You probably upgrade your cell phone at least every two years (or sooner if you’re a tech nerd like our team members). Your company’s website is no different. Why’s that? Well, it’s simple. Technology changes. It’s what we love about what we do: there’s always something newer and better that can help improve your company’s image, enhance your reputation and better serve your customers, boosting your bottom line. In fact, most companies redesign or significantly overhaul every two years, if not sooner, to take advantage of new advances in web technology.
Here are just a few of the reasons why you should update your website every two years:
• Keep Up with Business Goals – As your company grows, so should your website. A website should meet business goals and an aging tool simply can’t keep up. New technology implemented properly can help your staff save time and decrease expenses. If your company is heading in a new direction or has undergone a brand redesign, your website should reflect that.
• Keep Up with Competitors – It’s easy for your competitors to gain the competitive advantage if they are keeping up with advances in technology and optimizing their website. Since your website is likely the first touch point for prospective customers and your most important information-gathering sales tool for , an effective website is key for attracting customers and turning them into buyers.
• Designs are very trendy – Just like fashion goes out of style, so does the look of your website. Updating your website every two years will help to ensure that your website does not lag behind the current trends. Your customers want to do business with a fresh, modern company that understands ‘today’s buyer’ – them. Remember, your website is your most important sales tool to reach current buyers. If your website isn’t up-to-date then your customers will assume that your business practices aren’t either.
• Give Customers What They Want – When developing a new site, keep your customers in mind. You want them to be your brand advocates. How do they access information now? What will be most appealing to them?
o Focus on creating a site that will be easy for your customers to use. Think like a customer: Can they find what they are looking for on your site in two or three clicks? Does everything download quickly? Are the buttons big and easy to see?
o Does the site have fresh, new and regularly updated content? Your site should have a blog to share company news and should be easy to update so that customers can find exactly what they’re looking for. Actually, because information now moves so quickly, if your site has not been recently updated, prospects may even question whether you are still in business.
o And most importantly in our mobile world, can buyers access your site from their desktop, tablet and smartphone and find what they need? Today’s sites need to be responsive – customers being able to view your website on their smartphone is not enough – your site should deliver an experience specific to each customer, meeting their unique needs.
• You Need A Database that Works – What your customers can’t see is just as important as what they can see. Depending on your needs and criteria, the site may be powered by a custom database. The complexity of the database will depend on your company’s business process. Having a site that your internal team can update themselves on an ongoing basis provides more control of the content, quicker updates and saves money over time. Another important factor of a database-driven site is that often the front end of the site (the pretty part that customers like), can be updated without having to update the backend of the site.
• Improve Search Engine Optimization – Newer websites are typically more search engine friendly. There is a lot that goes into driving natural search traffic, and many of today’s programming languages are more attractive to the search engines. Things like Flash, which was very popular on websites built several years ago, is not search engine friendly at all and cannot be seen on most smart phones. Websites with fresh content, proper SEO, citations and other attributes that the search engines like will rank higher in customer’s search results. Search engine ranking algorithms change often, so your site must keep up if you want customers to find you when they search words or phrases that describe your company’s product or service. As a matter of fact, the things we did for SEO two years ago would hurt your site today.
• Stay on Top of Social Media – Popular social media networks are ever changing. Make sure to integrate the ones that are hot now with your new website. Give your happy customers a way to pin your images to their favorite boards on Pinterest, share blog posts on Facebook, watch a video from YouTube and more. They will be more prone to interact with your company and will be more likely to be your brand advocates if you make it easy for them.
• Protect Your Investment – Older websites are more prone to security vulnerabilities and hacks. Using the latest software and maintaining the updates for open source software will help to protect your website against hackers. Of course, using complicated passwords and maintaining a good hosting environment help too. Make sure your website is accessible to customers during the times they are browsing and shopping, not down due to a security breach.
• Track Results – You should be able to track the performance of your website. If your website was not built in a way that you can measure results, how do you know what is (or isn’t) working? Modern websites are built so that you can track how your site is being used and how it converts customers.
• Show Customers You Want their Business – Updating your website every two years shows your customers that you’re proactive and care about marketing your product.
Your new website is an investment, don’t skimp on the one sales tool that ALL of your customers will use. Just call us at 847-259-7312 to learn more about our website development services.