Yesterday at the Michigan City Chamber Biz Expo we ran into many great people wanting to know information. Most of them had websites (only two didn't), some good and some that they wish they could do more but didn't see the benefit of having a website.
We found only one business (out of over forty) actually considers their website as a benefit to the company rather than a required expense. We run into this all the time where a business has designed a website years ago and think eventually it will bring in tangible results. Would you hire an employee, set them at a desk and hope that someday they will bring in tangible results? I am betting the answer is no. You want, and need, that employee to work for your business objectives and not just take home a paycheck. Having a website that you build (hire) either yourself or pay someone else to design, pay monthly fees (paycheck) for hosting and the domain registrar fee and do not work toward making it the best employee (website) that it can be that is exactly what you're doing. Your website needs to be kept up to date about your business goals, objectives, and working toward the success of your business.
Years ago you may have had the most up-to-date and beautiful website, your competitors were envious of what you had done, and your site was the talk of the town. With all the early success, rave reviews you may be asking why we state that every year, or two, you need to update your website. The reason is actually quite simple. New and returning customers are searching for products, services and support for the products your business is selling.
Based on this information we've built a list of reasons why you should think of updating your website.
Your competitors are also working to improve their image, putting their products and services online for customers to find, being involved on the Internet. They want to win the business that was once solely yours.
The search engines live for fresh, relevant and updated content. This is what helps keep you on the organic search results.
You're in the business to drive customers both online and locally. Even without having a physical presence local search can benefit you by having people find you when they are searching for a specific product. It could be they are looking for your widget which is only available online and rather than choosing your competitor who has a store front decide on yours as your website has the information they need and the price they are looking for.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engines evolve on an almost daily basis. What worked for your website years ago, months ago or even last week may no longer be relevant on your website anymore. By incorporating a solid SEO strategy you can make certain the information about your website is pertinent today as it was when you started your online venture.
The world is moving to being more online rather than tethered to a desk. They are using tablets and smart phones on a daily basis to surf the Internet. This makes having your website being able to handle each of these devices ever more important.
Having a website that hasn't been updated can be a key indication to people that are not ethical and will see a ripe opportunity in taking advantage of security vulnerabilities of your website. Many websites that are outdated also don't receive the necessary web server software updates to stay secure. Just last week we upgraded a site that used Microsoft FrontPage Server Extensions which has several known security vulnerabilities.