You’ve probably been told somewhere along the way that updating your website is a good idea. We’ve all seen some pretty swanky sites out there. Some are better than others, but the updated ones look nice.
Having a new website is akin to creating a new resume. By all accounts, it generally makes you stand out. How much does an up-to-date website actually matter? To what extent will your firm and brand identity specifically benefit from an updated website?
There are some positive results of updating your website that we list below. (To be fair, we also include some drawbacks, if you keep reading). These will not apply to everyone, but they will help you evaluate if updating your website makes sense for your company.
You’ll show up on search results.
These days, almost everything begins with a google search. If you haven’t updated your website in a while, you probably aren’t ranking too high on that search. Updating a website helps you with search engine optimization—you can use the language and techniques that the google aggrevators recognize and reflect in their search engine ranking system—just make sure you don’t forget to redirect all your valuable old links to the new site!
Your clients will actually be able to look at your website.
Sure, you have a URL. But if you have a buggy old Flash-based website with a bunch of lagging extra HTML, a URL could be all you have. How many busy prospects checking out your firm will wait the extra 10 seconds for your homepage to load? Not many. Complement that with archaic, confusing navigation and you may have already lost your prospect. Or at least given them a bad first impression of your brand identity.
You’ll be able to measure the effectiveness of your website.
An old website may not be equipped with the necessary tools that will help you measure how effective your online presence is. Nowadays, there are an assortment of online tools you can invest in to help you measure what works and what doesn’t on your website, right down to the minutest detail. However, in order to use those, you will need a modern website.
You’ll be able to update your website yourself.
An up-to-date website based on a content management system such as WordPress makes it easy to administer, avoid any messy code, and simply write in what you want in an organized fashion. That way, you can personally add to or switch your content based on your specific goals, while constantly optimizing your website.
Your clients will be able to check you out on their phones.
Mobile compliancy for websites is gaining more relevancy than ever before: 72% of mobile users consider it important that a website is mobile-friendly, and will most likely abandon a website and never revisit if it does not meet their expectations. As more tools are designed that allow you to go online but not in the traditional computer format, this percentage will only increase. Don’t get left behind because your website won’t format for a mobile device.
You’ll target your clients more effectively.
When you first got a website, or even the last time you updated it, you had a certain idea of what your clients looked like, wanted, and were attracted to. Chances are, you are now much better in tune with what type of clients you want to attract and what those clients are looking for. The main place you should be displaying that new knowledge is on your website, so if you update your website, you can tailor content and design to appeal to your current needs.
You’ll reduce your risk of getting hacked.
Stories of websites and social media feeds getting hacked are becoming more and more frequent. Security flaws can rear their ugly heads on any website, new or old, but the likelihood of security flaws affecting an older website is much greater as it relies on older technology.
And to be fair, here are some things to think about (and the biggest reasons people don’t update their sites more often):
It costs money.
Done well and properly considered, updating a site does not come cheap. This is a legitimate deterrant for many companies. With the economy fluttering in recent years, and resources not plentiful, it takes forward-thinking (and often enough, a small budget surplus) to make it happen. It’s worth it, but sometimes you have to convince the senior management that they need to do it. People are not looking for additional costs that will not provide a solid benefit.
It takes time.
Somebody has to coordinate the new site efforts, and as we mention here, content doesn’t write itself. You need to dedicate the time and resources into doing it properly, or don’t bother doing it at all.
Technology is always changing.
While this is true, it’s also a bit of a stall tactic. It’s like delaying the purchase to a flat-screen TV and keeping your old unit that weights 150 lbs and is 40″ deep. At some point you have to bite the bullet and upgrade. With a bit of planning and working with your strategic partners, your site will last a number of years and not have to be overhauled constantly.
Remember, too, that updating your website doesn’t have to be as big of an undertaking as it may sound. You can choose to simply switch up the content, or switch up the layout, or maybe just make it a little bit more SEO friendly. Whatever you choose to do, there is no one solution for everyone. We help our clients figure out what their unique solution looks like.