Why is it Important to Keep Your Website Updated?
For businesses out here in rural America, a strong digital presence is vital for connecting with local and non-local customers. With almost two billion websites in the world, chances are your company has its own website that connects your audience to your brand. Your website is one of the first places people go when seeking information or are considering buying you, and the first impression matters. As you drive traffic to your website, keeping it updated and maintaining a good first impression is important.
Maximizing a Website’s Value with Content
The design and layout of your website is the first thing people see when visiting your site, but the content is what they engage with and is just as important for forming a positive opinion. After you launch a website, it can be easy to think that the heavy lifting is done with content, but it’s not.
Improve the customer experience
Maintaining, updating and adding new content to your website is one of the most important things you can do to continue engaging and converting visitors. What are they searching for? What content do they interact the best with? How can your brand fill the need that they have? Developing new content with your customer in mind will set you on the path for engaging and building a strong brand experience.
Establish credibility and improve search rankings
Regularly adding new high-quality content encourages users to engage with and return to your site. Positive user interaction and up-to-date high-quality content also shows expertise and authority to search engines. When search engines trust your site, they are more likely to display it in search results, which drives even more traffic to your site.
Appearing high in search engine results also presents your brand as an industry expert and further establishes trust with potential and current customers. For rural Americans, trust is one of the biggest factors in decision-making. Providing them with valuable content and remaining an industry expert will strengthen relationships and help retain customers.
Website Redesigns to Update Appearance
Visitors to your site base first impressions off of the initial appearance and opinions are formed in a fraction of a second. If your site looks dated or doesn’t represent your brand, you may be losing out on potential customers and sales. A basic redesign can involve changing out colors and fonts and updating logos, while a more thorough reskin can include in-depth changes like a new website theme.
Maintain a Consistent Brand Identity
As time passes, website edits of various sizes are made, many times by more than one person. These changes can lead to an inconsistent look and user experience. A redesign is an effective way to update varying content to a more uniform look to reflect your brand’s identity.
Engage Visitors in a Visual Way
In this digital age, many users are drawn in through visually engaging content such as creative graphics or streamlined, clean lines. A redesign is a great way to modernize the appearance while maintaining the core functionality and content of your website.
Maintaining Your Website to Prevent Technical Issues
Appearances of the website are important, but users may not realize that behind the scenes, a complex technology stack is driving everything they interact with.
Maintain Security and User Experience
Technical issues with a website can lead to a broken user experience and/or security issues. At best this will frustrate users and at worst it could lead to compromised user or payment information.
Preserve Trust and Relationships
Consumers, especially in rural America, value trust and are more likely to do business with brands they know they can trust. If you want to maintain strong relationships with your customers and provide a strong user experience, keep an eye on the behind-the-scenes of your website to keep it functioning properly. This can include updates and patches for the:
- Core functionality
- Custom functionality
- Server Environment
- Content Management System
- Security measures and tools
- Plug-ins, extension and third-party tools
In the long run, properly maintaining a website can help to prevent issues that might lose you customers, sales and time.
Rebuilding Your Website
Adding new content, updating the appearance and completing regularly scheduled technology maintenance is important during the life of your website. However, over time, your brand and customers’ needs evolve. Website and SEO best practices and trends also change, and new technology improves and provides new opportunities. Your voice changes, your area of expertise may pivot and the appearance of your brand may undergo a redesign. Customers may expect new functionality or features. Whether there is a specific reason or time has just passed, it’s important that your website continues to provide value to customers and sets you above the competition.
You should periodically review the overall appearance, functionality and user experience of your website (we recommend every two to three years) with a few questions in mind?
- Is it easy for customers to find what they’re looking for?
- Are the content and design cohesive and consistent with your brand’s goals?
- Does your site look outdated or lag behind the competition?
- Have your business objectives changed?
- Is your site mobile-friendly and designed with mobile users in mind?
- Is the website’s functionality broken and negatively impacting the user experience?
- Do you need to offer new functionality that customers expect?
- Is your site optimized for search engines?
These are the questions you should consider and if the answer isn’t ideal, it is probably time to consider a full rebuild. A rebuild will provide an improved user experience and ensure that you are staying ahead of the competition, setting you up for success now and into the future.