Business owners usually recognize the importance of having an online presence via a website and diverse social media platforms. But launching your online presence is really just the beginning! If you want to ensure that your website maintains domain authority all while avoiding problems like security breaches, high bounce rates, low lead numbers and dismal sales conversion rates (among others), you need to keep it current: that’s why regular website updates matter!
Does that mean you need to constantly overhaul your website? No, comprehensive website redesigns only need to be done every few years but regular website updates should take place much more often. Wondering what the key aspects that require regular attention are? Read on!
Security alone is the top reason to regularly update your website. Nothing will send customers running away from a business faster than fearing their information is not safe. If your website is still using an HTTP format as opposed to HTTPS: you need a security update immediately! That’s because savvy users will know that the missing “S” puts them in a vulnerable position and they will likely navigate away in search of safer pastures, at least when it comes to sharing their personal and financial information, therefore negatively impacting your website’s sales conversion rates.
Even if you are already using an HTTPS format after acquiring an SSL certificate, consider that website building platforms like WordPress regularly provide version updates that include bug fixes and security updates. These new versions are essential to fight-off a myriad of potential threats that constantly surface the web: don’t ignore those updates! Using outdated versions practically invites hackers to attack your website and take advantage of its vulnerabilities. Staying updated will keep you and your customers protected.
EASE OF NAVIGATION, LOADING SPEED AND FUNCTIONALITY
Along with security, making sure that your website provides a flawless UX (User Experience) should be your top priority. This can only be achieved if your website is not only visually appealing but also functional, easy to navigate and offers lightspeed loading times. In a world with fierce competitors and users who have little to no patience when facing low loading speeds, you can’t afford to have a non-performing website causing high bounce rates. Regular site maintenance will ensure that you can identify issues like slow/underperforming pages, broken links, oversized images (just to name a few) and resolve any issues affecting loading speed before they start negatively impacting traffic and conversions.
A key aspect to consider when it comes to website functionality is updating its plugins. Plugins are pieces of software that can extend existing functionality or even add new features. A good example is including CSS coding which ensures that your website’s display easily adapts to mobile devices; this kind of plugin is essential since web traffic nowadays flows predominantly through smartphones and other mobile devices. Other plugins allow you to add integrations to your website for e-commerce, social media or different reservation systems, just to name a few options. In a fast changing digital world, new plugins are created often and you can benefit from them only by doing regular updates.
Providing quality content is an excellent way to attract traffic to your website because it boosts customer engagement with your brand and helps you establish domain authority. But, the older the content is, the less relevant it becomes and search engine web crawlers will move away to avoid information that might have become redundant. That’s why you need to plan a content strategy that involves regular updates to your different platforms (blog, podcasts, social media presence).
Share industry knowledge, stay on top of new trends in your space, share insights on projects, services or products of your company… you get the idea: provide content that’s fresh and adds value! Establish what frequency is manageable for you (daily, weekly, bi-montly, monthly) and stick to it. Users will keep coming back to your website to peruse the content you post provided you guarantee quality, relevance and reliability. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to engage with your customers and to woo new ones!
SEO AND WEB DESIGN TRENDS
Last but certainly not least, stay on top of new trends driving web design choices and SEO strategies so they are reflected on your website. Although not every trend will be compatible with your brand image, keeping a fresh look that is in tune with current times is essential; again, you don’t need to do a complete website overhaul, just try to include elements that keep your website in vogue.
As for SEO trends, make sure that your content includes subjects and keywords that are relevant for current times. By providing your audience with the information that is occupying their attention, you will be able to capture their share of mind and the interest of search engine web crawlers, therefore boosting your website’s traffic and rankings.
Regular website updates are a must not only because of security and functionality, but also to help boost its position in the rankings. Providing relevant content to your customers (acquired and potential) is key for fostering brand credibility and customer loyalty. So don’t wait, go ahead and implement those website updates!