on a daily basis.
Forget what you have heard, social media ads do work. If you’re already advertising through ads and social media channels, then think about how you can optimize your ad spend, A/B test, or expand your reach.
Perhaps you haven’t yet invested in display ads, lookalike audiences, or remarketing yet. If so, then now is a great time to start! These tools, and more, are all relatively new ways to drive more business to your website, and they’re more effective and efficient than almost anything else available today.
- There’s a Lot of Small Things That Need to Be Updated
If your website has a lot of small things that need to be updated, then now is the time to consider doing so! In fact, it just might be time to do a complete revamp on your website.
To see how your website checks out, you’ll want to do a thorough assessment of your site. Make sure everything’s still working properly. This involves going through each page if possible, and checking for issues such as:
- Plugins that need to be updated
- Missing and/or poor-quality images
- Incorrect and/or outdated user information
- Broken links (you can address this using a plugin)
- Broken features and/or plugins
- Formatting and/or style issues
- Missing and/or out-of-date content
Yes. This seems like a lot, however, it’s important that every page makes a strong impression. Also remember to create a backup before making any changes –just in case.
I recommend using SEM Rush, Nacho Analytics, and SpyFu for performing site audits –as well as seeing what keywords you should be optimizing for, along with other data on drawing potential customers in. These programs offer great solutions for busy website owners, and help to automate many once time-consuming tasks that are involved with combing through a website to keep it up to date –and keeping current on the best strategies.
As another option, at Sidekicks we offer a free site audit for new clients, meaning we’ll go through and check your site for you –saving you even more time.
Whether you’re in need of a few small updates, or an entire revamp, now is a great time to consider getting your website up-to-date. With so many changes having taken place in recent years in terms of shifting web traffic, security protocol updates, search algorithm updates, and more –it’s more important than ever to ensure that your website is cutting edge.
One excellent way to ensure that your website is up-to-date is by enlisting the help of a virtual assistant. A VA will be able to assess your project, offer you a competitive price, and allow you to ensure that your website is updated to a high standard. A VA will also be able to help you keep your website current as well; making changes and installing helpful plugins as you need them, taking all of the work and hassle out of keeping your site updated.
So remember, love your website, and treat it well. Give your site the work and dedication it deserves, in return, it will reward you with happy customers and plentiful conversions!
Are you thinking of updating your website? Learn more about hiring a VA for web design today!