We often hear the question, “Is having an updated website as important as everyone says?” The answer to this question is without a doubt, yes. Having an updated website is very important for your business. In this blog post, we are going to cover why updating your website is so important and some ways you should update it as soon as possible.
Why You Need to Update Your Website Frequently
There are many reasons website owners should update their website on a regular basis. Here are five of the most common reasons to regularly update your website.
1. To Ensure Your Website Loads Quickly
Sometimes, having old features on a website can slow down the speed in which it loads. If it has been a really long time since you have updated your website, it may not be up to the speed expectations that exist today. Website speed is also very important to both your customers and Google. 47% of consumers expect a website to load in two seconds or less and 40% of people say they will leave a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load. Failing to update your website has a much bigger impact on your business than you may think.
Your website could be slow for a number of reasons, which all take a different amount of time to fix. You could be using too large of photos, too many plugins, have too much traffic, and more. If you are unsure of how your website loads in comparison to other websites, try out the PageSpeed Insights tool by Google. If your website is slow and you cannot figure out why, you should contact your website developer so they can update your website for you.
2. Updated Websites are Better for SEO
If you have been practicing a few SEO tactics to improve your website’s search engine ranking, you may want to update your website as soon as possible. Google has stated that website updates help SEO rankings. Whenever there is a major update on a website, Google’s website crawler, Googlebot, will notice it. If Googlebot is crawling a website and notices a positive change, there is a chance for an improvement of rankings.
3. To Prevent Getting Hacked
Updating your website with the latest website security methods and plugins will protect you from getting hacked. Simply having an out-of-date plugin can increase your chances of getting valuable information stolen. Often times, plugins and other softwares get updates when they see a vulnerability for cyber attacks. It’s important to keep your website updated to ensure your entire website doesn’t get hacked. We talk about the updates you can do to prevent you from getting hacked further on in this blog post.
4. Your Customers Will Access Your Information Better
Having out-of-date information listed on your website can be very confusing for your customers. You never want to confuse or frustrate your customers because of false information on your website. Updating your website is a great way to make it easier for your customers or audience to interact with your business.
5. You Stand Out From the Crowd With an Updated Website
23% of websites for small businesses get updated less than once a year. This percentage does not take into consideration how many websites are updated only twice or three times a year. Many small business owners do not care about updating their website quarterly or even monthly. This is shocking because 69% of small businesses that have websites make between $1,000,000 – $2,490,000 in annual sales. Make the choice to stand out from the crowd and update your business’ website on a regular basis.
Updates You Should Make
There are some updates that you should definitely make on your website. Some of them should be done as quickly and easily, while others may take a little more time to complete. Either way, you should make these updates as soon as possible if you want to experience the benefits listed above.
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1. Make Your Updated Website Mobile-Friendly
Having a mobile-friendly website is a great way to put your customers first. In 2018, 52.2% of website traffic was from mobile devices, and that number is predicted to only increase in 2019. This means that it’s more important now than ever to make your website mobile-friendly.
Another big reason you should make your website mobile-friendly is that it will help your search engine rankings. Back in 2015, Google announced that they were going to increase the rankings of websites that were mobile-friendly. Google released a free mobile-friendly test so website owners can check if their website works on mobile devices. Making sure your website is mobile-friendly is an easy way you can get ahead of competitors in search rankings.
Making your website mobile-friendly may take some time. The amount of time it takes to fix this issue will depend on why it’s not mobile-friendly in the first place. It could be a quick fix, or you may have to completely change your website theme. If you find that your website is not mobile-friendly, you should talk to your website developer as soon as possible.
2. Add an SSL Certificate to Your Website
When making updates to your website, you should heavily consider adding a secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate to it. SSL certificates are a form of website security that protect both you and your customers. If your customers are entering any information of theirs on your website, you should get an SSL certificate. According to a study by GlobalSign, 84% of customers will abandon a purchase if they realize that a website is not secure. This makes it even more important to get an SSL certificate for your website.
While protecting your customers and yourself from cyber attacks, SSL certificates also provide SEO benefits. Google has mentioned that they rank websites who take security measures higher than those that do not. So, if you do not have an SSL certificate and want extra security and SEO benefits, you should get one.
3. Update Website Plugins
If you are using a content management system (CMS), there is a high chance that you use at least one plugin. These are add-on softwares that add a particular feature to your website. Just like with most digital applications and software, plugins must be updated. It’s very important to update your plugins to increase your website speed and prevent hacking. You can quickly update your plugins by pressing a few buttons on your CMS. Due to the ease of updating, you should update your plugins today.
4. Create Content
Creating content for your website can be a great marketing technique for a small business. Content will create a purpose for you to update your website frequently and get more indexed pages on search engines. If you would like some content creation tips, you may be interested in our blog post, 10 Content Creation Tips to Consider.
When to Update Your Website
You need to update your website as soon as possible. If you have the ability to, you should start making necessary updates today. Once you finish making your initial updates, you should continue to update your website regularly.
We hope this blog post gave you a great idea of why and how you should update your website. If you have any questions about updating your website, feel free to fill out the form below to contact us. We would love to set up a time to speak with you and address your questions.