If you’ve had a website for some time now for your business, you may be wondering how to update a website to match the current trends or to get more growth for your business.
It may seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually not as difficult as you might think. By following these 10 essential steps, you can update your website quickly and easily.
Plus, keeping your website up-to-date is important for both SEO and user experience. So let’s get started!
Why should you update your website?
Updating a website is important for several reasons.
1. Inspires trust in your target audience
Outdated information, old photos, and a lack of new content can all make your small business website look like it’s not being well-maintained. This can give visitors the impression that you’re not keeping up with your business, which can hurt your reputation and make them less likely to use your products or services.
A modern, up-to-date website shows that you’re keeping up with the times and that you’re active and engaged with your business in your business.
They will be more likely to believe that you’re still in operation and that you’re still interested in providing them with the best possible experience. This can help to build trust and increase conversions.
2. Improves search engine rankings and traffic
Search engines favor sites that are regularly updated with fresh, relevant content. This means more potential customers will be able to find your site when they’re looking for businesses like yours.
Additionally, when you add new content, you give people a reason to visit your site again, and this can lead to more views and higher traffic levels over time. If you want to maintain or grow your audience, regular updates are essential.
3. Boosts engagement and conversions
Last but not least, updating your website regularly can also help to boost engagement levels.
If people see that you’re constantly adding new features or making changes, they’ll be more likely to stick around and explore what you have to offer.
This increased engagement can lead to better relationships with customers, more sales, and improved retention rates.
4. Saves time and money
While it does take some time and effort to keep a website up-to-date, it’s cheaper and easier than starting from scratch with website redesigns because your site is so outdated.
How to know if you should update your website?
Before you update anything on your website, run the following checks to determine what needs to be fixed/ changed on your site.
1. Review your site functionality and information
Your website is like your digital storefront – it’s what potential customers see when they’re looking for information about your business. That’s why it’s important to ensure that your website is working properly and that all information is updated.
Before you decide if you need to update your website, answer the following questions:
Are there features that you’d like to add? Or any areas that could use some improvement? For instance, maybe your contact form isn’t working as smoothly as it should be. Or maybe your site is loading slowly.
If you’re seeing any areas that could use some improvement, then it’s probably time for an update.
A few aspects that should continuously stay updated:
- Business and contact information
- Page links and indexability
- Plugins and themes, if you are using a WordPress website
- Brand attributes and styling: formatting, alignment, brand colors, etc
2. Review your website content
The first step in updating your website is to review your existing content. Outdated content can give visitors the wrong impression of your business – and it can also hurt your search engine ranking.
Take a close look at each page and ask yourself if the content is still relevant. If it’s not, then it’s time to update or remove it.
This is also a good time to check for grammar and spelling errors.
3. Review your site design
Once you’ve reviewed and updated your site content, it’s time to focus on the design. Ask yourself if the overall look and feel of your site are updated and still in line with your brand dos and don’ts. A design that looks old and jaded does not inspire confidence.
If so, it might be time for an update. A fresh, modern design can help attract and engage your target audience
Take a look at your overall site layout. Is it still easy to navigate?
Next, take a look at your individual web pages. Are they still consistent with your branding? If not, then consider updating the colors, fonts, and images used on those pages.
5. Analyze your website performance
It’s important to keep track of your website performance to ensure that you’re providing a good experience for your visitors. There are a few key things you can measure to get an idea of how well your site is performing.
And there are many tools available to help you get the insights you need.
5.1. Review your website engagement on Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free tool from Google, and hopefully, you or your web designer installed them when you first launched your site! So review your data on Google and watch out for these website metrics:
Bounce rate: This is the percentage of people who leave your site after viewing only one page. A high bounce rate could indicate that your content isn’t relevant to what people are looking for, or that your site is difficult to navigate.
Conversion rate: This is the percentage of people who take the desired action on your site, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter. You can check this either by setting up goals in Google Analytics or comparing the number of conversions to the number of visitors manually.
Traffic sources: Where are people coming from when they visit your site? Paid ads, organic search, social media? You need to make sure that your site is optimized for search engines.
By keeping an eye on these critical metrics, you’ll be able to identify areas where your website could use some improvement. Then, you can make the necessary changes to help boost your performance.
5.2. Analyze your website search performance on Google Search Console
Google Search Console is another free tool from Google that gives you insights into how your site is performing in Google Search.
