With the everyday demands of business, when should you make time to update your website? Nothing is broken, so why fix it? Business couldn’t be better, and your brand is top of mind for your potential clients… Or is it? Regardless of how long you have been in business, your website should continue to contribute to increased customer engagement, sales and brand awareness.

Before calling Houston, here are 5 quick questions to help you determine if your website needs an update.

      1. Is your website responsive?
        Mobile internet traffic continues to rise. Indeed, the 2018 Global Digital Report indicates mobile traffic in Australia accounts for more than half of Australia’s total internet traffic. Responsive web design ensures your website is mobile friendly; the layout and navigation of your website will work well on a mobile device. Don’t risk wasting your efforts driving traffic to your website and losing visitors with a non-responsive web design. Mobile-friendly websites also get a ranking boost in Google search results. This only applies if the visitor is searching from a mobile device but, given this represents more than half of the internet traffic in Australia, it is an important consideration. Google first announced using a mobile-friendly ranking signal in 2014 and further announcements from Google have only increased the effect of the mobile-friendly ranking. Various tools are available to test the responsiveness of your website. If your website doesn’t work well on a mobile device, it may be time for an update.
      2. How fast is your website?
        Higher ranking websites have fast loading pages. Visitors are more likely to spend longer on your website if it has a faster load speed. Several free tools are available to give you an idea of the time taken to load your webpage. You can run the test using different browsers and from server locations around the world – an important consideration if your target market is global. If your testing indicates your website could be faster (aim for a page load speed under 3 seconds), some basic website maintenance can be effective. Consider reducing image file sizes; remove unnecessary plugins; and clean out redundant content.
      3. Is your website secure?
        Moving from a website that runs over a HTTP connection to a HTTPS connection is important to consider for security and privacy reasons. This is particularly important for eCommerce websites, where shoppers are more likely to abandon their cart if their data will be sent over an unsecured connection. Security is understandably a top priority and Google now use HTTPS as a ranking signal. There are many advantages to moving your site to HTTPS and now could be the perfect time for you to make the move.
      4. How current is your content?
        Keeping your web content current on a regular basis is crucial for a higher search ranking. Get into the habit of creating content; a regular blog may be the perfect solution and don’t forget your client testimonial page – when was that last time that was updated? Also check your website for any broken links and remove any duplicated and redundant content. When you update your web content, remember to share across your social media channels.
      5. Does your website have a high bounce rate?
        How much time do your visitors spend on your website? What percentage of your visitors click on more than one web page? A high bounce rate is a sign your visitors have “bounced” from your site before clicking through to another web page. There are bounce rate benchmarks for different types of web pages. It is important to use tools such as Google Analytics to track your website’s bounce rate against your own figures and compare to relevant benchmarks. If your website has a high bounce rate, it may be time for a website update. Consider enhancing your website’s usability; updating content with clear call to actions; and improving the use of key words to match your content.
      6. I hope these questions have helped identify if your website needs an update. What are the biggest challenges you have in this area? Please share in the comments.