Your company website is an asset. It’s an integral part of your business’s marketing mix. If it is not working optimally, it can hamper your marketing efforts and harm your brand.
In the blink of an eye, a website can become outdated. Irrelevant to your audience. In need of a revamp.
If you haven’t done a major website update in a long time, chances are good that the components and plugins have become obsolete. Your website has also become prone to spam, malware and hacking.
It’s also time for a revamp if your website has been “sweated” for some time and has reached its limits as far as software updates go.
A website update will bring your site in line with the latest website software and innovations. It will breathe new life into your marketing efforts.
When done correctly, a website update can improve traffic to your website – and leads to your business
A website’s lifespan is shorter than you think
Some industry experts have estimated the lifespan of a website to be as short as 2 years and seven months.
This timeline will naturally change according to the type of business you are in. However, over time your:
• business changes
• technology changes
• the needs of your visitors will change
And your website should reflect these changes.
As a company owner or marketer, it’s important to keep the needs of your audience in mind – and to keep an eye on your competitors
• Is your site keeping up with design trends?
• Have you changed your logo, colours, messages or products and services?
• Has your marketing strategy changed?
Complete website revamp? Or just a few content updates?
Making some cosmetic changes such as adding video, updating the imagery and new copywriting can freshen up your website.
But what’s the point of having a Porsche with a Citi Golf engine? You’ve got to tweak the motor (the part that is mostly unseen) of your website to get it working to its fullest potential.
If your site was last updated more than five years ago – or if you’re planning a website update in the near future – it makes no sense to spend money on website design fees to make the changes.
It’s like painting your house when the foundations are caving in
About 10 years ago, content and design alone were enough for a website to be successful.
But advances in technology and the increasing dominance of the role of Google has seen other factors take on new importance.
• Mobile responsiveness
• SEO readiness
A website update will take care of these new requirements.
Our website update for Oricol Environmental Services ensured a good mobile experience for the company’s website visitors
Mobile responsive website design
Imagine trying to read a book through a keyhole. Viewing a non-optimised website on a phone or tablet is just as annoying.
A website revamp presents the opportunity to ensure your website is mobile responsive.
Besides making your website more discoverable on search, a mobile-ready website creates a better experience for your users
There are likely many more potential customers visiting your website via a phone or tablet now than five years ago.
Google started its mobile-first indexing process back in late 2016. And since July 2019 the search engine has predominantly been indexing and ranking websites using the mobile version of a website.
This means that marketers and business owners will have to ensure that their websites are optimised for mobile viewing on a phone or tablet.
A website update on a CMS platform such as WordPress will include a mobile responsive design in the new theme.
A website update will improve SEO
Google loves fresh content. And a revamped website will put you in a position to do a proper job when it comes to optimising your website for Google search.
This is the chance for you to start fresh on a clean slate and have a website design that sets your site up for better discoverability.
The assumption in this post is that your website has gone largely unchanged for a long time, also known as “set and forget”.
Therefore, there’s a strong likelihood that there isn’t much content from your old website that will need to be preserved from an SEO point of view.
If there are areas of your old site that are working well, a reputable website designer would maintain these on the new website development
Redirecting old URLs to new ones (301 redirects) is an example of this.
Most importantly, a new website design will ensure that your new website is sound from a technical point of view.
Any broken links from the previous website would be fixed, a new XML sitemap would be submitted to Google and headers and text would be reworked, if required.
It’s important to remember that ongoing search engine optimisation (SEO) on a website is a maintenance service that an SEO company or a digital marketing agency would offer.
The work that is done on your website to keep it search engine friendly includes adding original content in the form of blogs; ensuring there is no duplicate content, and ensuring your website complies with any new SEO requirements.
Moreover, a new CMS platform such as WordPress will enable you to include useful SEO plugins such as Yoast that can help you to ensure your content is both readable and search engine friendly.
Make your website more secure
One of the benefits of revamping your website is better security. Installing an SSL certificate during the website redesign process will not only improve the security of your new website, but it will also create credibility and trust with your users.
A padlock in the address bar of the browser will show when your new website loads. This will indicate that the connection is secure and will show your website’s visitors that you take their privacy seriously.
Some browsers such as Google Chrome may label your website “unsafe” if it doesn’t have an encryption certificate
An SSL (or encryption) certificate helps protect your visitors’ data from abuse by protecting the sensitive data transmitted from and to your website.
This data can include login details, newsletter signups, addresses and payment or personal information.
A more secure website brings with it SEO benefits. Google gives websites with encrypted connections a slight ranking boost. This will give you an edge over your competitors whose sites are unencrypted.
Improved website performance
A website revamp is a perfect time to work on the load times of your website. Google and other search engines penalise websites that load slowly. Your website users are also not likely to stay on your site if they wait too long for it to load.
By optimising images, which normally add a lot of “weight” to a website, your revamped website will load much faster
This will create a better experience for your users and lead to better conversion rates (for example, a prospect submitting an enquiry from a contact form).
Deactivating plugins that are no longer required and optimising CSS codes will also improve a website’s load time.
What does it cost to update a website?
The costs of updating a website depend on the type of work that is required. If a total revamp is required to update the CMS, a website design company will most likely charge a project fee.
If the project includes a website update and ongoing monthly maintenance, the billing is likely to be retainer-based.
A retainer would include tasks such as website maintenance, plugin or component updates, CMS software version updates or theme updates. Some companies may even offer a website and database backup and a monthly Google Analytics report.
In addition to monthly retainers, you can also buy “once-off” ad-hoc services at an hourly rate. This would include content updates such as adding new images to the website, changing contact details or purchasing and installing a new plugin.
It’s hard to imagine a better marketing tool for your business than a website.
But competition online is fierce. A website that looks good and is technically sound will help lay the foundation for digital marketing success.
Is it time to update your website?
- Not sure if your website needs an update? Get your free website health check report.