How Often Should You Update Your Website?
If you’re like most savvy small business owners, you know building and maintaining a website plays a big part in your online success. Oftentimes, however, the challenge is knowing when and how to refresh one’s website – especially when so much of your time is spent running your business.
Given the amount of uncertainty on this topic, we thought it would be helpful to outline ‘signals’ for the most common questions related to website updates:
1. How frequently should your website change?
When it comes to your website’s text, information or pictures, daily updates just don’t make sense for most businesses, especially if traffic to your website is low. Of course, this is highly dependent on the type of business you run. For example, some restaurants might need to update their menu daily while others only seasonally. Keep track of traffic to your website and talk with customers to get a sense of how people use your website. Then, consider how your website is meeting and not meeting the needs of visitors.
Here are a few things you can do to keep your website feeling fresh:
- Make sure contact information, hours and location are current
- Showcase themed or seasonal information and specials
- Add new, high quality photos
Don’t forget to use your social media accounts to keep customers and potential customers up-to-date on what you’re up to. This allows you to stay connected with your clientele without having to spend time writing lengthy articles.
2. When should you rebuild your website from scratch?
In regards to layout and design, a complete redesign every few years is not usually necessary. Instead, try making small incremental changes over time based on usability, user data, and testing.
Here are some reasons your website might need a complete overhaul:
- Your current layout or design is downright outdated
- Your website has a major piece that’s broken
- Your business or the purpose of your website has changed
3. What works best for managing website content?
Establishing a realistic content plan will help keep you on track. Find what works for you, and plan to schedule regular updates for both your website and social media accounts.
Here are some ideas for how to manage the process:
- Write content in big batches and publish little bits of it over time
- Keep a running list or diary of projects and topics you want to write about
- Get employees to participate by writing or taking pictures for the website
4. What other places online require attention?
Aside from your website, you can be sure that customers are finding your business on search engines and online directories. Make sure you list your business on popular search engine maps such as Google, Bing and Yahoo, as well as consumer review websites such as Yelp. Make sure your address, contact information and website links are correct – especially when you make changes on these sites.
Maintaining an online presence takes effort but it’s essential for small businesses. Don’t overwhelm yourself with daily website updates. Instead, find a schedule and process that works for you. Once you get into a rhythm, you’ll find managing your business online is definitely worth your time.