Posted by Crystal Kam on June 22, 2016
Your website advertises you, your brand or business – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Use your site to show off what you do and give people the opportunity to interact with your business. When you have a great site, you become visible to the millions of people who go online everyday, connecting with them at any time, and learning more as your business and brand grows.
Updating your site isn’t just a facelift, it means updating everything inside and out: your brand, relevance, and security. Stay ahead of the competition and find out why you should update your site:
Great Design Matters.
A new design can go a long way for your site. Great design makes it easy for users to find information, learn what you’re about and contact you in a snap. Nothing is worse for your business than a poor first impression with an outdated design, broken links, or difficult navigation. Let users find out who you really are with a great layout, visuals that tell a story about your brand, and an experience that leaves them coming back to visit.
What’s Your User Experience Like?
User Experience, or UX, looks at how humans interact and engage with technology, in order to build the best web experience possible. 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience, so it is a very important factor to consider.
Having a great UX means that your site is easy to navigate, users are able to find information easily, and the site is purposely designed to maximize user engagement. However, UX isn’t just a design payoff. According to Jasmine Henry, “User experience carries a significant, measurable ROI for organizations… brands with exceptional UX win repeat visits, and eventually, new customers.”
Is Your Site Achieving Great Results?
What is the objective of your site and how does it play into your business or brand? Are you trying to drive sales, generate leads, or establish authority in your field?
If you’re not seeing the results you want, try getting your site audited to see where it’s falling short. An audit can determine why you’re not seeing results you want and suggest ways that you can meet those goals. An audit and update will re-structure your site to align more with your business objectives, while fitting customer needs, and generating the results that you are looking for.
Updating your site isn’t just about looks, it is about what’s underneath too. Having an updated site means having the latest security patches and bug fixes to keep hackers out and stop them from wreaking havoc on your site. Poor security puts you at risk for losing private customer information when your site becomes compromised. Also, once a site is hacked, viruses can spread easily to other users or even be blocked on search engine sites. After a site has been hacked, it becomes very difficult to recover from.
Faster Loading Times.
Research suggests that 47% of users expect a site to load within 2 seconds; if more people are leaving your site than engaging with it, this could be a symptom of poor design or a slow web host. Google tends to rank faster loading pages higher on the search engine than slower loading ones. A few tips to speeding up your site can be to get rid of old or unused content, reducing the file size of your images, installing booster plugins, or moving to a content delivery solution (CDN).
Finding You Easily with Good SEO.
Don’t you hate it when you can’t find what you’re looking for? So do users. Having good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) makes it easier for users to find what they’re looking for right away and stops you from becoming invisible. Search engines rely on metrics of relevance and importance based on what people do: discover, comment, share, and link to. A well constructed site allows search engines to crawl your site with greater ease, and improves how users interact with it - contributing to a better overall SEO ranking.
Is Your Site Mobile-Friendly?
If your website is not responsive, it will not show up as a Google search result when users are browsing on their smart device.
To put this in perspective, in 2014, there were 18 million smartphone owners in Canada and 7.8 million tablet owners. According to the Toronto Star, Canadians spend 33 hours per month online, and almost 50% of that is tied to mobile devices - even more importantly, 1.3 million Canadians a month will exclusively use mobile devices to access the Internet.
If your site isn’t mobile, then you’re invisible to this growing number of consumers!
Utilizing Online Metrics to your Advantage.
There are many tools that track and analyze incoming visitors to your site. For example, Google Analytics is a free tool and available when you sign up for a Gmail account. Other paid digital marketing tools allow more detailed breakdowns on customer insights, how your products are doing, or seeing how your keywords are ranking.
Utilizing online metrics can tell you a lot about users coming into your site, and using this data can help you figure out how to make their online experience better by improving your site. If users are navigating directly to your products page, consider making you home page focus on feature products. Or if the majority of your visitors are using Internet Explorer 8, consider updating your site to accommodate them. Use this information to help understand your clientele better and apply these changes wherever possible.
Make Your Site AODA Compliant.
By January 1, 2021, the Ontario government requires all sites to be compliant under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). Although it seems like a long time from now, there are requirements that are currently being phased in.
As of 2016, Public Service Organizations and large companies (that provide goods, services or facilities to third parties and have over 50 employees) are required to have new content and intranet be AODA compliant. Accessibility requirements for these organizations include, but are not limited to: large print, high contrast visuals, and recorded audio captions or descriptions.
Guidelines that dictate these standards are governed by the World Wide Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0). Companies and organizations that fail to ensure AODA compliance are subject up to a $100,000 fine!
Boost your Search Engine Ranking with Updated Content.
If your “Latest News” is 2 years old or your “Limited Time Offer” expired 6 months ago, then it might be time to update your site. Having outdated content leaves a poor first impression for visitors by implying that you’re not on top of things and that your site is out of date.
Great site content helps users connect with your brand and establishes you as an authority in your industry. Consider having a blog with tips or advice, integrating your site with social media, or having a featured page with events, latest news, or media coverage that you or your company has been featured in.
Having an updated site leaves the impression that you’re on top of things and a company that users can trust. Search engines love fresh content; if they see fresh content every time they index your site they will boost your rankings. When a site hasn’t been updated in a while, your ranking may begin to drop for important keywords.
Interested to see how BTI Brand Innovations can help you make the best first impression? Let’s talk!