If you are a small business owner or a marketing director with an online presence, one day you’ll wake up and your website will be outdated. Web development is changing at a very fast pace and it is very easy for small businesses to not have the ability to keep up with it. It is also easy to feel that it is impossible to keep up with everything that needs constant updating. But imagine if you had the same cellphone from 10 years ago. And imagine if it’s software never had been updated: that wouldn’t be good. Websites are similar, but your brand’s tone, voice and style are being displayed by your site.
How often should a website be updated?
A website designed in a solid content management system should be updated about once a month. During the year, some of the updates that are needed will be security updates, some will be regular core updates and some will be plugin updates. Hosting also is often updated in the form of the database software, the PHP language, the server or the operating system of the host. All of these often happen at different moments. But keeping an eye on what needs to be updated on a monthly basis is a good place to start.
Updating your website on a schedule may seem like an unnecessary expense at first, however not updating your site is by far much more expensive. Your site is the primary communication vehicle with your clients and prospects. An old, dated and potentially vulnerable site will certainly reduce its ROI.
Return over investment(ROI) is a measure of how much money you get back from investing on an asset. For example, if you buy a property worth $100,000 and it gives you a yearly rent of $10,000, you consider it to have a 10% ROI. If you invest $20,000 on a new website and the website provides you with a return of $15,000 a year, the ROI is of 75% (yearly.)
If I was to invest $12,000 in magazine ads, it would be somewhat difficult to measure the real ROI since it is difficult to measure if someone became a client because of the ad. However on the web this is very easy to measure thanks to analytics. If you invest $12,000 a year in a digital media marketing plan and because of it you get clients worth $12,000 for the year, then it makes sense to keep that plan instead of not having one. Why? Because even if you technically broke even in monetary terms, the clients that tried your product or service are much more likely to use your products or services in the future. On the other hand, if you get a positive return above 100% on your yearly investment, then it becomes almost a no-brainer.
Website Design Longevity
A professionally designed website, with conventional archetypes, can last about two to three years without mayor modifications. If you have a marketing-driven website, your promotional efforts would also require some updating to your content and the way that your brand presents that content. The natural improvement of your content will translate into constant small updates to your site. Therefore, you may even be able to go longer than three years without a full redesign.
However, the problem is that the way we use technology is also changing. Only a few years ago, people didn’t use smartphones for making purchases, now, people use their phones to access the web in all facets, and almost across all industries, in a ratio closer to 3 to 1. In other words, if your website is not fully mobile friendly, it is likely hurting you.
Therefore, even if your website was keeping up with the pace of your communications, it couldn’t keep up with the technology that is evolving and therefore will start to look dated and work less efficiently.
Questions to determine if it is a good time to redesign your site and digital media plan
- Is my current website’s design five years or older?
- Is my current website fully responsive and works well in mobile devices and tablets?
- Is my site failing to represent my brand and business appropriately?
- Is the cost of maintenance of my website higher than the revenue that it generates for my business?
- Are my competitor’s websites distinctively superior than mine in design and functionality?
- Was my website designed by anybody other than a professional designer?
- Am I lacking the accurate ROI that my website is producing?
- Do I feel unhappy about sharing my website with potential clients and/or colleagues?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, it may be time to rethink your digital media marketing game and redesign your site.
If your are interested in a website redesign contact Merkados today. We will propose ways in which we can help you accomplish your business goals with a positive ROI.