You can see how often your site appears in Google search results, and which keywords are driving traffic to your site. You can also use it to submit your sitemap, track mobile usage, and more.
You can also check for technical errors on your website, such as any errors that Google has found when crawling your site.
5.3. Check your site health and ranking with SEO tools
Besides the number of visitors and page metrics, you need to also check your website for SEO performance, which you can do using various SEO tools.
Some key checks that SEO tools can help you do are:
Site audit: A site audit is an analysis of a website’s content, structure, and links designed to identify problems and recommend improvements. It can be used to assess SEO performance and identify security issuesAudits can be conducted manually or using automated tools and can be performed on a regular basis to ensure that websites continue to meet their users’ needs.
Backlink analysis: Backlink analysis is the process of assessing the quality and quantity of links pointing to a website with the goal of improving the site’s link popularity and authority. In general, the more backlinks a site has, the more popular it is considered by search engines.
Search engine ranking: Search engine ranking is the position that a website or web page occupies in the search engine results pages (SERP). The higher the ranking, the more likely people are to find the site. Search engine ranking is an important factor in website success, as it can help to increase traffic and therefore generate more income.
SEO tools are different from Google Analytics and provide different kinds of data. Check out for instance the difference between the SEO tool Semrush and Google Analytics.
4. Analyze your competitor’s website performance
If you want your website to be properly optimized to attract your target audience, you also need to keep an eye on your competitors. You can learn from their successes and avoid their mistakes by monitoring their website activity.
Here are a few aspects to analyze your competitor’s website performance:
- Traffic: How many visits are they getting? Where are they doing better than you?
- Backlinks: Which websites are referring to them and linking to them? Can those websites refer you too?
- Design: What are they doing to make their website user-friendly and attractive to their audience?
You can also use SEO tools to help you do this analysis.
9 tips on how to update a website in 2022
Now that you have determined that you need to update your website, you need to determine what exactly you need to change and how you’re going to achieve it.
Here are 9 tips to get you started.
1. Define your objectives
Before you launch into updating your website, it’s important to first take a step back and define your objectives. What are you hoping to achieve with the update?
- Are you looking to attract more visitors, drive more sales, or simply improve the overall user experience?
- What do you want to achieve with the updated website? How will it help you?
Once you’ve identified your goals, you can begin to map out a plan of action. If your goal is to attract more visitors, for example, you might consider adding fresh content, optimizing your website for search engines, or improving your social media outreach.
Be sure to keep your goals realistic and achievable.
2. Create a content strategy
If you’re looking to update your website, one way to start is by creating a digital content strategy. This will help you determine if you need to add or update any content.
Use Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and your preferred SEO too, to analyze what content is getting the most traffic and engagement. Use this data to guide your decisions about what content to keep, update, or remove.
Consider your audience’s needs and wants when it comes to the content on your website. What would they find helpful or informative? Adding new content that meets their needs is a great way to keep your website relevant and engaging.
Once you know what kind of content you need, you can start creating or curating it.
3. Add new pages or features
If you’ve been thinking about adding new pages or features to your website, now is the time to do it!
Adding fresh content is a great way to keep users coming back to your site. Plus, it can also help you attract new visitors from search engines.
Some ideas for new pages or features include:
- A blog
- A portfolio
- Client testimonials
- A contact form
- An email signup form
- Social media buttons
4. Remove outdated pages or features
Once you’ve added some new pages or features to your website, it’s time to remove anything that’s outdated.
This may include old blog posts, outdated images, or outdated information about your products or services.
Keeping your website clean and up-to-date is important for both SEO and user experience.
5. Optimize your site for SEO
You may need to update your website because you may realize from your website performance review that your site is not performing well on search engines, you are not ranking in good positions, and thus missing out on the benefits of organic traffic.
Search Engine Optimization(SEO), is the process of making your site more visible to search engines. This can be done by adding relevant keywords to your content, improving your site’s structure, and creating helpful and informative content.
By optimizing your site for SEO, you can improve your site’s visibility and ranking in search engine results pages, making it more likely that potential customers will find your site.
6. Add or update SEO-friendly content
One way to update a website and improve its SEO is to make sure your content is SEO-friendly on a regular basis.
This could include adding new blog posts, articles, product descriptions, or even just updating existing content.
