It seems obvious to state that a website is a critical communication tool for any brand. It acts not only as a digital storefront, but also as a first point of entry for potential customers and a critical touchpoint for customer retention. Therefore, it’s important for any business to keep its website updated. But what does that mean?
For our purposes here, let’s differentiate website maintenance – keeping your back-end software and processes updated – from updating your website content – your public-facing information. While we can’t stress enough the importance of keeping your website’s back-end updated (particularly for maintaining optimal functionality, security, responsiveness, accessibility, and user experience), this post is focused on the benefits of continually updating the front-end of your website – what your current and prospective customers see and interact with.
Make A Positive First Impression
Your website is the first natural touch point for a customer or supporter to engage with your brand after seeing an ad, article, or post. It’s your business’ front door, first impression, and “nice to meet you.” It’s often the customer’s introduction to who you are and what you do. If this first impression features an outdated website with broken links, obsolete information, and old pricing, the result is likely a negative perception of your brand and a loss of potential sales. On the other hand, an updated website with current information about the business’ services/products will help to keep new visitors engaged, retain existing ones, and improve your online presence.
An up-to-date website with compelling content and visuals helps to build trust with potential customers. It demonstrates that your business is active and invested in providing a positive user experience. An outdated website gives the impression that the business is no longer operational or that it doesn’t prioritize its online presence. In contrast, an updated website with current information, fresh content, and relevant topics can instill confidence in potential customers that they are interacting with a thriving and trustworthy business that is committed to meeting its customers’ needs.
Not only does an updated website enhance the user experience, but it also helps to improve search engine rankings. Search engines favor websites that are regularly updated with original, relevant content and reward them with better rankings while pushing outdated websites further down in search returns. By keeping your webpages current, employing keywords strategically throughout, and adding a blog page, your search rankings will improve, and your business will be seen by more potential customers.
Gain a Solid ROI
For any business that values a successful return on its investment of money and time, the website should be top of mind. Refreshing and maintaining your website content is one of the most effective and affordable ways your company, whether for-profit or nonprofit, can keep your audiences engaged and informed. One of the easiest ways to do this is by creating a blog page. Your blog posts should be relatable, conversational, and infuse your brand personality, and they’re a great place to experiment with being trendy, as long as you stay true to your brand identity. Additionally, whenever possible, you should incorporate real examples and data points in your blog posts to showcase your expertise and brand value. If relevant, you should also add a news page to your website to display any news coverage linking to the original article or video the news outlet posted.
Once you’ve updated your business service pages, created a blog page with several blog posts, and added a news page, you can begin to leverage this new content to keep your audiences engaged and coming back. Share new pages, posts, and articles to your email audience and social media channels pulling from and linking to your website to drive more web traffic to your site. This keeps your audience informed and enhances your search rankings.
Analyze Your Results
Use Google Analytics or other similar programs to identify the behavior of your web visitors. The metrics will show key data points like the number of page views, the average amount of time a user stays on each page, bounce rate, and more. Let the analytics inform which of your webpages need to be enhanced to keep visitors engaged longer.