Your website is your greatest asset online. It’s the place where all of your information will be stored. It’s also the first interaction a potential lead will have with your business and brand. Web development and design has come leaps and bounds since the early ’90s and your small business needs to reflect those changes and improvements.
While there’s not a specific, proven formula for how often you should update or change your website, there are questions you can ask to deduce how often you should update your website content.
So, how do you qualify the look of your small business website? How do you determine when it’s time for a website update or design?
Here are 5 questions that will help determine the quality of your website:
How to Know When To Update Your Website Content
1. Does Your Website Work?
This may seem obvious, but a non or partially functioning home page on your website is going to tell people you’re not serious about your business or that you have nothing worth doing business with. Fix broken links, missing pages, 404 error pages, pixelated images, and out of date content. Make sure you’re regularly checking your web content. Every individual page of your website should be fully functional and relevant.
You also want to make sure your website it optimized for page speed and mobile search. The longer it takes for your page to load, the more visitors you’ll lose! Factors like image type, content amount, and server quality can all affect how quickly your website will load in a search. Recently, AMP pages have become more popular for focusing on page speed. If you’re using Word Press to create webpages, there’s an AMP extension you can download for free.
Just like in personal relationships, first impressions matter between a potential customer and your website too! Don’t risk losing business because you overlooked broken pages on your site. Site visitors will find your broken website skeletons if they’re there. Clean out the closet!
2. Is Your Website Easy to Navigate?
Simple navigation is essential if you want people to stick on your site for any length of time (which you do by the way). Most people don’t bother to click past the first page they land on, so the placement of information on your website needs to be absurdly obvious.
Your navigation bar should include the most important pages you want to highlight for your business such as: products or services page, contact info page, about us page, and pricing page. Everyone’s navigation bar should include these necessity pages, and from there you can tailor other main links to your most important/popular pages.
Not sure if your navigation is easy to follow? Use these tips to find out!
- Ask someone unfamiliar with your company to take a look at your site. Do they immediately know what you do, who you are, and where to find the info they want?
- Survey your current customers and ask them their opinion on your website design and layout.
- Research both top businesses and your competitors’ website to gauge patterns on how best to layout websites. What themes are common between them?
- As a rule, you should never be farther than 2-3 clicks back to your main home webpage. Perform a self-assessment on your website to determine how many layers your webpages go.
If you find that your webpages are buried under each other or that your website is confusing with too many, or to few, page directs, it’s time for a redesign! You need to design your website for your potential and current customers , using design layouts they prefer and including information they want.
3. Is Your Personal Brand Clear?
It is important that your website is branded and professional so visitors know who they’re researching. People judge based on what they see first, so make sure your website looks clean and professional.
You want your brand and business ideals reflected in the design and layout of your website. It’s your webpages have too many colors, pop ups, or redirects, visitors won’t take your business seriously. Additionally, make sure your small business name and logo are clear and prominent on your homepage and on any other pages of your site.
Through consistent branding, visitors and hopefully individuals in your target audience will start to recognize your logo when they see it on social media sites, SERPs, and articles.
You want to make sure your website is working to promote your unique style, image, and mission for your small business. Your personal brand is what leads will connect with and join to if they want to do business with you, so you need to make sure its appealing and well managed. Just like you can get a feel for a person by their house decor or style of dress, your website creates a perceived image in the minds of your site visitors.
4. Does Your Small Business Fill a Specific Need?
Your business has a unique value – something that makes it different from “the other guys.” That difference is imperative to your online success and your ability to meet the needs of your customers. Individualization is what makes those extraordinary businesses stand out and remain successful over the course of time.
Small businesses are perfectly sized to handle those niche or smaller needs that may not be as popular, but are still relevant to those individuals.
It is impossible to be all things to all people and truthfully, you don’t want to try to do so. However, if you meet the specific needs of the right people, your business will thrive.
5. Is Your Website Trustworthy?
People need to establish relationship via online communication before any other interaction can take place. If a person does not trust your business based on your website, there won’t be open communication. Absence, avoidance, and vagueness convey to your audience that you are hiding something.
Stop being sketchy, and update your website content! Be open, up-front, and real (even with the negative stuff). If you are, people will feel more at ease with their decision to connect with you.
Don’t be afraid to openly address any negative reviews or system breakdowns. Most likely your customers won’t expect you to be perfect. But, they will want to know that you’re taking action to correct your mistakes or any problems you’ve encountered.
A website is the backbone of all of your communications efforts and serves as the central hub for your online presence. Making sure that your website is practical and functional is the essential first step to your online business success. Knowing how often you should update your website content will get you ahead of the game and make sure your small business website is always performing at it’s highest capabilities.