Having a website is a necessity for any business. Whether your customers are around the neighborhood or around the world, you need a place for your customers to research more about your company, see what you have to offer and how to contact you for more information. It needs to be efficient, well-branded, and lead your customers where they want to go. But once you have a pretty good web design, how often does it really need to be updated? After all, website features and blogs don't change that much from year to year, right?
If this were true in practice, most brands would leave their website unchanged for years. For good performance, your website needs to be updated and tuned up like any running machine.
For competitive SEO, your HubSpot CMS web design needs constant fresh content and activity. Optimal website management suggests a website update every one to three years, and regular new content releases in the form of product updates, blog articles, as well as campaign landing pages.
In fact, all business websites should be updated every one to three years. In a modern environment where agile development suggests little updates every month, a three-year update cycle is the longest you can rely on previous work to provide competitive performance. However, for a relatively stable web design where little needs to change from one year to the next, consider your website updates like a technical checkup to make sure you're working with the latest parts and there are no lurking maintenance issues.
What makes a website update has a very broad definition. On one end, a website update can be a full redesign. You can have the website built fresh from the ground up using different software and different building blocks. This will ultimately result in a new online experience for your customers. You can rebrand, redesign, rebuild, and then implement the website to replace an old design.
On the other end, you can simply tune up the website technology you have. You can have your page speed improved with performance tweaks and your blog organization refined into an information center. You can add a few of the latest in-demand features to keep your website competitive, but essentially the same with each update.
Most web design updates are really tune-ups. The software and modules are all updated to the most current version. Any compatibility issues are sorted, and any known issues are addressed. Broken links are fixed, confusing buttons are clarified, and then your developer will start optimizing for page speed. Tune-ups also keep your website essentially the same. However, it makes sure it is running well on the latest software and cybersecurity settings.
Feature building updates add one or two cool features like live chat or information center navigation without changing most of the website. These updates are essential every few years to stay competitive and continue providing your online customers with the latest features they expect and require.
Website redesigns often hone your brand. This may involve better ways to represent your brand identity or a full rebranding as part of the website redesign. You can do this by fully rebuilding the website or just redesigning the visual elements. A brand redesign is a thorough but not necessarily structural website update.
A website rebuild creates a new website for you from the ground up. You can start with a new technology framework, modules, features, as well as design. If you want a complete overhaul and an all-new website, you can plan a website rebuild, and most brands should do this every five to eight years.
SEO is the combined effort of getting your website in a top-ranking spot on search engine results. This is the hotspot for web traffic and requires a certain amount of active web development. Every year, Google updates the requirements for ranking websites and they change the algorithm a little or a lot. Every year, websites update to keep up with SEO demand.
Today, the top priorities to have ranking SEO are page speed, page loading stability, performance on mobile, devices, as well as technical SEO on your content pages. Tuning up your website each year is the best way to stay on top of your SEO goals.
Keeping your website in good condition and loading quickly is essential. Google has marked page speed as a top SEO priority so that slower websites, no matter how well designed, will fall behind the pack. Keeping your page speed and page load performance competitive requires annual tune-ups of your website even if no major changes are made.
For the last several years, mobile-first has been a leading SEO policy. Your website needs to not only perform well on mobile devices but also keep up with the evolving demands of the mobile market. Phones and mobile operating systems update over time, and so too should your website.
Technical SEO is how well your website's structure works with the web crawlers. Having a lot of metadata, a well-built sitemap, as well as a clear linking strategy are all essential for your technical SEO, but the standards change from year to year. This is another reason why regular website updates are important for SEO performance and SERP ranking.
Finally, websites are constantly developing competitive designs. Because SEO pits your brand against similar brands with similar content, the best web design and performance will often win out. Regular website updates help to keep your website competitive among your contemporaries.
There is also a subtle feeling to an older website. Users can tell if performance hasn't been maintained with the same attentiveness as other websites. The longer a website goes without maintenance, the clunkier it feels to navigate. Over time, links become dead or broken, and information goes out of date. A website slowly fails to have the expected suite of features like floating live chat social media links.
If you want to make a strong first impression with your customers, it's important to make sure your web design is as sleek and modern as the competition.
Finally, modern customers expect certain performance standards. Today, most people need websites that work on their phones and mobile-ready features for online and on-the-go use of your services. Customers expect live chat support and plenty of tools to help themselves with account and order management. This requires an ever more complex and secure website structure, one that you can achieve with regular website updates, both big and small, to keep your customers satisfied and well-supported.
How often should you update the website for your business? You can keep your website up to date with an annual tune-up, feature refresh every two years, or a rebuild every three. Every one to three years is the right interval for website updates, no matter what your industry or client base is. We can work with you to update your website performance, design, as well as SEO ranking for each of your future update cycles.
Here at Inbound Design Partners, we are passionate about providing the website support you need, whether that is regular maintenance, occasional updates, or a complete website rebuild for your brand. Contact us today if your HubSpot website update schedule is approaching and you need a great content and design team in your corner.