Being online is vital for most businesses in this day and age, especially since the impact of COVID has prevented many bricks and mortar stores from keeping trading as usual. Once you have your website, keeping it up-to-date is of utmost importance. Here are four key areas to help you ensure your website is kept up-to-date and the reasons behind needing to do so.
Keeping your website secure is the number one priority, especially if it involves e-commerce transactions. Choosing a secure platform and good web hosting is imperative to keeping your website running fast and smoothly. Ensure you have a website maintenance plan and protection in place to keep out hackers, bugs, and other online nasties. Otherwise, your data could be at risk, your site could crash, and you could lose sales and money. Make sure you use strong passwords throughout, monitor your website regularly and have the latest versions of themes and plugins installed. Use a security plugin such as Wordfence or Sucuri to alert you to any unusual activity.
Even if your site is primarily static, it’s a great idea to add new, engaging, high-quality content whenever possible. If your content is old, incorrect or stagnant, clients have no reason to return to your site. While you don’t want your website to be full of useless information and irrelevant articles, you should strive to add high quality, valuable content on a daily or weekly basis. Incorporating a blog or news section on your website is an easy way to keep your customers up-to-date and informed. Having outdated content on your site can be perceived by your potential customers that your business doesn’t keep up with the latest trends and could impact your credibility. New and fresh content means Google and other search engines are more likely to take notice of your site, increasing your chances of higher rankings and increased traffic/sales. If your site features customer reviews, focus on engaging customers to comment and review after each purchase. New website visitors are more likely to make a purchase if they see others are purchasing your products.
Does your website reflect your current style, message and branding? Does it look professional? The look and usability of your website are one of the most critical aspects that affect sales. If your site looks old and dated, visitors will leave. Your brand is important, and your website should reflect this in its design. Use high quality, professional photos, logos and illustrations if your budget allows, or if you are on a tighter rein, make use of free stock libraries (Unsplash.com, Pexels.com) and image editing apps such as Canva to include and create images that stand out. Evolving technology means your website needs to look great and be responsive on all types of devices including tablets and mobiles. If your customers have a bad usability experience, they will often go elsewhere. Consider redesigning your website design every couple of years to keep it fresh, functional and up-to-date.
Make sure your website works! Check for broken links, broken features or plugins, formatting and style issues as well as missing or poor-quality images. These make a massive difference to your customers’ experience, and keep them coming back for more.
Although regular maintenance and adding new content may be time-consuming, outdated and stagnant content can be harmful to your business. Your website users are searching for valuable and accurate information and products that meet their needs. Ensure your website content looks professional and is up-to-date and relevant, and you are more likely to see customer engagement, leading to increased traffic and sales.
Sarah Britz, Co-founder, Spend With Us