The Importance of Updating your Website Regularly
Your business is important to you, and you’d like it to be important to your clients too. A boring and hard to navigate website can scare clients away before they even know what you are about. You want to be sure that you put your best foot forward when seeking out new clients, and keeping your website up to date is one of the most important things you can do for this.
The top three things to focus on when updating your website are:
- Updating Your Website Security
- Keep Your Content Fresh
- Updating Your Website Design
Updating Your Website’s Security
In our present day and age, security should be one of the top priorities for businesses both large and small. We hear all too often about large companies that get hacked, compromising information such as credit card or social security numbers of their clients. This leads to a lack of trust and also hurts the business – clients may choose to go to their competitors in fear that their information might be compromised again.
Choose a Secure Website Platform
One of the top reasons websites get hacked is because of the vulnerability in the framework and platform on which their website is built. WordPress is not only one of the easiest platforms to use, but it is one of the most secure sites for your business to be built on.
New releases come out every few months for WordPress, and the software is easy to update to the latest version. There are security features built into practically every new release of WordPress. They spot the vulnerabilities and improve their software before the issues affect your website. Websites that stay on older versions of WordPress are more likely to get hacked, as hackers can find out what WordPress version your website is on and worm their way in through backdoor portals.
Choose a Company That Understands Website Security
Be sure that the company you choose to build and/or host your website holds the security of your website in high regard. Your security should be their top priority. Even when using a secure website platform, the backend configuration of your website can play a key role in the security of your website. A poor backend configuration can lead to security breaches.
It’s important for your website hosting company to be aware of possible security issues and have a plan in place to protect your site against them. Ask your hosting firm how often they update the version of WordPress your site is on or the plugins within it – the best firms offer a plan where they will update them on a quarterly basis to ensure your site is secured often. See how often they backup all the data on your website. Ideally, they will do so daily, so if there is a breach or an issue that takes your website down, they can quickly restore to the working version from the previous day.
Keep Your Website Content Fresh
Keeping your website’s content updated can help your business in a number of ways.
Better Content Gives You More Traffic
Keeping the content up to date on your site helps build trust between you and your customers. Most likely, customers rely on your site for useful information on whatever market you are in.
Updated information also helps build domain authority. Domain authority, briefly explained, is how much of an authority on a particular subject your website is. For example, Wikipedia.org has one of the highest Domain authorities out there, because it’s content is always well researched, reviewed by editors, and you’re not distracted with unsightly or unrelated ads. Google holds this in high regard when trying to match search inquiries with useful and relevant information.
Have you ever visited a website that’s copyright is 2014 and the latest blog post is years old as well? Does it make you wonder if they’re still in business, or if they still service your area? Having outdated content on your site, mentioning things like an old location of your business or not-modern technology, can be perceived by your potential customers that your business doesn’t keep up with the latest trends. Anytime a customer reads content on your site that makes them go “wait, I don’t understand that” or “wait, that’s not right”, you’re hurting your credibility.
Keyword Content Strategy
Another place to update your website is your keywords. Having pages on your website that speak about a specific topic is only useful if the keyword(s) are mentioned. For example, if your company provides A/C Repair, then you should have a page on your website dedicated to A/C Repair. Businesses can also use city-specific pages to help them get found in particular city markets, such as Raleigh, Durham, or Cary, NC.
It’s important to keep the keywords on your website fresh as well as the content. Perhaps you’ve expanded into another city in the past few years, or are selling a new product or service. If you don’t update your keyword focus, you’ll continue to get traffic for your first city and service, but not for your new ones.
Updating Your Website’s Design
Many businesses focus only on content and internet marketing but fail to address the design and navigation of their website. Some of the things to avoid on your website include difficult navigation, colors that are either too boring or far too obnoxious, and unnecessarily long customer contact forms. All of these things can lead to a website that steers customers away even if your content is top notch.
Mobile-Friendly Web Design
60% of web traffic now comes from mobile devices like iPhones, iPads, Android Phones, and Tablets. This means that if your website is not mobile-friendly and easy to view on a smaller screen, you could be missing out on over half of your potential customers. It’s that simple.
Keep the Target Market in Mind
A website’s design should focus around the needs of the target customer. This means providing easily accessible, engaging content that the ideal customer within your target market will find useful. It also means that the website is ultimately focused around converting those visitors into customers. Your target market may change over time as you expand your business, hire new employees, or invest in new tools, so be sure you’re adapting the content of your website accordingly.