Does your business’ online presence affect its success? According to a research study, “United States B2C eCommerce Country Report 2017” by eCommerce Foundation*, about 88% of consumers conduct an online search before making a purchase decision either online or in-store. This tells us that the competition for a consumers’ business is taking place not just in the aisles but more frequently, online. Serving as your digital storefront, your website is potentially one of the most powerful tools you have to take on competitors and help your business thrive.
One of the easiest ways to use your website to your advantage is to always keep it up-to-date and well-maintained. Is your website fully up-to-date? How can you tell if it’s outdated? When was the last time you thoroughly went through your website to assess it?
When your website is outdated, you run the risk of leads and customers having a negative experience or perceptions, which could develop into the following issues:
- The quality of your product or service become questionable
- Your brand does not appear professional or as an industry leader
- Credibility of your brand or products/services drops
- Leads and sales drop
- Loss of market share to your competitors
How often should you update your website? This answer will vary for each business and situation, though there are some staples that hold true across all industries.
If you have made changes to your hours of operation, location, employees, service, and/or core business deliverables, those updates need to be made as soon as they occur.
If your business’ website regularly publishes a blog or other resources that are being consumed by your customers, you should make those updates regularly and as often as appropriate. Ensure that these resources are being created with fresh and engaging topics, being careful not to repeat the same topics too frequently. In addition to providing good information to consumers, websites that are updated more regularly with fresh content get an increased ranking on Google. This is because Google wants to be at the forefront of news and new information.
Looking to evaluate if your website is up to date or not? Review your website using this checklist:
Signs of an Outdated Website
- Call to action no longer relevant (Is there a clear call to action at all?)
- Information (phone numbers, address, services, etc.) no longer accurate
- Promotional offers, coupons, and discounts expired or no longer relevant
- Cluttered design, images, text, and empty space need to be used in balance
- Not enough text or too much text
- Not mobile optimized – no matter how big or small the screen viewing your website, it should be visible on all devices
- Not optimized for appearing in search engine results (SEO)
- Pages take a long time to load
- Conversions coming from the website have dropped
- Not branded (website design is inconsistent with your business and brand in colors, logos, verbiage, content on site, etc.)
- Includes awkward stock photos (don’t appear to “fit” your business)
- Difficulty maintaining and updating the website
- Has broken links and/or images
- Outdated images of team members, company, products, etc.
- No recent samples of work
- Too much keyword stuffing and doesn’t read naturally
- Not easy to navigate
- Your business is dropping in search results/Google rankings
- Not built for conversion – visitors should have clear and easy steps they can take to perform your desired action at any given moment on your website
- If your company is significantly changing its product or service offerings, consider a complete redesign.
Depending on how outdated your website is, it could require a few minor updates or a total redesign. Ask yourself this final question: “Is my website telling my brand’s story in an accurate way? And as a result, is it successfully converting leads?” If your answer is “yes,” then you are on the right track and a redesign would be a luxury, not a necessity. If your answer is “no,” you should consider reworking the website while going through the checklist above. You may consider consulting with an outside strategy firm who specializes in website development to ensure your site is optimized for converting leads into loyal customers.