Owning a website goes beyond buying a domain name, designing the site and releasing it into the internet. If you want your website to be successful, you need to keep it up to date.
What Does a Bad Website Look Like?
If you’re like me, visiting a bad website doesn’t encourage you to make a purchase or contact the company. In fact, a bad website often makes it difficult for you to get in contact or make a purchase!
If you are going to have a website, it should be a good one. So, what are we talking about here? What makes a bad website? Here are just a few contributing factors:
· Slow to load
· Confusing design
· The design doesn’t fit the brand or organisation
· Not enough content
· Too much content
· Difficult to navigate
· Not mobile friendly
· Out of date content
The Dangers of Out Of Date Content
Let’s focus on the last item on that list – out of date content. I think it’s the most important. If your content is not updated regularly, your website visitors are getting an inaccurate representation of your organisation. Out of date content is usually unintentional, but it gives the impression that you are inattentive, because either you haven’t noticed or you can’t be bothered to change it.
Here’s another danger: out of date content loses business. Imagine a hairdresser changing his mobile number, but forgetting to update the number on his website – even a week without the new number could lose him customers. Out of date content causes you to miss out on business in more subtle ways, too. If your last news update was about a charity fundraiser that took place two years ago, people could wonder if you have done anything newsworthy since.
Finally, out of date content can harm your website’s ranking in search engines. Google makes a point of listing search results based on relevancy – part of being relevant is being up to date.
What Needs Updating?
Now that we’ve established the importance of regular content updates for a website to be successful, here are the main areas to consider when identifying what needs to change:
Products and Services
Remove discontinued products/services and add new ones. Don’t continue to advertise expired offers.
Blog or News Updates
A blog or latest news sections needs regular updates – once a month should be a minimum aim. Uploading new posts frequently will also increase your chances of being found in search engines.
Make sure all people listed on your website are still involved with the organisation, and add new people too.
Remove expired events, unless you distinguish between upcoming and past events. This is particularly important if you hold events on a recurring day of the week.
Keep all email addresses, phone numbers, addresses etc. up to date, and if you have a contact form remember to check which email address it forwards to.
Images can make or break someone’s impression of a website. Keep your photography fresh – even if you use stock photography it’s good to refresh the images every so often as it can date sooner than you think.
If you own or look after a website, why not take a look today and see if there’s anything that needs refreshing? And if you need any help writing content, you know where I am!