August 30, 2019
Benefits of updating or upgrading your website
by Maureen McCabe
You wouldn’t wear the same suit you wore ten years ago. You wouldn’t display the same advertising as you did five years ago. Times change, and how people use the Internet changes. Your website should change, too.
Change for change sake is never a great business strategy. But there are good reasons to get a new website. Here are eight of the most important reasons.
1. Update website for mobile visitors
The nature of the Internet has been rapidly changing. Mobile is almost as popular as desktop (which includes laptop). StatsCounter’s August 2019 platform market share metrics are as follows:
- Desktop/Laptop: 48.18% U.S. / 51.91% Canada
- Mobile: 44.09% U.S. / 37.6% Canada
- Tablet: 7.73% U.S. / 10.49% Canada
If your website isn’t yet fully “responsive” (mobile-friendly) you are losing out big-time. A wholesale redesign of your website is probably needed, and should result in a very attractive increase in traffic and revenue.
It’s worth noting that the search engines place a high value on a website being mobile friendly. So it is possible that even your desktop visitors will increase once the search engines realize that you have a new, mobile-friendly website.
2. Upgrade website with a website server
Search engines and browsers are both looking to see how secure your website is. If your URL still starts with HTTP:// rather than HTTPS://, some browsers will alert users that your website is not secure. That means that even if your website ranks #1 for a search term, the number two website might be getting more customers.
Speaking of which, your site will probably rank better with HTTPS:// as search engines prefer to send users to safe, secure websites, so they might favour a competitor over you if that competitor’s website is secure.
This is one website upgrade that doesn’t require a wholesale redesign. There is just some tech work to do in the background, although your website might have to move to a new, secure server. Ideally you would also update links to your website from social media profiles and elsewhere to include the HTTPS://.
3. Update website for best first impressions
Styles come and styles go. Website design is about style. The early web was a cluttered, crowded place. Then three-dimensions were discovered, giving a cleaner look and a sense of depth. As mobile grew more popular, everyone flattened their logos to match cell phone icons. Instagram’s logo is a good example of this, moving from clean 3D, complete with shadowing, to a flat design.
As styles change, your website quickly looks dated. Five years is a long time on the Internet. People generally like to buy from companies that are up to speed and appear to know what’s going on, so updating your website style can pay off.
4. Update website to meet changing expectations
One of the most compelling reasons to update your website is to match people’s expectations. Some of the expectations that have changed over the past five years include:
- speed, how quickly a page loads
- ease of use, otherwise known as “user experience”
- trust and more believable testimonials
- security, hence the need for HTTPS://
- multimedia, such as video
Consumers will be more likely to buy from your new, updated website.
5. Upgrade your website with multimedia
Video, and sometimes audio and infographics, can help get your message across. People are often lazy. Sometimes they prefer to watch a video or llook at an infographic, rather than reading. More importantly, a video gives them a chance to get to know you in a way that simulates walking into your office or store.
Audio is also popular, as more and more people listen to podcasts. Different people consume websites in different ways. The more ways you provide information, the larger a customer base you can build. Note that podcast listening is particularly popular on mobile.
Did you know prospective customers will stay longer on your homepage, if there’s a video. Need we say more?
6. Update your website with search engine optimization
SEO remains the same, but SEO changes – yes, it’s that confusing. While the principles of optimizing your pages haven’t changed a lot over the years, many of the technical aspects have changed. We’ve already discussed secure servers, website speed and mobile friendliness, for example.
How people search changes, too. People are using voice search more, which often leads to searching with questions. Language evolves, too, and people will sometimes use different combinations of words than they did just a few years ago. As people update their language, you should update your website language to match how they search. Re-optimizing your website makes sense.
Indeed, even if nothing was to change in the search engines or with the searchers, you can boost your SEO by updating your content. That’s because the search engines like serving up fresh content to their users, so they track how recently a web page was updated.
7. Update your website to reflect changes to your business
Of course, the most urgent need for a new or updated website is a change in your business. You might have added or withdrawn a product line. You might have added maintenance plans or locations. There are thousands of ways your business might have changed, and sometimes the website needs an overhaul to accommodate the changes.
8. Mobile-first indexing
Mobile-first indexing means Google predominantly uses the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking. Historically, the index primarily used the desktop version of a page’s content when evaluating the relevance of a page to a user’s query.
As the majority of users now access Google Search with a mobile device, the Googlebot will primarily crawl and index pages with the smartphone agent as of July 1, 2019.
An upgraded website means new business
Change for change sake is a waste of time. But if your website hasn’t been significantly updated in over five years, there might be several good reasons to start planning for an upgrade now.
Do you need help to determine next steps? Rely on McCabe Marketing’s experienced web team to develop and/or project manage your new or upgraded website.
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