The technologies used to build websites have a lifecycle of approximately two to three years. Take Adobe Flash, for example. After being used by nearly every website, it came crashing down a few years later. Why? Because it wasn’t a good fit for search engines and Apple refused to use it on their revolutionary mobile devices, the iPhone and iPad.
These fast-paced changes in online technology can dramatically affect your business website, which is why you need to revisit your website more often than every few years. Websites are an evergreen sales and marketing tool that should be constantly analyzed and improved.
If you don’t have a site that’s up-to-date with the latest technology, you can expect some of the following repercussions:
1. Poor Search Engine Performance
Google’s algorithm is constantly changing, and it’s important to keep up with the changes to ensure your website continues to place well in search engine rankings. One important ranking factor for Google is whether a site is mobile-friendly. If your site doesn’t work well on mobile devices, it may be worth considering building a new site – most modern website CMS platforms have mobile functionality and SEO best practices “built-in” or available via software modules.
2. Brand Image Becoming Old and Dated
When you click on a website that hasn’t been updated in way too long, it’s obvious. Don't kid yourself, first impressions matter! Your expectations for the company are immediately set: it is outdated and irrelevant (if it’s even still in business). Poor performing sites often receive lower rankings by Google, and slow-to-load sites encourage customers to bounce quickly. Even if your website is a simple “business card” for your company, it should reflect modern design and functionality in order to enhance your brand and reputation, and help engage prospects or customers.
3. Not Using A CMS for Site Management
A content management system (CMS) provides an easy-to-use backend system for making quick edits and additions to your website. CMS-based sites are also more reliable and more secure, and can integrate with other platforms like catalogs, quoting and inventory systems. However, if your website was built more than five years ago, it likely doesn’t use a modern CMS.
4. Adapting to Your Customer’s Buying Needs
Do you understand how your customers want to buy from you? Today’s buyers prefer to do their own research before initiating contact with a company. In fact, most customers use online resources, catalogs and tools to get 60 percent through the buying process – before even contacting the seller. Web-based tools that work seamlessly on any device and are mobile-responsive help create trust and build value in the eyes of the customer.
Every other month, it seems like a major company announces a security breach that has affected their customer data. Content security should be a priority for every organization, and customers have become increasingly sensitive to how their data is stored and used. Fortunately, modern CMS and hosting platforms are developed and maintained with a constant eye on data security.
6. It’s Good for Business
Today’s websites are not billboards or business cards – they are interactive, informative and rich sales tools for building relationships with customers and prospects. Building regular website updates and maintenance into your marketing program is critical to maintaining a competitive edge, and supporting employee recruiting and retention efforts.