By Dave Pelland

Because your company’s website plays such an important role in representing what you offer to prospects and customers, it’s important to refresh your website periodically to reflect recent design and technology trends.

While it may not be critical to have the very latest cutting-edge technology (unless your firm is involved in web design, high tech or other creative fields) it is important to have a small business website that does not look like it was designed 10 years ago and not refreshed since.

Having a dated website with limited functionality may send a signal about the quality of the services or products you offer, hinder your search engine results, and, in general, reflect poorly on your small business. Because web design evolves relatively quickly, it doesn’t take long for a site to appear outdated, which may put your company at a disadvantage if a competing business has a site with a more current refresh.

Updates Matter

Refreshing your website tends to fall into two broad categories: the site’s design and its content. If you maintain a small business blog and upload new posts on a regular basis, that makes a favorable impression with search engines, which will tend to rank your site higher than similar sites with less-current content.

Updating your site’s design or appearance is a larger effort that probably doesn’t need to be addressed more than once every 12 to 18 months. If the site is built on WordPress® software, simply changing the template periodically can provide an updated appearance that makes a more favorable impression on new or return visitors.

For more advanced updates, consider adding or updating the following:

  • Site images. Posting and updating pictures of the company owner and team members can help prospective customers develop a closer connection with the company. By letting people see what you look like, and changing the pictures on a regular basis, you can help increase potential engagement with prospects and customers. Similarly, if your site has a picture of your company’s exterior, and you’re in a location where the seasons change, it’s a good idea to rotate or update the image to reflect the latest season.
  • Video. Customers, prospects and search engines all love to see video on a small business website, and companies should add new (or replace older) videos every few months. Adding behind-the-scenes videos, profiles of staff members, testimonials from customers, how-to guides, and other short videos will help refresh your site’s appearance and provide valuable search engine benefits.
  • Copyright date. Nothing screams “out of date” louder than having a site copyright date from the previous year, let alone three or four years ago. Most blog templates update the year automatically in the footer, but it’s important to double-check that your site’s copyright date is current.
  • Broken links. As websites come and go, you should make sure that any external links within your site are still working and that they point to the appropriate content. If you only have a few links, you can check them manually, or if you have quite a few, you can use a variety of free online link verification tools to identify any broken links within your site.

Just like any important business documents or tools, it’s important to review your small business website periodically and make any necessary changes or updates to make sure your company presents the most favorable impression possible to prospects and customers.

Dave Pelland has extensive experience covering the business use of technology, networking and communications tools by companies of all sizes. Dave's editorial and corporate experience includes more than 10 years editing an electronic technology and communications industry newsletter for a global professional services firm.

The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank.

WordPress® is a registered trademark of Automattic Inc. and Nevada State Bank does not claim any ownership or exclusive right to the use of this trademark.