When it comes to getting contact information or learning about goods and services for a business, a primary resource for searchers can be a company website. As easy and helpful as a site can be for information about your products and services, finding outdated information or an outdated website can do just the opposite.
Now, no one wants to be continually changing their site around so it doesn't become stale, so let's discuss some main reasons why your website may need to be updated.
One-page Brochure-Style Websites
While they may look pretty or flashy, these one-pager sites offer little benefit for your business. Many providers will offer a free one-page website, but aside from a promotional advertisement or product launch, they aren't super useful. The potential gain to your business with this style of website is low, as they will generate a small amount of traffic without promotion. These one-pager-type sites are helpful for a fast or free landing page, in which you can add some text, pictures, and web links, but are lackluster toward long-term goals. If your established company site looks like this, it may be time to put in the extra time to expand on your website, span your content over a few pages, and include an About and Contact page to make a full website that works for you!
No Longer SEO Friendly
With the changing times, you also need to make sure that your target audience can find you. It could also be that you have since updated your page content and your descriptions or that your business model is no longer in-line with your goals, and they need to be updated. Take the time to read up on SEO and ensure you are using the most relevant marketing processes to promote your pages and posts.
No SEO Submissions
You've had a website for years, but you've never promoted it because you've been watching your site analytics, and now you're noticing the visits drop. Why is that? Maybe it's time for an overhaul to update your page descriptions, re-write some content, and look into some SEO submission tools.
Unlike using great domain names, a website doesn't get better by itself over time. If you create a website, it's the best practice to keep it updated and maintain it. You can update your website in two different ways: 1) site styling and content, and 2) design and code. Now depending on what kind of website you have, you could be looking at end-of-life issues for old DIY builders that haven't been updated or migrated yet, or custom websites with yesterday's code, themes, or plugins. While this may not necessarily mean the website content needs changing, it may mean your website security needs an update. Having your site security behind could harm your business reputation, as well as any computers which visit a site with vulnerabilities. Try to keep up on the times with your site and be aware of your options. If it's a DIY website, is it using a secure working environment with a larger company? Using a large, well-known hosting provider will be more likely to keep their website products maintained.
If using custom templates or coding, are you using the best practices for maintenance to ensure you aren't opening yourself up to risk? Also, if the website isn't a threat to be viewed, you don't want the website to be an eyesore because it hasn't changed its colours or formatting in years. Try updating some photos and changing your colour scheme to spice things up!
In a different aspect of security is to make your website secure with an SSL certificate. With the release of Google Chrome version 56, Chrome began pushing webmasters to change their websites from HTTP to HTTPS. The benefit of placing that padlock on gave a search engine boost to sites that were showing secured to visitors. Make sure that your website can support an SSL certificate and see what the process would be to enable HTTPS is in your best interest. While older websites may be familiar with site security for eCommerce stores, in days past, entire websites were not always encrypted. On another note, older hosting servers may not even support the site certificate security that today's browsers want you to have, so be on the watch.
Much like the point above, older websites may not have the functions for mobile responsiveness, either. Depending again on if your site uses a DIY builder or with some form of custom coding, it may be as simple as enabling a responsive build or as complex as migrating or re-building your website from scratch. Older sites may need their coding changed to use modernized and up-to-date alternatives. While mobile-friendliness may be a no-brainer to some business types, tablet, laptop, and mobile phone user support will give you a boost to your page rankings, too!
Free to Use
If your company has a website that you can show your pictures on using a free hosting provider, that's great, but why can't you provide anyone with your domain name? A lot of free-to-use DIY builder sites offer hosting at no charge but won't typically allow you to connect your branded website for your company without added fees. The problem is that it's difficult to generate and track your leads, as well as provide your address to potential clients through word of mouth. If you can email your link or post it on social media, then that's great, but it doesn't help you if they can't remember how to get to it without a bookmark or hyperlink. It may be time to pay out the extra fees, update your website to be branded, or look to a hosting provider that can support your growing needs and update your site!
There could be any number of reasons why a web page could run slowly, but unfortunately, yes, page load times are a thing. If your pages load slowly for everyone, it can not only negatively affect the user, but it can also negatively affect your website page ranking with the search engines. To get a handle on this, try running some page speed tests. These tests generally provide feedback on what causes your site to slow down so you can better optimize it. Whether it's a theme, a plugin, a large image, or a script, making little maintenance updates to your website can help. These tweaks not only make it run smoother but can give you some benefit in the search engines as well.
The Bottom Line
Keep your website up to date as best you can. Routine maintenance or site updates, though they are sometimes a hassle, can protect you and your site visitors. Going above the norm and upgrading your website with an SSL certificate where applicable will secure your site and help with higher page rankings on the search engines. Clean up old programming languages and styling and move away from legacy hosting platforms that do not support up-to-date coding and security. This cleanup will make your site load faster and make your website neater, which in turn, will make for a more pleasing browsing experience.
If you find that your site is in need of an upgrade, Alley Kat Web Consulting can offer our services to improve your website. At Alley Kat Web Consulting, we offer various forms of design and development, maintenance solutions, and of course, consulting. Trust an experienced team and contact us today to learn more!