Bob owns a website. Bob’s website is an online copy of his store. Bob sells merchandise online, and runs a blog. In that blog, Bob writes about his merchandise. While Bob writes blog posts regularly, his website has not been updated in a few years. Bob does not realize that, by not updating his site, he is limiting his potential to sell merchandise online.
Are you like Bob?
You shouldn’t be.
See, websites are a virtual representation of your business. In many ways, a website acts like a store or office. Just because you hired a web designer a decade ago, doesn’t mean that you never need to hire one again.
In the same fashion that a customer will judge your business by walking in the front door and looking around, an online customer will navigate through your website. An online visit can do any one of a number of things. Here are some common things an online visitor will do.
- Read some blog posts
- Contact you if you have a contact form
- Sign up for a newsletter
- Check your online store, as well as your checkout process
- Read the landing pages
- Review your FAQ or Q&A section
- Notice how “modern” your website looks
- Notice how well your website performs (mostly in terms of speed)
It is imperative that you update your website as soon as possible. Online representation is becoming more and more important for businesses. Having social media accounts is not enough anymore.
If you have a website, it must look good, and it must work well if you want to earn revenue online.
Here are the top five reasons why you need to update your website now. While numerous others reasons may exist, these five reasons are common, as well as extremely important.
Security matters online. It is not enough that you secure your own information, but you need to secure the information hidden on your website. Information, like the following, can be found on many professional websites:
- Login credentials
- Credit card data
- Post history
If a hacker is able to access your site, they could use this information in nefarious ways. If you have watched the news in the past few months, then you know this already happened.
Equifax’s Argentina branch was “hacked,” and I use that term lightly, because they stored their admin login credentials in the HTML code. As a result of this, and possibly other “hacks” (Equifax would need to disclose their hacks), over 100 million Americans had their sensitive data exposed to hackers.
2. Modern Design Principles
Most business owners do not update their websites, especially the design of their websites.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” is a phrase that best describes this business philosophy.
Every year or so, a company should review and update their website’s design in order to keep up with new design trends. Doing so will attract more customers, as well as keep the ones you have.
Think about it like this.
Have you ever seen a website that was built in the 1990s? They look atrocious now, but back then that was cutting-edge technology.
The website for the popular 90’s romantic comedy “You’ve Got Mail” starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan is still up and running. It doesn’t take a design professional to realize how outdated that website is. Now compare that to Warner Bros’s modern website (the studio that produced the film) and you will see just how great it looks. Your website should look like the latter.
3. Better Performance
Website performance. It seems like an oxymoron. How can something virtual “perform?”
Website performance refers to things like page loading speed, the size of your website, and more. In truth, the performance of your website will depend on your goals.
Website performance can even be a task like adding input validation on user registration and login forms. Validation ensures that the information entered in your online forms is legitimate. Input validation can be set on the front end, the back end, or the database. Without good input validation, your site could become the target of hackers using SQL injections to hack your site.
You can even set up multiple forms of validation to be “extra” sure!
Regardless, your website performance is important and it is something that Google heavily considers when it determines your ranking. A fast-loading and efficient website is something that both your customers and Google will love.
4. Outdated Information
This is probably the simplest and most understandable reason to update your website. We have been throwing jargon at you this entire article that will be known to most web designers and developers, but not by laypeople.
Updating your information can mean many things. Here are a few examples:
- Publishing useful content that your readers will engage with.
- Creating custom post types on your WordPress website
- Altering the code on your website to change the text on a page
- Changing the size of a picture
- Altering the color of a page’s background
There are many ways to update the information on your site.
When prospective customers visit your site, they expect up-to-date information. You need to check and make sure that the information you are posting is accurate, and useful.
And if you find the prospect of updating your website a little too stressful, just hire a web design company to help you out. Remember, they are the experts when it comes to web design.
5. Outdated SEO
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is important to implement if you require a good listing on a search engine in order for clients to find your website.
As your business evolves, so too does your SEO. Your keywords need to change to become more appropriate for your business niche. Your SEO strategy need to be correlate with recommendations from search engines like Google.
Even the way you write blog posts, if you have a blog on your website may need to change to reflect modern features regarding SEO. While WordPress plugins like Yoast exist to help you with SEO, you really need to update your website to truly take advantage of SEO.
So, what should you do next?
- Go through your website.
- Visit all the pages on your sitemap.
- Read all the content, and look at all the images.
- Take notes on the improvements you want for your site, both improvements that will be viewed by online visitors, and those that will not be (like added input validation security on the backend – i.e. within the code).
Once you have your notes collected, you are now at a good starting point to update your site. All you need to do now is contact a web design company.
Well, here’s the thing…
Montreal Graphic Design specializes in web design and graphic design. If you feel that your website is outdated, get into contact with us and we will look at it for free.
No pressure, we just want you to know if your website looks a little old and we would be more than happy to help you give it a facelift.
Worried that your website is falling behind the times? Reward your users with a website overhaul. Reach out and contact us today.