Monday, January 6, 2014

It’s 2014. Is Your Website Updated?

As we here at Unimar prepare the launch of our new website, we thought we’d share why it’s important to keep your website updated.

Everyone wants a website that people visit daily. Think about where people usually bookmark their homepages. Their email, daily news websites, and so on. Why? Because these websites constantly have new information available to its audiences. The web in 2014 is all about fresh content. Very few businesses will be able to compete with the New York Times or Gmail, but the point still stands. Internet users expect websites to remain up to date and, in addition to that, user friendly, too. You want to give your online audience a reason to return. Clumsy web design, outdated graphics, and stale content won’t be a reason for return-visits to your site.

Here are some reasons why regular web maintenance is important:

It keeps visitors interested. Fresh material added regularly means that there is an incentive for users to keep coming back to your website. Whether visitors buy or not on the first visit isn’t your focus. It should be on repeat visits. New content, text, graphics and images help build traffic of repeat visitors and grows the potential for lifelong patrons.

Focusing on customer feedback. L.L. Bean has a great lifetime warranty on their products, and it encourages repeat patronage. Just because it’s the web, doesn’t mean you should shirk customer service. Find feedback on your website and respond to it. Don’t frustrate your users by ignoring what they need in a functioning website. You need them more than they need you. Remember that.

Maintain your Google rankings. Google pique your interest? The search engine gives higher rankings to websites that are updated regularly because they want to present the best quality content in their searches to their own users.

You want your website to operate at its peak performance. This requires an active involvement in its maintenance. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Is your website responsive? In the last couple of years, there have been more and more mobile users. If your website can’t accommodate a smart phone, then chances are you’re aggravating your consumers and spoiling a relationship with them. Technology is changing, design trends are coming and going. Be up to date on them as a way of being in touch with your existing and possible clients.

(A quick guide on being response:

Are you reaching your goals? Our businesses change and their goals do, too. A website should reflect those goals. A change in company image, in services, prices—all should be reflected. Your website is a way of crafting and showing possible clients your identity as a company. Show them you thrive off active and engaged consumers and that you meticulously take care of your appearance. You care about yourself and by extension, you care about your users.

Is it hard to keep updated? If your website is hard to update, explore why. By making a website more easily maintained, you’ll be able to update on the fly and not have to do large overhaul of coding just to update small details. And as a side note, some experts recommend that you completely revamp the look of your site every three years.

Don’t get caught with a year past. It’s 2014 now. Your website shouldn’t be associated with 2012, so update your website and copyright statement in the footer. Websites that don’t appear modern signal to your clients that the information and the website itself isn’t as fresh as it could be. It suggests a lack of work ethic and might promote disinterest in your brand and product as a result.  But more importantly, by not keeping up to date, you could be missing out on a great layout and newly developed tools to help build your business, increase sales, and elevate your web presence.

And some last minutes considerations!
Craft your website to reflect your audience’s tendencies and behaviors. Readers on the web scan over information, so keep it simple and scan-able. To craft a website that reflects your audience, you’ll have to do some research. You need to know what they want and how to deliver it.

Does your company talk like its clients? If not, find a happy medium where the two styles overlap.
Remember in this modern web world, content is king and users want to feel active and engaged. You have to understand your clients and tailor your websites in a way that anticipates what they want so as to ensure repeat visitors and long term relationships.

Just get in the routine of updating your website. Schedule a time, whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly. It could be as simple as changing the wording or updating an image, but these small things can mean big rewards. 

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