When it comes to updating your business website in a timely manner, the one rule is this: There are no rules. Deciding whether to update, redesign or re-engineer your site should depend entirely on your business goals, objectives and economic considerations, rather than on some superficial time frame pulled out of thin air.
Keeping your website’s content updated and fresh is not an easy job to do, it costs both time and money. On the other hand, the benefits from doing so – especially the long-term benefits worth the effort and cost.
It’s the sticking point for new visitors, a conduit for attracting more traffic, a chance to build your brand reputation, and a focal zone for securing conversions.
The updating frequency depends on several of factors:
1. A variety of factors can make a redesign worth considering, but there are several that almost always require an update. You’ve got new branding and color standards, and you need to make sure your new look extends to your website. Your bounce rates are extremely high, meaning people visit but few convert; a well-thought-out redesign can turn this around. Or your business has grown, and plans call for new products and services; your site’s design may need to reflect that change. Last, your customers complain about your site, claiming that it looks outdated or doesn’t work well.
2. It’s good for SEO – Search engines love content and especially new content. They like to have long quality in their index to satisfy their users. A website that is updated regularly is crawled more often, has more pages in the index and more possibilities to boost SEO by applying internal linking best practices.
3. Competition. How often are your competitors posting new content? If they have a larger part of the market share, this is an especially important question to ask.
4. If your current site doesn’t adapt to mobile device screens. Fixing this is an absolute must in today’s mobile-driven world. Another would be if your site was originally built using Flash: Apple’s iPads and iPhones don’t support Flash. (You may need to rebuild rather than redesign.) Flash can slow your site down. If your site takes forever to load, you need to re-engineer the backend. Nobody puts up with long waits anymore.
5. It’s good for social media – If you are using social media marketing to promote your business, you know that one of the most critical success factors is the content you post on your social media pages. Many times the problem that destroys your effort is lack of content. Having a website that is updated on a regular basis will also give you fuel for your social media promotions.
6. It’s good for your users – Websites are meant to serve users and giving users fresh content makes them happier. A happy user will most probably come back, convert, register, buy or recommend your website to other people.
7. It’s a signal that your website or business is active and alive – Imagine visiting 2 identical websites selling the same product at the same price but one of them has an updated blog, support forum or news section. Other things being equal, which one would you trust? The one that has updated content gives you the feeling that it is still in operation, active and that they care about their customers.
The same is true when you visit a product support forum. If the last update done on the forum was 2 years ago, would you trust that company and buy their product knowing that their support is non-existent?
8. Budget and resources. Finally, you’ll need to consider the budget and resources you’re willing to expand in your effort to attract more traffic. Assuming the quality of your content remains consistent, publishing more often is probably going to lead you to more opportunities; updating means more indexed pages in search engines.