Up-to-date information and smooth performance are key to your website’s success. Stanford Web Credibility Research shows that a website’s design and usability play a major role in users’ evaluation of a company’s credibility. Regardless of what products or services you offer, if your website is lacking, potential customers immediately discount your credibility and look elsewhere.
Not sure if your site needs updating? If you’re unsure whether your website is in need of an update, then it probably does. Today’s websites are more than virtual billboards; it is typically a customer’s first impression of a business. Studies show that more than half of American consumers conduct online research before purchasing a product. Your company’s website is the place where a potential customer becomes a real customer – or not.
When deciding what updates to make to your website, the question to ask is, “What does the update need to accomplish?” Your answer determines whether the site needs a basic update, a redesign, or a rebuild.
Basic updates are quick changes to the content of the website, such as updating text or swapping out photos. If your website were a car, a basic update is like changing the license plate – a simple process, but it must always be up-to-date.
How often should I make basic updates? Update as often as necessary – even weekly -- to keep your content fresh and accurate. Outdated information is a huge turnoff for potential customers. Basic updates include:
- Press and News announcements
- Social media mentions - media releases, social media mentions, etc.
- New product offerings
- New variations of current products – colors, sizes, etc.
- Current product availability
- Job postings
- Staff bios
- Service hours and locations
- Contact information
- Company mission statement and vision
A redesign is a major cosmetic change to the website that can also improve efficiency; it is like painting your car with aerodynamic paint – it looks great and it’s more effective.
How often should I redesign my site? A redesign is needed whenever your company has new branding, significantly changes the products/services offered, users complain that the site is hard to navigate, or website analytics indicate a low conversion rate.
Rebuilding improves the functionality of the site, much like replacing your car’s 2-cylinder engine with a high-performance motor – it’s a total overhaul to what actually powers the site and makes it go.
How often should I rebuild my site? Whenever poor website performance is costing you money, it’s time to rebuild. For example, if your site won’t integrate with a needed third-party application, you need to rebuild. If your site is not responsive to mobile devices, you need to rebuild as soon as possible: more users access the internet via a mobile device than via desktop devices, so if your website is not optimized for mobile accessibility, you are not reaching more than half of your potential customers.
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