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Website development should become part of the annual spring clean

Mon, 06/09/2010 - 11:18

Websites aren't static tools. Here are a host of reasons why you need to refresh your site every year (and update the content far more frequently).

Change is good. In fact, Darwin showed us it’s essential.

So it’s strange that most businesses don’t update and overhaul their websites more often.

Think about it. Just as a good retailer will change their window displays regularly, so we need to change our websites. They are, after all, our shop window to the world.

There are compelling reasons to continuously add new content and to go through a major overhaul very year.

Boost your Google ranking

Upgrading your website will mean that you add new content to the site. And in the world of search engine optimization, content is king. New copy attracts the search engine spiders, meaning your site is constantly re-indexed...which will improve your Google rankings...which in turn will pull in new visitors and boost your company's credibility.

Refine your pitch

Take the example we use above of the retailer changing their shop window. It’s unlikely they’re punting a new product to new customers.. more probable that they’re promoting an existing product to existing clients who may not have been aware of it. Refreshing your website allows you to refine your pitch – even if you’re a one product company, your customers and potential clients might have a very different understanding of what you’re selling. Tweaking the message can help you clinch extra sales.

Display your success

You know that million dollar feeling when you pull on a great new outfit for the first time. Well, a website redesign will show your clients and visitors that you are a successful company that understands the benefits of evolving. Improve usability Let’s face it, most of us own websites which have irritating little ticks. They might not be broken – they might not even be visible to anyone but us, but they’re there and they drive us mad. An annual refresh gives you the opportunity to sort out any areas that you have noticed aren't working or pages that create usability issues.

Although a website redesign is important, it is even more vital that you plan it with the utmost care. Do a needs analysis – it’s important you set the outcomes you want to achieve with the new site. Don’t do this in isolation – rather pull in contributions from your staff .. and preferably from those outside your business such as friends and customers. Find out what they think works. And what they think doesn’t.

Review how frequently you want to update content on your site. There are some phenomenal content management systems available these days – these allow you to make changes to your site without having to get your web designers involved. All our sites are designed in the Drupal environment and incorporate one of the best CMS platforms around as standard.

Choose the right web developers. And make sure that you’ve defined what success looks like before you get them started. It’s essential that you have measurement milestones by which you can evaluate progress and hold them accountable. Revamping your website is one of the best – and easiest – ways to create buzz, to remotivate your staff and generate a sense of belonging among old, current and prospective clients alike.

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