Here are a few tips for creating SEO-friendly content:
- Make sure that your titles and descriptions include relevant keywords that potential customers are likely to use when searching for businesses like yours.
- Your content should be well-written and engaging in order to encourage people to stay on your site and read through your content.
- Include keywords in the file names and ALT tags of any images you include on your website. This will help search engines index your images and improve your website’s visibility in image search results.
7. Update your website design
One of the most important aspects of maintaining a successful website is keeping the design up-to-date.
- Make sure the colors and fonts match your brand imagery and brand kit.
- Layouts should be easy to navigate and understand. Animations should be used sparingly and only if they enhance the user experience.
- The design should be mobile-friendly. More and more people are using their phones and tablets to browse the internet, so it’s important that your website is accessible on all devices.
- Keep the overall design clean and simple. Too much clutter will turn visitors away.
8. Perform A/ B testing
A/B testing allows you to compare two versions of a web page in order to see which one performs better.
The goal of A/B testing is to improve the conversion rate, or the percentage of users who take the desired action on a page, such as making a purchase or filling out a form.
To do A/ B testing, you can create two different versions of a page and then track how each one performs in terms of metrics like conversion rate or bounce rate.
You can also use A/B testing to test different elements of a page, such as a headline, copy, or call-to-action button.
By performing A/B tests on a regular basis, you can ensure that your website is always up-to-date and provides the best possible user experience.
9. Resubmit your page to Google Search Console
One of the most important things in updating websites is to resubmit your page to Google Search Console every time you make a change. By doing this, you ensure that Google’s algorithms are aware of your changes and can properly index your site.
Resubmitting your page helps to ensure that any previously cached versions of your page are removed so that users always see the most up-to-date version.
Finally, resubmitting your page also allows you to track any changes in your site’s ranking and traffic.
What is the difference between updating and redesigning a website?
When it comes to website design, there are two main options: updating an existing site or starting from scratch with a website redesign. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to weigh your options carefully before making a decision.
An update usually means making small changes to the existing design, like updating the color scheme or adding new photos.
If you’re happy with the overall look and feel of your site, but it’s in need of some minor tweaks, then an update may be the way to go. This can be a quick and easy way to freshen up your site without making any major changes.
However, it’s important to note that updates will only take you so far. If your site is outdated or in need of a major overhaul, then a redesign may be a better option.
A website redesign entails starting from scratch with a new design. This allows you to completely change the look and feel of your site, which can be helpful if you’re wanting to attract new visitors or give your brand a fresh start. However, redesigns can be time-consuming and expensive, so they’re not always the best option for small businesses or those on a tight budget.
When deciding whether to update or redesign your website, it’s important to consider your goals and budget. Do you need small changes or completely transform your website?
Whichever route you choose, be sure to work with a professional web development professional who can help you achieve your desired results.
How often should you update a website?
How frequently you need to update your website will depend on:
- The type of site you have
- The purpose of your site
- The amount of content that is changing
- The resources you have available
For example, a news website would need to be updated more frequently than a personal blog. A corporate website might be updated monthly or quarterly, while an ecommerce or blog site might need to be updated daily.
In general, for a small business, you can follow these guidelines about how often to update a website:
- If you have a static site that doesn’t change much, you may only need to update it once a year or less
- If you have an ecommerce site with constantly changing product offerings, you have to update your website every time you add or change some product/ service information
- If you have a blog, you need to update your website every time you post fresh content or update an old blog post
Overall, it is best to update a website as often as necessary to ensure that the content is accurate and up-to-date. However, you should also avoid making too many changes at once, as this can be confusing for visitors.
You should update your website content, design, information, and functionality as often as you need to.
It is just important keep your audience in mind: do not make big changes frequently on your website so as to maintain brand consistency and not confuse your audience.
How to update a website yourself? Conclusion
You can follow the steps above on how to update your website and implement all the changes yourself.
Just be careful not to make any changes you are not confident about because it is easy to mess up websites with a single click of a button. Quite a few of my clients have done that!
And then you have to pay a specialist for many hours for the site to be fixed. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it, of course.
You can update your website absolutely by yourself if you are very sure of what you are doing.
Here are some easy updates you can do:
- Add/ edit information
- Add/ edit page/ blog content/ products and services
- Update themes and plugins
Do you update your own website or have a professional do it for you? Would love to hear from you.