Website maintenance is a vital part of any business’s online marketing efforts. The quality or your website can have a huge impact on how your company, along with its products or services, are perceived.
“Updating your web content is one of the most important things you can do to ensure the long-term success of your website.”
Source: Innovation Simple
If your website’s efforts to attract and retain customers, excel in the search engine rankings and engage audiences has been uninspiring as of late, read on for 5 important ways an updated website can significantly boost your online—and offline—marketing efforts:
1. Maintain a Professional Company Image
Your website isn’t just a way to get found on the Internet. It’s also a very public reflection of your company’s image. Think about it. How would you perceive a business whose website was riddled with spelling and grammar errors, broken links, nonfunctional pages, and outdated information?
A poorly maintained website conveys the idea that you don’t care about the image you’re presenting to the world. Additionally, a poor company image can reduce trust and cause you to lose money over time.
When your site is up-to-date, you communicate to others that your company is invested in their reputation and committed to taking the actions necessary to stay on top of things that matter.
2. Generate Interest & Give Visitors a Reason To Return
Readers visit your website because they’re looking for useful information. Your website should engage all visitors with content that is up to date, relevant, and helpful.
In a digital world where web users expect to get information fast, you have about two to four seconds to capture their attention. If your content doesn’t do that, you’re losing eyeballs that will drift to more interesting and helpful sites.
A website with fresh, unique content attracts new customers, keeps the interest of existing readers, and encourages visitors to come back often. Content should be audience-centric (focused on what audiences want to read about, not what you want to write about) and highly relevant. Additionally, contact forms, addresses, phone number listings, product information, and transaction processes should all be updated and in good working order.
Providing relevant, up-to-date information on your website helps users accomplish their goals and builds relationships of trust with your customers and visitors.
3. Improve Search Engine Ranking & SEO
“Website maintenance is critical to search-engine rankings,” says Chron. Websites with stale, tired content rank lower in search engine results. Search engines such as Google monitor your pages for modifications to determine if they’re worth crawling. If you’re not adding fresh content to your website, it could result in lower rankings and reduced business over time.
The more frequently you update your website with fresh content, the more search engines will boost your rankings.Not only is it important to inform search engines that your site has new and useful information available, but it will also provide you with more opportunities to rank for specific keywords.
4. Enhance Website Security
Digital innovation brings with it more security threats. Older websites are at greater risk because they depend on more outdated technology.
Any website using a content management system or web-based software must keep it updated with the latest security solutions. Oh, and just because you’re not running an e-commerce site, doesn’t mean hackers won’t want to breach your website. In fact, quite frequently, hackers will strike a website and upload malware for use in other cyber crimes.
Hackers are always on the lookout for websites that don’t pro-actively update their sites. This leaves your visitors open to infection through software downloaded from your website. Plus, when Google detects malware on your site, they may flag it as “harmful”, warning visitors away.
Make sure you’re using HTTPS and regularly updating security patches and plugins as suggested by your software’s recommendations. Being vigilant about reviewing the security of your website will protect your customers and maintain their trust.
5. Evolve with Current Technology to Improve User Experience
Web technology continues to evolve, but is your website keeping up?
For most savvy businesses, having an integrated website is essential in delivering an excellent user experience. Customers expect quick and easy navigation, accurate inventory search, social media interaction, and smooth transaction functionality. All processes on your website should be easy and convenient to use.
Integrating your website with your POS, for example, will reduce confusion and mistakes, as well as build trust when visitors see that your online inventory is an accurate reflection of what’s in stock at your physical store.
Today’s technology also helps you provide an omnichannel solution for your customers and prospects, encouraging them to spend more with your brand and all the methods you offer to interact, make purchases, and accomplish their shopping goals.
One of the most important parts of any successful website strategy is also one of the most overlooked—ongoing maintenance & updates. Yes, it’s crucial to build your website on a good foundation from the get-go, but it’s the regular upkeep that will ensure your website’s long-term effectiveness.
Is your website presenting your company in a good light? Is it safe to use? Does it improve SEO and regularly attract visitors? Does your website offer users a smooth and pleasant shopping experience by utilizing the latest technology?
You can’t build a website—no matter how awesome it is—and expect it to keep being awesome if you never perform any updates. Only through making consistent improvements can you maintain your website’s performance and enjoy a continuous return on your investment.