When you use your own website every day, it can be hard to notice anything wrong with it. It looks just the way you wanted it to and nothing seems out of place, so why would you need to make any changes?
Because, just like your living room, your website collects dust and starts to look less than appealing over time.
There are many reasons why your business website's pages need to change with time. If you want to make a contribution online and influence your search engine results while improving conversions with a better business website, you need to pay attention to the signals your website maintenance is sending to readers and search engines.
But what do you refresh, and when? There are a lot of ways you can get the message across...
1. Keep Your Home Page Up-To-Date
How old is the latest news story on the front page of your business website? If it's more than a few weeks old, it's probably too outdated to keep your website looking current. Likewise if you're showing off products or services that you added a long time ago. If any of the information there appears out of date, your homepage will give the impression that you haven't updated your site at all - whether that's true or not.
It's also important to make sure that all of the information customers really need to know is current. Are your hours correct? Do you have a notice up regarding a holiday or event long passed? Make sure that, from time to time, you check the details that help welcome people through your doors.
2. Define your Products and Services
Do you still sell and do everything that your website says you do? If not, you're setting customers up for disappointment and hurting your reputation by looking disorganized and less capable than you could be. Anything you say you provide on your website should still be what you do for clients. This is also a chance to check that you haven't left any new additions out. A lot of potential clients won't stick around to find out if you offer something not on your website - they'll take you at your word and move on.
3. Check the Staff Roster
As much as we'd like it to stay the same, the people at an organization come and go - and sometimes, their responsibilities just shift. Make sure that your staff have current photos, that their titles match what they really do for your clients. If you've recently expanded, make sure that you've got new hires added, and have taken down the information about staff who have moved on.
4. Brush Up Your Metadata
Most search optimization guides tell you not to focus too much on your meta descriptions (and never on meta keywords) - including our own! But that doesn't mean you ignore it altogether. Updating your meta description form time to time won't improve your search rankings, but it will give you an opportunity to describe what that page is about when it does show up in search results.
Think of your meta description as an invitation to visit your page and check you out – anyone searching will read through it to see if it's what they're after, so make sure it's clearly written and appealing. You don't want to change this too often, but a few times times a year won't hurt either. One thing many people overlook is that the meta description is a marketing opportunity – use it as such.
Check out our BETA Meta Description Optimization Tool.
5. Update your blog
This one should be obvious, but your blog's most recent post will say a lot about you to someone visiting your site. If it's more than a couple of weeks old, you're going to look less current, less legitimate and less reliable to a web-savvy prospect.
You should update your blog at least every 2 weeks, but we recommend twice a week. New content here will improve your search rankings and boost trust. Plus, it allows you to show off what you know to potential customers.
BONUS. Your Social Profiles Need Cleanup Too
Your social media profiles are much like your home page and your blog. Populate your company's profiles with current information, a current avatar, and keep your posting schedule regular (but natural). You should have a post every day or two, and you should make sure the information you're sharing isn't the same over and over - especially with the same photo! A quick scroll will show a visitor whether you're posting authentically, or going on automatic (not good).
A static website easily collects dust.
Your company website is a necessary part of doing business today, and even if yours is better than all of your competition, if it doesn't look current or trustworthy, you're simply giving prospects a reason to click away.
If you're curious to learn more about creating a better business website, please check out our book on the subject today.