Your website is the face of your business, giving your clients, referrals and potential customers an understanding of what you offer and what your business is about. Your website typically serves as the first/second touch point after a referral, flyer, search or social media post. Therefore, it is a critical piece of the journey in the generation of leads and customers for your business.
When you look at your existing website from the point of view of your customer, think about what they are looking for (the problem they are wanting to solve) and whether this is represented clearly and thoroughly. Is the content engaging? Does it take the visitor on a journey from their initial search to where you want them to end up (e.g. filling out an enquiry, buying a product)? Where are the pitfalls that arise during this journey? Is your content up to date and represents your current offerings? Remember, your website is a representation of your business – an outdated site will be interpreted as an outdated business.
Before you start scrapping everything and starting over, let’s look at the different types of updates you can do and how often these should be done.
How often should I be updating our website?
We believe as much as possible. A website which is updated consistently on a regular basis shows that you are fresh and up to date with the latest going-ons in your business and industry. Your visitors pick up on this quickly which results in a more engaged visitor and better rankings in Google. Updates can include new blog posts, additional resources such as PDFs and product information as well as new portfolio items and case studies. Having a web design platform such as Joomla or WordPress makes this process simple and should be taken advantage of in-house or by an external marketing agency.
Consistency is important. We would recommend assigning someone in your organisation to review and add a new page to your website at least monthly. This should be done with both the reader’s intention and search engine optimisation in mind.
Leveraging your content with social posts and email marketing is also a great way to push your stories into view of your existing clients and followers giving you a bigger impact with every story.
What type of website updates should I be doing?
Adding new pages to your site around new and existing products services are a great way to get started. You don’t want to bog down your main navigation however, so link to the new pages from your main product/service pages instead of your header navigation.
For example, a furniture manufacturer’s page on tables could create new content pages around the wood or materials sourced, possible applications of the tables and/or maintaining your table. These would all be linked to from the tables page indicating to your readers and Google that you have an in-depth knowledge of what you offer and are at the forefront of your industry. These pages can also be linked to from your Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networks. They could also get creative, linking to these articles on their invoices for table purchases.
Planning your content
Many people struggle to know what content to write, or where to start. At iSonic, we love using mind-maps to build up the current site structure and topics discussed on those pages (We use MindMup). Once completed, we brainstorm new potential off-shoot pages and add them to the mind-map in a different colour. Once we are happy with our goal site structure, we then go about prioritising the content in order of what we want to promote and what our target market are searching for. Finally, we assign these to different staff members based on the topic and their area of knowledge.
It is also important that search engines know when your site has been updated. This is done through your sitemap.xml file. Within this document is an index of all your pages and when they were last updated. For Google this can be linked up using Webmaster Tools. Current CMS platforms such as WordPress and Joomla have plugins that create and update this file automatically, but it is always good practice to double check the contents for errors or missing pages.
How much do website updates cost?
This depends on what is required. We prefer to do a full review of your website before starting any paid work, providing you with a comprehensive list of improvements we recommend to take your website to the next level. Included in this document is our costings and time-frame to complete the updates.
Some businesses prefer to have all their digital marketing completed by a team of third party experts and as such we have Digital Marketing Programs available for companies of all shapes and sizes.
We find having a mix of in-house and external collaboration works best with the core ideas, goals and strategy being developed internally and then implemented by a web design agency such as iSonic.
At what point do we need a new web design?
This varies depending on your marketing strategy; how/if your business has changed since last doing a refresh; and also how complex your site is. A business in growth mode that is changing at a rapid pace may look at rejigging their entire online presence as often as once per year, whilst a complex eCommerce site with integrations into an inventory management and accounting system would be best left for 5-6 years with cosmetic adjustments made along the way to give it a fresh look.
Most of our clients fit somewhere in the middle of this with their sites being overhauled on average every 2 or 3 years and this is what we would recommend as a base. The internet is an ever-changing landscape of new technology, trends and search engine algorithms and as such a web design re-skin or overhaul will bring your site up to date and on-trend.
You may still be wondering whether a new web design is right for you. If this is the case then perhaps consider the following:
- Your business is in a growth phase and are adding or trialing new products and services in the market?
- Have you currently or recently re-branded?
- Are you changing your target market or honing in on a niche within your industry?
- Have your leads dropped off the past few months/years and you are unsure why?
- Is your website mobile or tablet friendly?
- Is your website slow to load and not found in search engines?
What’s the next step?
Option 1: Talk with us
If you would like to talk to one of our experts about how your site is performing and recommendations on what would take it to the next level fill out our enquiry form and mention this article.
Option 2: Free Digital Marketing Plan
You may also be interested in downloading our Free Digital Marketing Planner. This is a short (12 page) succinct practical walk-through on developing your painted picture, target personas, budget and WWW (Who What When).