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Website Update 101: Why, When and How to Update a Website for Increased Business

In the fast-paced digital world, your website is often the first impression a prospective customer has of your business. Just as markets evolve and consumer preferences change, so must your online presence. Refreshing your website is not just about keeping up with web design trends; it’s about ensuring your site remains relevant, functional and engaging.

In this article, we’ll delve into the reasons why an up-to-date website is critical for business success, identify the signs that signal it’s time for a refresh and provide practical strategies for undertaking a website overhaul. Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, these insights will help you maintain your website’s edge in a competitive online landscape.

Why You Should Regularly Update Your Website

A stalwart online presence is a non-negotiable in today’s digital marketplace, where your website can significantly impact customer interactions and conversion rates. Regular updates–at least once or twice a year–to your website can enhance user experience, improve search engine ranking and reflect your company’s current direction and achievements.

Keeping your website content fresh and up to date is not just a nicety, but a necessity.

When Your Website Needs to Be Refreshed

Here are a few reasons why you should update your website and indications that it’s time to conduct a refresh.

Technology and Capabilities Change Over Time

Between social media constantly changing and new technologies like Virtual and Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence coming online, making sure your website is up to date and works with the latest technology trends is critical.

Your hosting platform may also have new capabilities you can explore that wasn’t there when you created your website or the last time you went to update it.

Your Audience Changes

Whether your business has been around for a long time or you’re a newer business, your target audience and their preferences may have changed since you last updated your site.

Consider running an audience analysis and updating your website to fit current trends and new customer needs and preferences.

Your Branding or Products Have Been Updated

If you went through a re-brand or came out with new products or phased out old, your website must be up to date with the latest and greatest efforts.

You’ve Noticed a Change in Visitor Behavior

Maybe you noticed an uptick in time on a landing page after updating a product page to test the inclusion of reviews and videos. You may want to update the rest of your website to include reviews and videos on all web pages and all product pages.

Anytime after you conduct any form of testing or trials, you’ll want to review and update your own website after this feedback to ensure you keep people coming back to your website.

You Have New Content to Feature

Whether your business was mentioned in a local news article, you launched a giveaway or competition, are running a sale or are trying to create regular thought-leadership content, updating your website with any new content you’re proud of and think would resonate with your audience is always a nice idea.

How to Update Your Website

When it comes to actually updating your own site, it can seem like there’s a lot to keep track of. Use these tips to make sure any process and every update you conduct goes as smoothly as possible.

Use Metrics and Reporting to Guide Changes

Understanding traffic, behavior research and testing metrics is crucial for small businesses when updating their websites.

These analytics provide insights into how users interact with your site, indicating, for example, which areas are most engaging and where there might be room for improvement.

By analysing these details, you can make informed decisions about website design, content and features that align with your audience’s preferences and behaviours.

A/B testing, for instance, allows you to compare two versions of certain elements of a page to determine which elements lead to better conversion rates regarding such things as click-throughs, sign-ups or sales.

Small businesses in particular can benefit from this data-driven approach to optimise their online presence effectively, leading to enhanced user experience, increased customer satisfaction and, ultimately, higher profits.

Metrics act as a compass in the vast sea of digital marketing, guiding small businesses toward more strategic, user-focused website updates.

Ensure You Optimise for Mobile

Did you know just over 75% of adults have made purchases from a mobile device?

Mobile optimisation is no longer optional; it’s compulsory for businesses aiming to provide a seamless user experience.

With the majority of internet traffic coming from mobile devices, your website must perform flawlessly on smartphones and tablets.

A mobile-optimised site ensures faster loading times, easier navigation and an adaptive design that conforms to various screen sizes, which can significantly reduce bounce rates and improve engagement.

Moreover, search engines like Google prioritise mobile-friendly websites in their rankings, meaning that mobile optimisation can also elevate your site’s visibility and attract more organic traffic.

By prioritising mobile users, you provide a universally accessible platform, catering to the on-the-go lifestyle of modern consumers and demonstrating your commitment to customer convenience and satisfaction.

Use High-Quality Images and Videos

The inclusion of high-quality images and videos on a small business website can profoundly influence user engagement and perceived credibility.

Visuals captured in high resolution and produced with finesse can convey the professionalism and attention to detail that customers expect from reputable businesses. Furthermore, vivid images and compelling videos can tell a brand’s story more effectively, showcase products and services with clarity and help potential customers visualise their benefits.

High-quality visuals are not just aesthetically pleasing. They also enhance the user experience by making the site more interactive and informative, which can lead to longer visit durations and increased conversion rates.

In the age of visual culture, leveraging top-notch visual content can set a small business apart in a competitive market, making it an essential component of any website update strategy.

Understand Website Hosting Capabilities and Limitations

Understanding your website host’s specific capabilities and limitations is fundamental when updating your website. Your host dictates access to the infrastructure and bandwidth available to your site, influencing its performance and scalability.

Knowing the technical constraints and features offered by your hosting service can guide you in choosing the right tools and approaches for your update. If your host offers automatic backups, enhanced security features or support for integrated content delivery networks (CDNs), these can significantly benefit your site’s reliability and speed.

Conversely, being aware of limitations, such as storage space or traffic bandwidth, can prevent potential downtime or slow page-load times that might drive visitors away.

Equipping yourself with this knowledge ensures that your website remains robust, responsive and prepared to grow alongside your business, providing an uninterrupted and high-quality experience for every visitor.

Incorporate SEO Best Practices

Incorporating SEO best practices, such as keyword research, into site updates is vital for enhancing online visibility and driving organic website traffic. Keywords form the core of search engine algorithms, determining what users see first in their searches. By integrating well-researched keywords aligned with your target audience’s search behavior, you can significantly elevate your website’s ranking on search engines. Tools like Google Keyword Planner and Wordtracker are helpful tools to help you get started.

This boosts exposure to target keywords, increasing the likelihood of your site appearing at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant queries. Regularly updating your website with SEO in mind isn’t just about more traffic or about attracting more visitors—it’s about attracting the right visitors who are more likely to engage with your content, products or services.

Other helpful SEO best practices include creating regular, high-quality content that provides unique value to your audience, eliminating any broken links on your site and keeping any referring links current.

Create a Calendar for Regular Updates

Consistency is key when it comes to keeping a website fresh and relevant. Creating a calendar for regular updates is crucial for small businesses as it ensures that your website content remains current, reflects any changes in products or services and meets the evolving needs of your audience.

A dedicated calendar supports a strategic plan that aligns with business goals, promotional activities and industry trends. It helps to prevent outdated from remaining on your site, which can damage your brand’s credibility and negatively affect customer trust.

Moreover, a regular update schedule can improve SEO performance by consistently using existing content and providing new content for search engines to index, keeping the site dynamic and engaging for both new and returning visitors.

In essence, a update calendar is a dynamic tool that promotes organisational discipline and better resource management and ultimately contributes to a small business’s success in the competitive online marketplace.

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