When we meet a new person, we tend to build our first impressions based on the way they look. In the same manner, when meeting a company, a potential client pays attention to their website first, the whole gist and quality of which may directly affect their decision to either become your new business partner or simply ignore you.
Good and unique content is a must for any integral resource - it is much appreciated by both clients and search engines. However, in order to keep your website’s efficiency at a decent level, you need to constantly refresh and update all of the data you offer, as well as the visuals and functionality of the resource features.
How Often Should You Update Your Website
There is no ‘perfect’ time to update your website. You need to base your updating decision on is the specifics of your particular business. There may be three general categories:
- Entertainment and information portals place data relevancy above all else, as all the content on the resource must be regularly updated.
- Everything is the other way round with eCommerce sales resources - you may as well settle with the unchanged design and content for years. Occasional updates, however, should still be made in order not to lose traffic, as search engines start to neglect stale resources over time.
- Resources where content stays relevant for prolonged periods of time include websites dedicated to analytics, reviews, or marketing tendencies, as well as personal growth or food blogs.
Regularity is where success lies - it’s better to add several new articles a week than a dozen of them in a month. Search bots pay more attention to websites with daily updates, making new, themed articles appear more frequently in search results.
The Time Has Come
There is no better or more profitable advertisement online than a high-quality website, the development of which requires respective time and money. In the long run, a good resource pays off - if you keep it fresh and relevant.
Here are the seven main reasons to stop postponing updates any longer:
The more rarely a website appears in search results, the fewer visitors it gets, which negatively affects sales volume. If your resource is filled with static information and there’s simply not enough content for frequent updates (if we talk about the company website, for instance), the solution may lie in a corporate blog, where reviews or niche tips can be posted.
Low conversion rates
If the traffic is stable, should you be seeing a factual decline in the number of buyers? Perhaps, the reason is insufficient accessibility of your site or design that just isn’t eye-grabbing enough. Take a look at your portal from the user’s perspective - complicated navigation or ordering process that can dramatically lower their business loyalty.
40% of users will leave your website if it loads for longer than three seconds, with each additional second lowering the conversion by 7%. Optimization and compression of content, especially graphics, can significantly boost the overall speed of your resource.
No popularity on mobile
You should think about the way your resource fits with mobile devices if smartphone or tablet traffic comprises only an insignificant percentage. Adaptive web design is a way for your site to look and perform efficiently on both on computers and smartphones.
Websites and social networks are frequently hacked. There isn’t a user or company that would want some confidential info to leak out into public access. You should always audit the structure and platform of your resource in terms of any data safety flaws.
Accessibility of updating
CMS or content management systems with accessible interfaces should allow you to update your site without requiring any special coding skills. This allows you to redirect the development routes for your website, depending on your tactical and strategic tasks.
No social media connection
The modern world revolves around social media communities. It’s crucial to link your website to the popular social networks in order to popularize your resource and stay in the spotlight. Make sure to attach the respective social media buttons to your portal.
When to Redesign Your Website
85% of users may leave a site if they don’t like the look of the interface. 40% won’t ever come back. The high rates of refusing further actions, especially on the homepage, indicates the negative first user impression or a user facing difficulties when trying to find the required item. This is the best time for website redesign.
You should check how much your portal corresponds with niche assessment standards and go through refusal indications by the following aspects:
- location - a local business may get a significant number of refusals outside of its operating region
- device - a number of refusals by PC owners is usually lower than the mobile user refusals because they frequently look for answers to particular questions
- client consistency - new users are more prone to refusals as opposed to regular visitors. Segment your traffic based on these two primary categories.
In order to keep a resource relevant and stylish, you should stay in check with the trendy stuff and integrate it with your solution. Plugins, animations, widgets, and dynamic images - these simple features can liven up even the most boring website. Keep it recognizable for users, but also exciting and diverse.
To optimize budget and time, start customizing design from the most crucial elements that stimulate sales: homepage or item representations. ‘About us’ or ‘Contacts’ tabs are the last things to interest users and so you should also work on them after everything else.
Ten Ways to Make Interface More Attractive
One of the main goals of building a successful commercial resource is accessibility for a wider scope of users. So start with:
A good user interface is understandable for most people who come across it. You shouldn’t confuse users so they don't end up leaving after clicking some buttons to no desired effect.
A user should understand from the first glimpse at a certain sign or button what its purpose is. If you want to be original in terms of design, enjoy yourself, but keep it all reasonable and intuitive.
Cumbersome, over-the-top interface would repulse most users. In general, you shouldn’t describe to clients in three sentences something that can be explained in two words. Stay concise and to the point in terms of interspersing your design with elements.
Speed of load
Again, the fewer separate elements there are, the faster the whole website loads. Slow loading is a sure way to cause a negative attitude in users initially.
Users don’t really like registering, unless they are planning to visit a resource regularly. A long registration form can scare away many users. Ask only for relevant data. If you still need a bunch of fields to be filled in order to provide services, subdivide the registration process in several stages.
Style of buttons
In order to keep the functional elements intuitive and not confuse users, design buttons this way:
- highlight the clickable elements against the non-clickable ones (using different fonts, sizes, highlights)
- highlight the section where a user is at at the moment
A user should be able to customize the interface as they like it. Provide various icons, backgrounds, etc. to let clients feel unique and more comfortable using your resource.
Reasonability of choice
The more options there are, the harder it is to focus on something and select something particular to purchase. If you still have to work with a huge number of products, you should add hints. ‘We’d recommend’ or ‘Sales hit’ hints will help guide users towards buying stuff.
Speak the same language
A target audience of your resource is defined in big part by the style of copy it features. Entertainment portals have a commonly-understandable copy with minimum usage of special terms. Narrow-focus sites can afford some slang that related experts use and understand.
Read also: 5 Best Strategies to Improve Website UX
Help your users understand the platform initially with tips and hints. But don’t be over intrusive and annoying by making all of the hints:
- particular and concise
- relevant to the issue
- ability to disable
The Need for Redesign
Regular updates and redesign efforts do not always bring noticeable benefits. The pace of company growth may require a simple resource to be transformed into a bigger portal. This implies the rebuilding of the whole resource.
For each particular case, there is an individually proper time to rebuild a website - everything depends on the business specifics and project goals. The following aspects can help you understand that it is time to implement some global changes:
- the scale of business activity has grown significantly - you can’t store the dramatically increased volumes of data with your existing resources anymore
- a rebranding is happening - a total switch of the company’s field of work
- traffic is decreasing - your site, as opposed to similar solutions, is of less interest to the TA, it’s slower and more cumbersome than others
- you don’t have a mobile version.
Visual enhancements cannot always be strictly efficient. Sometimes, more complex, technical innovations should be implemented, such as:
- CMS Replatform. You can switch the basic system foundation of your portal.
- Technical renovation. You can implement new in-depth features that imply customizing code or redeploying certain aspects.
- Adaptive design. This is an important aspect of boosting audience numbers. You can customize the CSS/HTML foundation of the website to fit mobile devices.
A high-quality web resource brings benefits to any project - be it a blog or commercial website. Unfortunately, many vendors frequently focus predominately on the commercial offer, neglecting the visual attractiveness and forgetting that even the most technologically-advanced solution can repulse visitors.
Useful, unique content is what should keep any resource above water, making it preferred by both customers and search engines. However, you should keep everything relevant and updated, as we’ve already said, to keep up with the pace.
So never forget about timely redesign and modernization.