Reasons Why You Need to Update Your Website
What happens when visitors to your website try to contact you and the listed phone number doesn’t work?
Or when they get really excited about an offer you built up, only to find out that it has long expired?
But only for a second. After that, they’re done with you and off to your competitor who cares enough about their customers’ experience to keep their site updated. 😓
Don’t worry – that’s not going to be your fate now that you’re reading this blog.
The thing is, website maintenance is an investment, so even if you have an idea why updating is important, you need that executive-level buy-in to proceed.
That’s why we’ve broken this article into two parts:
- A summary of the reasons if you’re just trying to convince your boss
- The details if you’re wanting to learn more
So let’s talk about why you need to update your website, probably right now.
Why Websites Need Updating (in Brief)
First up, we have the shortlist to save you time and show you we didn’t just copy-paste the stuff you read elsewhere.
Here are our top reasons why you need to update your website:
|Reason||Why it matters||What it entails/looks like when done right|
|2. Keeping pace with SEO changes and updates|
|3. Using reports and analytics to improve on-site metrics and website health|
|4. Improving site performance and speed|
|5. Checking the market for alternative solutions|
|6. replacing stock photos|
|7. Adding fresh content for your customers…|
|8. …and for Google to improve your SEO rankings|
|9. Maintaining a fresh-looking site that’s attracting your target audience|
Okay, saved that for the higher-ups?
Now, let’s elaborate with some examples to visually and practically explain the benefits of updating a website.
The 9 Reasons to Update Your Website
1. Security, security, security (a key one!)
Uber lost millions to a security breach. So did Adobe.
On average, malware attacks cost US companies $2 million.
Things like outdated plugins (even if you updated your core website) or unprotected files (letting all employees access everything) can leave you vulnerable to hackers.
Maybe you’re thinking: Sure, but it’s all those huge companies that get hacked – why would a hacker attack my small or medium-sized business?
Because it’s not personal; they’re interested in the data.
And if you’re in professional services or the nonprofit sector, you have access to some valuable client data like payment accounts and personal information that could be leaked.
Not to mention getting your own site blacklisted and then losing almost all of your traffic.
This is why it’s essential to monitor and maintain your website security at all times.
The cost of updating your website is much lower than what you risk losing if you’re unprotected.
2. Keeping pace with SEO changes and updates
Google Analytics 4, everyone!
Never heard of it? That means you’re not in the loop.
Google recently rolled out a new analytics update that is replacing Universal Analytics.
AKA what every marketer and search engine optimization professional has been using for a decade… until now.
You can imagine the hype. Okay, the tears. Depends on who you ask.
Being aware of these changes is vital if you’re investing in SEO or trying to get anywhere with your business these days because they dictate what you need to do to get there.
You can’t rely on outdated practices to give you fresh new results.
Worse, if you don’t know these updates are even happening, you could be rubbing your forehead really hard wondering what’s wrong all of a sudden.
Why is your SEO not working??? You literally didn’t change anything and it used to be fine?!
Don’t worry, it’s easy to solve.
Having an expert on your team ensures:
- You’re up-to-date on new Google algorithms and not wasting time or money on tactics that won’t work
- When the time comes, you know what needs to be done and just who to hire for it
- You’re a step ahead of your competitors who still think backlinks are all it takes to rank well on Google (we’ll talk about this more in a second)
3. Using reports and analytics to improve on-site metrics and website health
Speaking of keeping pace with industry trends and changes, don’t forget to look in the mirror every once in a while and see how you’re doing.
How’s your bounce rate looking? What can you do to fix it and keep visitors on-site for longer?
Want to know the best part?
You don’t actually have to know a lot about this.
That’s another advantage of having an expert run you through the numbers on a regular basis to tell you what you need to do – you can just do that instead.
Regular reports are an integral part of any worthwhile website maintenance package.
Here’s how you can expect it to look:
As long as you’re tracking performance indicators relevant to your industry (and not just all the metrics), website analytics can tell you where you’re at and what your next move should be.
4. Improving site performance and speed
We say it a lot, but it’s important: If your site takes longer than three seconds to load, you lose a bunch of visitors. First impressions matter.
Outdated code can slow down your site’s loading speed or even the way it responds on different devices.
Here’s an example of a website that works on one desktop:
…but is lost in translation on another computer:
How many potential clients will you miss out on because they can’t use your site the way it was intended? Or because it took forever to load so they assumed it doesn’t work? Or because the site isn’t mobile-friendly?
With proper maintenance? Not many. 😉
Here’s what one of our clients’ site (Pinnacle Health Management) looks like across devices for comparison:
On a smartphone:
That’s what we mean by “seamless experience across devices.”
The goal is to provide the best user experience with your website, whether on desktop or mobile devices.
5. Checking the market for alternative solutions
Technology keeps evolving to make our lives easier.
Just because you opted for a plugin years ago when you started out doesn’t mean it’s still the best option for your site today.
Checking the market could include reading about proven SEO strategies from experts on Linkedin to inform your own…
…regularly looking at competitors’ and other sites to see what they’re doing better – check out this counter tool from Downtown Women’s Center:
And yes, discovering better plugins and tools to replace your 4-years-old clunky ones.
Look around, take notes, and update to keep up.
6. Replacing stock photos
Stock photos are overused and boring.
Worse, they’re a missed opportunity to connect with your audience via your design.
