Here are 5.1 reasons to update your website. Whether updating your website with content like news, blogs or articles, or an update to the design of your website, the layout of pages, adding new features or changing the user experience for better flow. There are many reasons why you should update your website and here I will quickly explain to you my 5.1 theories and reasons to updating your site. There are 5 main reasons to update your site and I have added a '.1' (The 5.1 reason) as an underlying, non-obvious reason I think is relevant to any 'reasons to update your website' list.
The Core Benefits Of Updating Your Website Content & Site Design
1. Update & stay competitive in search results
Search engines like Google, Bing etc love current, up to date web pages. They will sometimes favour more up to date or recently updated web pages against those that have not been updated for some time. So with that in mind and the assumption your competitors are updating their websites often, it's only too easy to see the benefits here. Updates will keep your website in the search engine results pages (subject to many other things of course) and competing against competitor sites.
2. Evolve with technology & meet design standards
The evolvement of web technology and mobile devices particularly have forced a demand to update your websites design and responsiveness to mobile devices. By responsiveness I mean whether your website adapts automatically to best viewing on a mobile phone or a desktop computer. This evolution has changed how web users access sites, view sites and use websites. So for older websites, built before this technology advancement there is likely a pressing demand to upgrade the website to meet todays standards. This wouldn't be for the sake of "meeting standards", this is to meet user expectations, as we all expect a website to work well whether we view it on a desktop computer, a mobile phone, a tablet or our 54inch flat screen TV.
Some search engines are looking closely at who's websites meet these demands and listing them accordingly, I wouldn't be surprised if this becomes standard practice over the next few years.
The design updates don't limit themselves to just responsive web design or viewing on mobile devices. It includes web accessibility standards, this is the standards set out for those web users who have disabilities such as visually impaired etc. Making your website compatible with screen-reader software etc is an import factor to consider when upgrading your website or writing a brief for a new one.
3. Encourage user engagement & attract re-visits
Ultimately a website is there for its users, to provide them with the information they need to do whatever it is the company want's their visitors to do (Purchase something, register, sign up or enquiry about a service). So the engagement of your web visitors is quite important from when they arrive at your site to how they move throughout it and engage with it (if at all).
An out of date website (A restaurant for example), with a menu dated 2014 for example isn't going to encourage user engagement, it's more than likely going to distil a query of "are they still open" in the web visitors mind. On the other hand, a site that has a new menu published, dated very recently will encourage the user to perhaps download it and see what's on offer at this time of year. This is a very basic example, I'm using it to highlight a user engaging or doing 'something' on a website.
You can take user engagement to all sorts of levels. You can develop new parts to your website that will further engage visitors or encourage them to re-visit your site another time. Anything from blogs, articles, competitions or even new photos & videos will bring exciting new content to the website and encourage users to spend more time there, hopefully engaging in the things you want to them. So take some time to explore some avenues you could go down and develop into your site over the next 6 months or year.
4. Broaden horizons and cast a wider net
Following on from the point above you should always look to broaden your horizons or cast a wider net, as they say. What I mean by this is, the more (Quality) web pages or more elements of rich media content (videos, photos, audio etc) you have on your site the more 'door ways' into your website you have. It's important to note that you can't just publish hundreds of web pages about nothing or pages that contain the same / similar content to other existing pages. Search engines will disapprove of this and it's a waste of time anyway since your objective here is to create rich, quality pages with a niche to attract visitors within niches within your global niche.
Here's an example; If you have a Graphic Design company, with a 2 page website (A home page explaining that you provide graphic design) and a contact information page. Google will index 2 web pages and in turn that gives you 2 possible lead channels. Lets say you broke down your 'Graphic Design' services into niches like 'Logo & Brand Design', 'Brochure Design' and 'Leaflet Design'. That allows you to create 3 new pages talking about specific niche services within your global niche. These pages will create 3 new lead channels which are specific to a specific target audience. A dedicated page for 'Logo Design' will work harder attracting visitors looking for logo design than a generic overall 'Graphic Design' page would.
This point has looked at broader horizons through your website. There are of course many avenues you can generate leads from on the Internet.
5. Align your website with business growth & developments
Many people in business will tell their story of how they started and explain how they began selling 'this and that', to end up years later selling something entirely diverse from their initial founding ideas. This is simply business growth and development, exploring new products or services we can offer and seeing which ones take off or not.
I'm surprised how many businesses successfully develop their products or services yet fail to show case them through their website. The business moves on 2 years and the website stood still, stuck in the past. It's important to align your website's content with your businesses growth and development. This might mean you need to simply re-write some paragraphs or create new pages to talk about the new products you've launched.
This point also brings me on to my final reasons to update your website, the 5.1 underlying not so obvious reason.
5.1 Be in touch with your website - The underlying reason
Through my experience, in certain cases I have found there to be a mercy disconnect between business and their websites. A disconnect where the business seems very distant from the website that promotes it, un-engaged and nothing more than aware there is a website out there somewhere.
It's usually evident when the website is greatly out of date, the owner has little idea of how to update the site, who to ask to update it, what content is publicised on there and even where the website is hosted. Why this occurs is a different story, we're all busy in business and its easy to just concentrate on running the company and forget about the website because "it's done and something we don't need to think about anymore".
However it's important to be in touch with what is, in theory, the face of or the 'Shop Window' of our business on the Internet.
So my underlying 5.1 reason to update your website is to be in touch with your website.