As a small to a medium-sized business owner, usually up to your armpits in the business of running the business, it can be difficult to include your own business marketing, branding, and definitely the upkeep of your company website. Just like the painter whose house often goes unpainted, upkeep on the company website can sometimes fall by the wayside, either due to a lack of time, resources or just being focused on running the actual business. After all, you may have likely spent thousands of dollars designing the first one, it’s human nature to want to stretch those business dollars as far as possible and get the most for that investment. However, when it comes to the design of your website, waiting for too long can come back to haunt you and cost even more than regular upkeep.
Your Business Website is your First Impression
Websites are now as fundamental as a business card, even more so in our digital and mobile age since over 90% of consumers are engaging in search when starting the search for their needs. Your website is most likely to be the first glimpse at your business that your target prospect has and that first impression is so vitally important.
Your website is your storefront or front office foyer, even before a client or prospect approaches your brick and mortar location. It is your business card, your sales brochure, possibly one of the first impressions a potential client gets of your business. Just like you wouldn’t tolerate a messy or unkempt front office/storefront, allow cracked sidewalks or peeling paint to turn off customers, neither should you neglect your website. With innovations in website management systems and coding formats, it’s become cheaper and easier to keep a website up to date.
Websites are Trendy and Fashionable
Much like phones, cars, and fashion, the standards of website design change frequently, almost to the point of being considered faddish. It quickly becomes apparent when a website is outdated looking. New design layouts are rolled out regularly, desktop screen sizes have grown larger and larger, innovations in apps and on-site features roll out consistently, changes in browsing technology, and the significant migration to mobile device usage all contribute to the need to keep one’s site design up to date. It’s not uncommon to see how big brands consistently update their logos and labeling to keep their brand fresh in consumer’s minds; so the same goes for websites.
Having an outdated website is synonymous with having avocado green carpeting or 80s style pastel furniture in your reception area, it’s just a turn-off and gives the impression of an outdated company. Stay ahead of your competition and make sure the site design is updated. Today’s CMS systems and design coding innovations are making it easier and cheaper to make sure the look and feel of your site are current.
Search Engine Standards
The one thing constant about the internet is that it’s always changing. The standards by which the major search engines evaluate websites and then catalog them into organic listings frequently change. Even if your coding follows the most white-hat practices for the year in which it was designed, sometimes those fall out of compliance after being manipulated by less-than-reputable designers and digital marketers. If your business website is older than 5 years, then you are likely aware of the significant changes in search engine algorithms, or rules by which SE’s evaluate and organically rank websites.
Having an outdated website, whether it’s stagnant content, or a non-compliant CMS (think the Google Mobile-Friendly algorithm update in 2015), not only do consumers get turned off from sites that don’t work well for their needs, but search engines make the criteria very clear by which they determine a website to be of good design and usability and translate that into organic ranking. In 2015 Google stated that with the rise in mobile browsing, that website design needed to be mobile-friendly in order to remain ranking high in Google’s organic index. Many businesses were hit hard as it became necessary to make major design and coding changes in order to make their sites responsive to mobile browsers.
Website Security is the Most Important
But probably most important is that an outdated website is at risk. Hackers consistently learn how to find loopholes in coding or defeat older security features which make the need to keep one’s site updated and secure is one of the most important reasons for updating your site design. No business wants to risk having their website crash or injected with malware and to have to go through the process of restoring it. Another major point to consider with the security of your website is that search engines will determine that if a site is at has been hacked or is at risk, they will push the unsecured or outdated sites further down and out of their search results.
Google has made it clear that certified security certificates (sites with https://) that validate your business’ identity are necessary for any ecommerce website and recommended for any website. With billions of websites now present on the Internet, validating your identity is a necessary factor of doing business in the Digital Age.
Just this past weekend, my website experienced an attack in which after 16 login attempts from a user in Ukraine, they were quickly locked out! The newest security features of not only my CMS (content management system) but knowing to remove default usernames such as ‘admin’ from my site as well helped secure the site from an automated hacker attack. There is also the added layer of security from web hosts, which also block hackers’ attempts and keep sites secure and running.
Ensuring your site is updated, modern, SEO compliant and secure is easier and more affordable than you may realize, call Infront Webworks today to find out if your site is at risk and how we can help you maximize the most up-to-date tools and security for your business site. We keep your company website running so that you can focus on the business of running your business.