The year is 2011. Your company is starting to get a little bit of traction. You think to yourself "This is great! I'm going to get myself a website so I can promote it even more and start making even more sales!".
So, off you go to find a local website designer who makes you a brand new website for everyone on the Internet to see. The website looks amazing! It takes a while at first, but after a few months you start to see your website visitors growing; and as they grow, so are your sales. This is perfect!
Many of you will have fallen into a common trap! As your sales have risen, your company has evolved. But you've forgotten to make sure your website has evolved with you. It's now 2019 and you still have the same website that you originally had made over 8 years ago!
I've got a great website, what's the problem?
A website is like a car. If you look after your car and make sure to maintain it, it will do its intended job of getting you around. But if become complacent and stop taking care of your car, issues might start to arise. At first, they will only be small things that are easy to fix. But as time goes on, these problems can grow and become harder to fix. Your website is exactly the same.
When your website was first made, it was probably created with the current design trends at the time in mind. For example, look above at how YouTube used to look in 2011 (screenshot taken from the Wayback Machine). I bet back in 2011, you had no issue with using the site and you probably even thought it looked like a nice site. But what do you think of it now? It looks dated and I would assume that a large majority of people wouldn't use YouTube if it still looked like that. Thankfully though, YouTube has constantly kept their design up to date to make sure that it is modern to maintain and grow their amount of visitors.
Sure, it is easy to get comfortable with your website after seeing sales coming in through it. I also agree that your website probably looked great when it was first made. But how many of you with a website that hasn't been changed in several years have seen your website's sales decrease over time? There's nothing wrong with this, your sales funnel might have changed and you might now be selling on other platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram. But if you're primary platform your companies profits is your website, you might have a bit of a problem.
Here's a brief list of what an outdated website can do to your business:
- Google will start ranking your website lower because it isn't staying up to date. This means less people finding you.
- Your visitors want to see something that looks great! If it doesn't look great, their first impression of your brand is that you don't take care of your appearance. This can be off-putting for some visitors and can damage your business credibility.
- You will start to see a decrease in your website traffic. Less traffic means less sales!
- This one is often overlooked, but you can leave your website open to hacking and spamming if the necessary security updates aren't applied.
- A large majority of your users are going to be using a smart phone. Can your site actually be navigated using a phone?
- You actually make your competitors look better and like a more modern company. Do you really want to lose sales to your competition?
Okay, so what I can do to keep my website up to date?
Here are some simple steps that you can follow to help you make sure that your website evolves as you do:
- When you choose a web designer or web design company to make a new site for you, ask if they can make parts of the website editable. This will allow you to change some text and images when needed to keep your site alive. Note: You don't need all of it to be editable; there are some things that you will not want to change because you might actually damage your site.
- Whether or not if you already have a site or are thinking of getting one, make sure to have some sort of provision available for keeping your security up to date. Most web design companies offer some sort of maintenance service that you can use to make sure that your site is regularly updated to prevent your site being hacked.
- If you think you need something updating or feel like your site might need a bit of freshening up, ask your web designer. Most web designers and web developers (such as myself) love their job! They love bringing ideas to life! So if you give us an opportunity to help you out, we will be happy to help. Doing work in smaller chunks, is easier for us and cheaper for you. So don't wait for years until you ask for some help.
Can you help me?
Of course I can. Or if I can't I will definitely point you in the right direction of someone who can.
The websites I produce at Ash Allen Design are made in a way that allows my clients to edit them and keep their text and images on their pages up to date.
So, remember, don't get comfortable with your website and think that you will always see the same results from your traffic. Make sure you spend a bit of time every few months giving it a little bit of an update. But most of all, make sure that it evolves with you as your your company grows!
I'd love to hear what you think. Do you feel like you have fallen into the trap of not keeping your site up to date? Get in contact with me and let me know.