Website trends are ever-evolving and while it can be difficult to keep up with all the changes, having an up-to-date website is critical for your business. Websites create value by increasing your visibility online, growing your credibility as a company, and providing timely and useful information to your consumers.
Websites have seen drastic changes over the last several years. Websites started out in the late 80’s and have been evolving ever since. Platforms become more advance, security technology is updated, design trends change on a regular basis, templates become out of date, preferences change, I could go on and on. Because technology is so frequently changing, website will continue to adapt to those changes and there is no end in sight. Red Sage is constantly monitoring security updates, template changes, and much more for our website customers because it is an ever-moving target. One of the newest changes that has affected the majority of websites is responsive programming, which now enables sites to automatically adapt to mobile devices.
Small business websites are increasingly becoming the target of hackers, and site security is now a major concern for any company that has an online presence, and for the web developers who manage the website. Change is happening at an extremely rapid pace. Here’s a look at the last 10 years of changes.
Why it’s important:
Your website is an important aspect to your business and oftentimes, it is one of the first things your positional customers see, so it’s extremely important to keep it current. Your website also helps you do three things:
Increase online visibility
Your business’ online presence is one of the more important reasons to keeping your website up-to-date. I did a blog post on the importance of online presence here, but if you missed it, your online presence is essentially what your customers see when they search for you on the internet, the more up-to-date information and content on your site, the higher you will rank to search engines, such as Google.
When you go to a website, one of the things you look at is whether or not it looks out of date because you’re looking for credibility. By updating information on your site, you are showing your customers and potential customers that you are an expert in your field and that is why they should pick your organization over other companies. This is also why we update blogs, news sections, customer testimonials, and more. Your website is a sales tool, so use it as one!
Provide useful information
If you are an interior designer and I am wondering what color paint I should use in my kitchen, I want to come to your website and find a blog about what the best paint colors are for kitchens. Do I use a light gray or a dark gray (can you tell I really want to repaint my kitchen? 🙂 )? It’s the same for every company – if you are an expert in something, tell the world about it. I work with websites all day long, so I am passionate about helping you get the most of your website, hence, this blog. Use your knowable about a particular topic to provide useful information. Not sure what to write about? Don’t over think it. Do you get asked the same question a lot? Write the answer in a blog post.
How to stay up-to-date:
Keeping up with website trends feels like an impossible task, but there are things you can do to stay on top of those changing technology trends and be prepared when it is time to make some changes to your website.
Evaluate your website every 3-4 years.
Technology changes as a rate that I, personally, don’t feel like I can keep up. As a marketing professional and social media junkie, I am constantly doing research, browsing social media sites, and following the technology experts to alert me of new trends, new technology, and well, new “cool” things to do – particularly on web. I want to know the new, interesting things to do on web, but it would be impossible to change my website every time a new technology was released. Red Sage recommends re-evaluating your website every 3-4 years. Is your template out of date and in need of a new look? Are the colors you used on your site no longer the feel you want to convey to your customers? Are your photos “so last year” that it’s time to switch them out? Take the time every couple years to look at those things.
Update your content.
One of the things we tell the companies we work with is that current, fresh information is vital to a successful website, so even if your website template, colors or design aren’t out of date, keeping up-to-date, new content on your site is the very first and most important aspect to staying on trend with your website. Incorporate a blog or a news section into your website and update it every month with new articles. Add customer testimonials to your site regularly. There are lots of things you can do with content to keep your website fresh and relevant to your customers.
Update visual elements.
Like content, updating your photos and visual elements on a regular basis is also key to a fresh website. Change out photos, especially if they look outdated. If you have an image rotator, try to change photos at least once a month. If you are a projects-based business, have a project portfolio and when you have news photos, go ahead and add them. Staying with trends, such as incorporating flat graphic design elements is also popular. Don’t forget about video – it’s another great way to keep your website up-to-date.
If I lost you, don’t worry! Just call Red Sage, and we can help you evaluate your current website!