What if you threw them in the bin and dabbled in some personalized photography instead?
Your visitors come to your site and immediately see photos of your thriving community. Your customers or donors, and the impact you’re making.
Houses built, accounts handled, puppies saved. You fill in the blanks.
For example, see how CSI Construction Services took advantage of personalized video to emphasize their dedication to the community of Tampa right on the homepage:
Here’s another one:
…and the non-profit, Generation Thrive, for good measure:
You get the picture (no pun intended).
Personalized photography feels more, well, personal and valuable to visitors because they can see a glimpse of who you are.
In real life. Right now.
Don’t be like that person who still has the headshot from fifteen years and thirty hairdos ago as their profile picture.
It’s not a great look – even if you still are emo deep down.
7. Adding fresh content for your customers…
Even quality website content has a shelf-life.
You can’t just put it on your site and be done with it for good – it can get spoiled and lose its value before you know it.
You have to keep adding new, up-to-date information, reflect the current trends and best practices, and keep it relevant to your audience.
It’s a lot of work. And Boundless Brilliance does it well:
They have lots of content, a blog with 4 categories, youtube, spin the wheel to pick your activity…
And then more content to support you afterward.
Content shows that you really know what you’re talking about in a way that’s also useful to your audience.
It provides a valuable first touchpoint, too – you can use it to start building meaningful relationships with them before they’ve even contacted you.
But updating website content regularly does more than that.
8. … and for Google to improve your SEO rankings
The further you go with your content strategy, the more you have to maintain – and that’s a good thing.
Remember how you had only a few internal links when you just started your blog?
Fast-forward to now, maybe you have 5-10 new pages worth of articles you can link to from your oldest pieces now that they’re live.
While you’re at it, you can check for broken links and refresh your outdated content to get some SEO bonus points – it’s more rewards for less work because you’re just tweaking, not starting from scratch.
Having a ton of high-quality and interlinked content pages on your site helps with ranking.
And if you’re wondering why that matters:
Seeing how only 0.78% of people look at and click on a result from the second page of Google, ranking high should be at the top of your priority list.
That’s how people find you.
9. Maintaining a fresh-looking site that’s attracting your target audience
What was cool three years ago may not be this year.
Maybe you’re rebranding and need a website redesign, or just got a few new case studies to publish since the last time you aired out your site.
It’s time to update!
Yes, another portfolio example, but we said we’d show you what we mean so…
Take a look at Alluma.
They needed an overhaul after changing their name and brand. They wanted a site that:
- Reflects the shift in style and dynamics
- Highlights the helpful content they post
- Renders well across all devices
- Presents all the information in a modern, engaging way
Here are the results:
That should settle the debate on the benefits of updating your website.
But if you still have questions, we’ll try to answer them now.
“What does updating a website mean?”
Updating a website means taking the time every week and/or month to check its performance and make the necessary changes to make sure your site health is in mint condition, renders well across all devices, and provides a flawless UX so your users don’t get annoyed right into the arms of your competitors.
This could include:
- Updating to the latest version of your theme as part of WordPress website maintenance
- Tweaking old content with new information
- Switching to plugins that meet your needs better
- Adding new web design elements or website content
- Updating your information like locations, phone number, etc.
“Why is it important to keep your website updated?”
Regularly updating your website allows you to stay ahead of the curve with industry and SEO changes, be relevant to your target audience, and keep your site safe for all parties by making smaller, timely adjustments proactively, so you focus on prevention rather than paying a large sum for every problem that slides under your radar.
We kind of just discussed this… did you pay attention?
If you’d like a refresher – or, more likely, if Google just dropped you off here and you have no idea what we’re talking about, take a look at the 9 Reasons to Update Your Website section.
“How often should you update your website?”
As a rule of thumb: check monthly for tech updates and install them + do a yearly audit of your website, plugins, and website design to see if you need to fix them to stay relevant.
It’s essential to maintain your site regularly to avoid unpleasant surprises or missed opportunities down the line.
“Does updating your website help SEO?”
Updating your website is a must because SEO revolves around appeasing the ever-evolving nature of search engines – so, in short: yes. Updating your website helps SEO.
The goalpost keeps moving, so it makes sense that your approach needs to move with it.
For more details, you can head back to the SEO-focused sections in this article.
“What does it mean to update content?”
Updating website content means revisiting old content to make sure it’s still relevant and useful for your readers, beefing it up with fresh insights, checking how it performs SEO-wise, and adding links to your other, newer web pages to get higher search engine rankings.
How? For example:
- See if all the information still applies
- Add new findings/trends or interesting studies
- Offer a new angle, and use the chance to talk about what changed
- Rewrite weaker sections for better readability
- Check if all links work and add new internal links where it’s natural
- Implement new SEO practices, etc.
How StateWP Can Help
That was the long answer to why you need to update your website.
But let’s reiterate with another short one:
You need to keep updating your site to stay on your target audience’s maps, attract new people to your business, and get more conversions.
It can be scary if you’re going at it alone.
To guarantee results, you can team up with an agency like StateWP to take over the never-ending tasks of keeping your website updated instead.
Now, we’re curious.
What led you to google “why you need to update your website”? We have a feeling you’re onto something, so feel free to reach out and tell us about it.
And if you’re determined to go at it on your own, we suggest you read about monthly website maintenance next.