Building a website isn’t a once-and-done endeavor. Regular updates are important to keeping your site relevant and ranking high in organic search.
So how do you know if it’s time to update your website?
A good rule of thumb is that any time anything changes within your business – no matter how minor it seems – your site should immediately be updated with the change. Think of this as regular maintenance.
However, eventually your website will require a more significant overhaul, especially if you haven’t been updating it regularly. It doesn’t take long for design in particular to look tired and dated, just like the clothes in the back of your closet.
It’s an important update too since design that is perceived as “bad” devalues your site’s authority and credibility.
A good rule of thumb is to plan for a website refresh every three to five years, though sometimes a major change – such as rebranding your business – may precipitate an overhaul outside of that timeframe.
If you’re still uncertain if this is the year to budget for an overhaul, consider these signs that your website needs a redesign.
Redesigning your website is a significant investment, but in the long run not redesigning your site could cost you more.
Seven Signs That Indicate Now Is The Time
1. Some of your products and services aren’t listed.
Your website should feature all of the products and services you offer, especially if yours is an e-commerce site. And product descriptions, prices and other attributes need to be updated as soon as they change. If customers can’t find what they’re looking for, they’re likely to spend their money with your competitors.
2. Your staff pages are out of date.
This is important for B-to-B businesses in particular. People want to do business with people. But promotions, departures and reorganizations happen all the time while web copy reflecting those changes doesn’t happen as soon as it should. Remember: A broken link or wrong phone number could lead a potential customer elsewhere.
3. Your photos aren’t current.
Besides making your entire website look up to date, photos are an easy way to refresh the appearance of your site without a complete overhaul. Be sure product photos match the actual product packaging and that people in the photos have hairstyles, eyewear and clothing that are not from a decade gone by.
4. Your design isn’t responsive.
Responsive websites – those that automatically adjust to fit the device they’re being viewed on — are a necessity. Since an estimated 60 percent of searches are performed on a mobile device, if your site isn’t responsive, you’re losing sales.
5. Numbers are declining.
The number of visitors to your site has dropped and so has the time visitors spend exploring it. On the other hand, your bounce rate – the number of visitors who leave after viewing just one page — has increased. Google Analytics can offer insights into what’s working on your site – and what’s not. Fresh Creative can also perform a website audit that details what should be fixed to improve your site’s performance.
6. Your site isn’t ranking in organic search.
If you’re not appearing in search results for your products and services, it’s likely because search engines – Google in particular – aren’t viewing your site as relevant to user search queries. Since Google is the most widely used search engine, your site needs to follow as many of its 200+ algorithms as possible. The most important ranking factors include site speed, mobile responsiveness and site security. Regularly optimizing your site for search (SEO) is critical to making sure search engines will recognize it as relevant to searches for your products or services
7. Only computer wizzes can make changes to your site.
With older or proprietary content management systems (CMS), even simple updates require IT (information technology) expertise. Migrating your site to WordPress gives you a user-friendly platform that facilitates simple updates by your staff and decreases the amount of out-of-date content on your site. If you’re still unsure if it’s time for a website refresh, contact Fresh Creative for help.