This isn’t the first time we’ve talked about the importance of updating your website, but practice makes perfect right? Beyond the visible improvements that come with updating your website, there are countless behind-the-scenes benefits that you may not be thinking about and we are more than happy to share some of our quick tips to help you apply them to your own site.
Though these behind-the-scenes benefits may not be aspects of your site that you can physically see, they are just as important. In making these improvements/changes, what you WILL see is the benefits they provide to both your users and your business.
We’re going to break this down into topics and dig deeper into each point. To give you an overview, these are the topics we’ll be talking about:
- Preventing and/or catching security issues
- Maintaining business image and credibility
- Using content and keywords to build authority
- Attracting search engines
Let’s get started!
Preventing and/or catching security issues
Security on the internet is and will continue to be a concern, and while security measures make advancements to stave off threats, the risks also persist in new forms. This means that updating your website and staying on top of your security measures consistently is a high priority.
Luckily, with a good hosting company, many things like CMS updates and plugin updates fall on them, not you. However, even with a good hosting company too many business owners neglect to take security seriously and forgo a plan that covers automatic updates. If you’re unsure, you should talk to your hosting company, ask questions, and gain a better understanding of what your plan entails.
Furthermore, if your hosting company suggests upgrading a plugin or plan, it’s likely because they know it’s out of date, no longer supported, or there are better options available to you. Communication is key. Not everyone is staying in the loop on potential security risks or has expertise in this area, but being aware and making an effort to learn and do more can only benefit your website.
If you’d like to learn more about the security risks your website may be facing and ways in which you can improve your security, check out our blog post on why it’s important to maintain your website.
Updating your website to maintain your business image and credibility
Let’s be real, users on the internet are a village of critics. Not only do they judge your site by how it looks, but they also judge by how it performs and if provides them with what they need.
Part of getting users information they need involves them trusting you. You could provide groundbreaking, crucial information, but if your website comes across as outdated, unkempt, or just messy, users are going to start questioning your website’s validity. A quick skim of your website should point your users to quality, relevant information, so make the extra effort to stay on top of fresh copy. Equally, conduct regular performance check-ins and move your focus towards updating areas of your website users are spending a lot of time on, to improve the overall user experience.
We’ve actually dug more into the content/design aspect of cleaning up your website in a previous post that we encourage you to check out!
Updating your website is more than just content and design
Beyond design and content, understanding how your website performs and how to improve its performance is essential. The biggest point to discuss here is loading time. What good is providing crucial information to users if the page doesn’t load in time for them to see it?
The current standard is that if your website isn’t loading in under 2 seconds you’re losing people. Seems fast, but nearly 80% of people have said they won’t return to a website after experiencing slow loading. This means that the performance of your website is also a factor in maintaining your business image and credibility.
So why is your website loading so slow?
Well, there are a number of tools to figure that out. A platform such as PageSpeed Insights allows you to enter your site’s URL and receive a performance score along with problem areas that could use improvement. Give your site a quick test to see how you are doing.
Now, we could spend days talking about different areas of your site that may be hurting your performance. However, were going to focus on the most likely culprit that has a fairly simple fix.
Cameras nowadays have the ability to produce beautiful, high-quality images. However, these high-quality images usually come with a large file size that will weigh heavy on your website.
So should you use lower-quality images on your site?
Absolutely not. If you have great images use them, but be aware of the file sizes and please OPTIMIZE YOUR IMAGES. There is no need for a 5000x3000px image on your website. By updating your website and resizing your images you can greatly reduce the file size without sacrificing quality.
Using content and keywords to build authority
The use and the benefits of keywords have changed dramatically over the years. In a simpler time, algorithms focused on how many keywords you had on your website. This led to keyword stuffing which was very detrimental to sites that had valuable content.
Businesses would try to fit in as many keywords as they could, which destroyed their content. Cramming in that many keywords disrupts the flow of your content and can make it impossible for users to understand or gain value from. At this point, you’d be writing your content for the search engines, not for the users, thus destroying the user experience.
As keyword stuffing gained more negative recognition, businesses actually started adding invisible keywords. They did this by adding text to white spaces on their website and matching the font color to the background. This kept their content clean and users happier, but search engines quickly caught on, and once again, changed the algorithms.
Content is King
Today, the focus is on QUALITY CONTENT. Blogs are a great example of this. The more blog articles you post, the more content is added to your site, giving you more room to include (an appropriate amount of) keywords.
The key here is to use keywords naturally, don’t stuff them in. If you are truly providing quality content, the keywords should come naturally. Write information that is valuable to your users. Do not write an article based around a keyword.
When it comes to authority the saying is “content is king”. This means consistently updating your site with valuable content gives you greater odds of becoming an authority site.
Attracting Search Engines
It’s fairly well known that Google is, by far, the most used search engine. Being so, Google has a lot of influence on how websites are constructed because their algorithms are what decide how websites are found.
Recently, Google has been in favor of websites that are frequently updated. So, if the rest of this article hasn’t convinced you that updating your website is important, this should.
The bots that roam around are constantly searching for new and updated web pages to index. Meaning, if you are consistently updating your website with quality, valuable content, you are much more likely to be noticed by Google and ranked better as a result.
Again, the easiest way to keep your content fresh is to start a blog. Answer customers’ questions, provide valuable information and interact with your users. This will not only strengthen your relationship with customers but also keep your site relevant with search engines.
Let’s wrap this up
We’ve talked about a lot, and yet this is just the tip of the iceberg. Leaving your site unmaintained can cause so many avoidable issues that can snowball into even bigger problems for your business.
We know updating your website consistently can be a chore. But, in the long run, it’s worth it for your business. Your online presence is no different than a physical storefront; both require upkeep to maintain.