When you should update or refresh your website depends upon a number of factors, not least of which is the kind of business you are in. Some companies find real benefit in updating their websites on a regular basis, while others can go much longer before they start to see their website having a negative impact on their business. The vast majority of small business websites generally need to be at least minimally refreshed on a two- to three-year basis, some more often than others.
Website updates generally require two things: the first is updating the actual content of the website. For example, if you are a seasonal business, there are updates to be done in the spring and in the fall. If you are a professional firm, such as a Syracuse law office, content may need to be updated as your service offerings change, or a new member of the firm is added. This may also entail, in some case, a complete website redesign. The second website update that may be needed is the website’s infrastructure – all the parts of the website that affect how it looks and works. This may include changing the photos and images so they load faster or look better on mobile devices, or introducing an ecommerce online store or catalog.
Website Content Updates
Search engines visit websites on a regular basis and examine the content on the website. This in turn affects how well your website ranks in comparison to other websites offering the same products or services in your area. Obviously you want to rank as high as possible. One thing search engines have been known for when ranking a website is it’s content quality and freshness.
All businesses have online competition, but small businesses can really compete with the big boys online if they do it right. Insuring that you rank high in search results is referred to as website search engine optimization. Part of this ongoing process includes regularly blogging, search engine relevant category and product pages, and search engine relevant resource, article and FAQ sections. Unfortunately, simply refreshing your website content generally isn’t enough to guarantee success in search engine rankings. Other SEO techniques are also required to boost your website to the top of search results.
But keep in mind, different websites in different markets require different update schedules. If yours is a scientific testing laboratory, you are much less likely to need content updates as compared to a lifestyle, tech, or seasonal business, which often benefit from weekly or bi-monthly updates. In fact, for these types of businesses, it’s virtually impossible to update their websites too often.
Website Infrastructure Updates
Website infrastructure updates fall into two categories: competitive updates and structural/security updates. Competitive updates are especially needed in ecommerce websites as you evaluate the user experience on your competitor’s websites and make the necessary changes to make the online shopping experience of your website visitors and customers as easy as possible, and more inviting than the competition. Ease of checkout can be a major infrastructure concern for ecommerce merchants, and cannot be overestimated since sales and revenue are so closely aligned with the overall shopping experience. Customer security is also a major concern, with website security updates occurring on almost a weekly basis.
While the content side of things is pretty straightforward, it can be a little trickier to know when the website itself could do with an update and indeed which parts to update and which to leave as they are. For many companies a website is their main source of conversions and revenue so it’s vital to make sure everything is in good order.
Website Updates: Planning Ahead
The reality is that most small business websites need to be freshened up every 12 to 18 months or so, whether it has to do with the website security features, general maintenance and upkeep, or other factors to keep things running smoothing and generating new sales leads. Some of this can be done by the website owner themselves or with the help of a professional website development company, such as the one who built and hosts your website for you. DYI website updates, particularly with respect to website security updates, can be risky. For the average merchant, website security updates are the last thing they are thinking about on any given business day, resulting in hacked websites and lost reputation and revenue.
Regular website maintenance and updates can keep things running smoothly and ensure optimal customer satisfaction as well as positive lead generation and sales.
Contact ATS Design Group in Syracuse
Blatant Sales Pitch: If your website could do with an update or freshening up, we invite you to contact our website development and maintenance team at ATS Design Group in Syracuse, New York. We specialize in:
- Website Design and Development
- E-Commerce Website Solutions
- Website Hosting and Support
- Website Maintenance