If you haven't updated your website in 2021, this is your sign to do just that!
Many entrepreneurs fall into the trap of sitting back thinking that their website is "complete" once it has gone live. In today's highly competitive market, your site needs to be up to date across both looks and functionality to stay competitive.
Why do websites need regular maintenance?
Your website is often your clients very first impression of your business. Think of your website as a physical store. If a client visited your store, and their first impression was that it was dusty, not maintained or up to date with current trends, you would hardly be surprised if they turned around and walked right out—first impressions matter. Google studies show that it only takes a consumer up to 50 milliseconds to form an opinion about your website. For this reason, it is essential to make sure that your website is up to date in terms of aesthetics and functionality. Here are some of the reasons why you should be updating your website regularly:
Website Security & Advancing Technology
Theme developers are regularly making changes and updates to your website themes to improve accessibility, bug fixes, loading speeds and security. If your website is out of date it is vulnerable to hacking attempts and the data that you hold could also be at risk. Additionally, poorly performing sites with slow loading speeds will deter people from browsing through your site and lead to worsened rankings. If you believe your site is suffering from laggy and slow loading pages, you can read more about site speed improvement opportunities here.
Regularly updating your content builds trust in your brand. Customers are more willing to think of your brand as the authority in your industry if your content is; unique, informative, useful and up to date. Delivering good quality content to your customers through your website will inevitably set you apart from your competitors and increase your organic search visibility, rankings and traffic. One key thing to remember is the importance of making sure your content is unique. If you plagiarise content from other websites, it could lead to Google penalties.
Search Engine Optimisation
Not only does updating your website increase site security and prevent hacking, but websites that are consistently updated tend to drive more traffic. Google's search engine rewards sites that are updated regularly with good quality content, strong PageSpeed, and great user experience.
Significant changes and updates to Google's Search engine algorithms happen at least twice a year, the most recent being a June 2021 User Experience Update which you can read more about here.
When should I update my website?
We asked our front end developer, Ollie Russel, his advice is “website maintenance should always be an ongoing proactive mission to avoid learning the importance of website maintenance the hard way. If ongoing website maintenance is not feasible for your business, look into scheduling your website for bi-yearly checks and updates”
How to keep your website updated
There are a few things that you can do today to start updating your website. Start by checking for any obvious issues such as missing or poor-quality images, incorrect or outdated user information, broken links, formatting and style issues and missing or out of date content.
Next, you should remove old and unused plugins, analyse your data and check your Google Analytics to find and update your poorly performing pages.
How Blend can help
The Blend team consists of UI & UX Designers, Front and Backend Developers, CRO consultants, Growth Marketers and Strategy Consultants. Our company culture is focused on continuous learning and development. Due to this, you'll benefit from a tight-knit team that's on the pulse in a quickly changing Shopify environment.
Our digital team can become your digital team that makes continuous, iterative improvements on the highest priority basis. Alongside this, the team is still flexible enough to handle ad hoc requests that your growing Shopify brand needs. This gives you the time, energy and peace of mind to focus on your long term vision for the business.