Businesses with stale websites get left behind

Date: December 8, 2016 Author: Kevin Maynard Categories: Marketing Communications | Strategy & Planning

Websites are a funny thing. Most SMB owners today understand that having a website is a must; the days of wondering whether a website is worth the expense are gone. Regardless of the size of your company, a website is always worth the investment. 

But – and here’s where website become funny things – business owners often go to great lengths to create great websites then don’t find the time to keep it fresh and up-to-date. As such, websites are all too often left to wither away unnoticed and untouched – sometimes for years and years. 

When nothing changes, you get left behind. Business may drop, sales may fall, and interest in your business may wane. Here are four good reasons to refresh and review your website annually. Yes, annually. 

1) Reap SEO benefits. Google and other search engines are constantly changing the rules. Your business site may have been optimized when it was first written,but those algorithms have most definitely changed since then. If you don’t adapt to the new rules, you diminish your ability to be found. Take the time to understand today's SEO recipe and then refresh your website with the right ingredients. 

2) Changing browsing habits. Consumer browsing patterns change over time so it's important to keep up. A great website used to be one that was unique – opening with a wow factor and navigating consumers through a sometimes long-winded path. Today, a great website is quick to the point with simple, almost standard navigation. If your site doesn’t follow suit, consumers will lose patience and simply leave. 

3) Shifting search habits. Consumer search habits also change over time. It Wasnt that long ago that websites were only viewed on a computer. Last year, Google announced that more Google searches now take place on mobile phones than on desktop computers. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’ll not only be breaking one of Google’s SEO rules, you’ll also lose customers who can’t be bothered to try to read a non-mobile site on their smartphone. 

4) Build repeat business. If nothing ever changes, you get no repeat traffic. After all, why would customers and potential customers return if there is never anything new to see? Continual content refreshes (and yes, we’re talking about things like blogs now, as well as annual refreshes) not only reap SEO benefits but they make your website a destination for repeat viewings. Both of these build brand equity and awareness.