Written by Joe Forrest, on behalf of the GoDaddy Team
When is the last time you updated your website? Has it been a few years? If so, you’re probably missing out on a lot of business opportunities. The web changes fast, and you must pivot with it to succeed. Here are six questions you can ask yourself to determine if it’s time to update your website.
1. Are you socially active?
There are many popular social networking sites out there that could be increasing your revenue if you take advantage of them. Social media marketing is so huge that it has created a huge cottage industry within the IT business world. Navigating the landscape can be daunting but to ignore it means you’re ignoring sales.
So if you’re actively promoting your business — and consequently its website — on Facebook or any other social platform, you’ll need to make sure your site design is up to snuff. Increasing awareness is a must, but if you’re not retaining any traffic after your social media pushes, it might be time to take a look at your website.
2. How’s your SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is how you get to the top of the charts, as they say. If you’re not using Google Analytics, for example, then you are way behind the power curve. You need to take the time to brush up on the subject. There are many professional services and products out there to help with this, so choose wisely. As always, you should educate yourself on what is really necessary, so you can make a plan of action to implement a good SEO strategy in order to get the full effect.
3. Is your site mobile-ready?
Most websites today are viewed on a mobile device. If you look at your website on an iPhone or Android and you can barely read the text (or if it just looks plain dated), then it’s time to update. You need to have a responsive website if you want to pull in new customers.
Even if you hired someone to build your first site and you’re unsure of web design, there are solutions available in the form of website builders. GoDaddy Website Builder, for example, makes it easy to build a professional website in less than an hour. With professional layouts and designs, you can easily find one that fits your industry. Bonus? It’s automatically built to be mobile-friendly. You can even design from your phone if you’d like!
4. How old is your content?
Your website’s design is amazingly important. If you haven’t even touched your website in the past six months, then you could be losing out on a lot of traffic — or worse, the potential for lining your pockets with cash. Your website is your public brand, and you want it to be welcoming with a clean and effective design.
A fresh update every now and then is a good thing. You’ll want to keep the design familiar enough to old customers while also integrating features that appeal to emerging audiences.
5. How’s your security?
It’s a common misconception that an SSL is needed only if you’re taking credit card information on your site. Google has been pushing a safer internet initiative for years now. In fact, if you have any sort of form on your site, such as a newsletter or login function, then utilizing an SSL certificate is a must to avoid being put on the naughty list.
In addition to SSLs, you should also factor in general website security. If you’ve never thought to add a layer of protection to your site in the form of a scanner to protect against malware, then you definitely need to include that in your update. If you’re not doing anything to protect yourself, then you’re gambling with your business, as 60 percent of all businesses that suffer from a cyber-attack go under in about six months.
6. When is the last time your website had a facelift?
Have you ever noticed that major brands are constantly reinventing their image to stay relevant? If you designed your website in FrontPage and haven’t changed it since then, you need an update pronto.
As I mentioned before, website builders like GoDaddy Website Builder make it exceptionally easy to get a brand-spanking new design on your website — without the major costs associated with a professional web design. You can keep your original color schemes and photos, or you can browse the professional images and layouts to give your site a fresh feel.
If you’re invested in your business, you should also be investing in your website. As with anything important, it’s valuable to educate yourself and formulate a plan. Then, pivot as needed to accommodate any changes. Using the power of the world wide web — and an updated website — can take your from being a small business owner to a major player.
Joe Forrest is a Hosting Support Specialist by night, creative writer/IT consultant by day. He is the founder of joeforrest.com, a blog dedicated to helping develop writers in both craft and internet marketing presence. His passion is to help the independent-minded, creative individual succeed and prosper with simple solutions in a complicated, high-tech world.