Thinking about a complete rebuild of your company's website is a lot to consider as a business owner. But, in today's rapidly changing digital environment, taking the time to evaluate your website to make sure you are up to standards is crucial. If you depend on the internet for your business, there are more than a few reasons why that work is important. Here's why you should consider updating your website, especially if it's been a few years.

1. Your company message shifts over time

Your business isn't stagnant. Your website shouldn't be either. A great website grows and develops alongside your business, always communicating your strongest message to your potential consumers.

What we see over and over (and over and over) again are companies that haven't actually read the content of their website for years. Consider how much your business has changed over the last five years. You likely have new team members, new products or services you offer, a different company mission or focus, or new (or closed) locations.

If you're not updating your website, you might be portraying an outdated message about your own company.

And, that matters. A 2017 retail survey from PWC notes that 73% of retailers are generating sales through their company website. When asked, 37% of consumers said they regularly used those same retail websites to inspire their purchases. Are you sending the message to buy or are you merely sharing information about products you carried half-a-decade ago?

2. Design trends change

You know a bad website when you see it. Unfortunately, after only a few years, it's easy to fall behind on design trends. Consumers that are used to seeing modern design trends will take notice immediately if your website has an outdated design.

It's not only that it looks bad—if you pride yourself on being at the forefront of your industry in other areas, a bad website instantly (and irrevocably) communicates that this may not be the case.

3. SEO requirements change often

You want to stay in the top positions of Google, right? Even if you built a website today that was 100% optimized for search, it would actually only stay that way for a short period of time.

According to Moz, Google updates its search algorithm 500-600 times every year. While most of those updates are minimal, they release approximately a dozen major updates every year. And these do have a significant influence on how potential consumers are finding your website.

4. Mobile has changed website design (and shopping)

Arguably, the biggest reason to evaluate your website comes down to one word: mobile.

Five years ago, mobile may have made up less than 10% of your website traffic. Nowadays, 50% or more of your readers are checking out your website on a smartphone or tablet. With consumers using smaller screens, it has forced designers to take a simplified approach to design. Look at your website on your phone. Does your site adapt to your screen? Is the site easy to use?

A report from Adobe-eConsultancy reported that 31% of all retail revenue from the 2016 holiday season came from mobile shoppers. And, 35% of shoppers use their mobile device as their main purchasing tool.

Even if you have a brick-and-mortar store, mobile is still a huge priority. According to another report from Fetch, 90% of smartphone users engage in some kind of pre-shopping activity before they ever reach your store.

Your potential consumers are using your website to:

  • Search for products
  • Look for advanced product information not available in stores
  • Compare prices on your site and your competitor's
  • Check out your location
  • Read product or service reviews

Another 82% of smartphone users are actively conducting mobile searches when they're browsing products in your store. You'll want the most up-to-date information available (and easily accessible), since a third of consumers actually prefer using their smartphone to find information rather than asking a store employee.

5. A web design strategy isn’t static

Websites are an essential marketing tool for your business. If it’s not paying for itself with your lead generation, it is definitely worth your time to evaluate. Website lead generation is a not exactly an easy science to master; it takes time along with trial and error to get it right for your site.

How often should I update my website?

There isn't an easy answer to this question. You should definitely update your website more often than every five years, but how often will depend on your customers and your industry. To help, ask yourself these questions:

  • Who is your target audience and what do they expect in terms of your content and site features?
  • How often are your biggest competitors updating their websites?
  • If you were a potential consumer, would your current website make you comfortable enough to do business with your company?
  • Does your website showcase updated and relevant customer reviews or testimonials that prove you can meet a consumer's needs?

Get started on your website

If you're interested in learning more about WordPress web design packages and development, contact MLCworks today. We're a team of rock star WordPress developers and data geeks who love a challenge. We can help you figure out where your website is, and where you need it to be for the next five years.