Making sure your site is up to date can help your visitors and search results.
When it comes to visitors, the main things that can put off potential customers are either out-of-date information, or not being able to see your site at all. With Web technology, things are always changing, and so the New Year is a good time to assess things that may have changed over the last year, and address them.
One of the most negative effects on a site visitor can be extremely out-of-date information, such as very old 'news' items or copyright dates in the previous decade.
In these days of many companies going out of business, it is not uncommon for a visitor, seeing your latest news is from 2007, and your site's copyright date is even older, to just assume that you're not still around and not even try to call.
Worse are sites where companies have moved premises, and either forgot to, couldn't afford to, or couldn't reach their designer to update their site with new address and phone information.
In these cases, even if a visitor did take the chance and call you or try to stop by, you'd never see them. I have seen companies who for example had a Cox.net email when their site was set up, but then changed to Verizon.net, and forgot to update their site. Updating your contact information should always be your number one priority whenever you move or change your phone number or email addresses.
If you have a news section,especially if it is predominant on the home page, you should either update it if your news is older than a year, or have it completely removed.
The further back such dates go, the more it looks like you are either no longer around, or nothing is really happening for your business.
Simply keeping up with these things can not only ensure that any visitors who find you are more likely to call you, but that the Search engines will also see that things have changed, and may take a look at your site. If you do not have a site that you can update yourself, and which automatically submits itself to the search engines like our WebUpdate range, you should have your designer go through your site, and when things have been brought up to date, submit you manually to at least Google.
Another thing to consider is how browsing technology has changed since the site was created. With so many new devices and browsers, especially mobile phones and tablets, you need to make sure that your site can be seen equally, whatever the person is using.
In most cases it would be wise to create an alternate 'Mobile Friendly' version of the site, as our sites have. Offering this feature can help a lot with mobile search engine results, which all major searches now use. You should also check on how many browser versions and even Operating System releases there have been since your site went live, both on the Mac and PC.
This is very important for the most common browsers, Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera, as very frequently an upgrade can result in your site not functioning or even looking the same as it did when it was built.
If this is the case, your designer needs to rewrite the necessary site code to make sure you are making the best impression on visitors.
If you are ready to grow your business, now is the perfect time to consider our WebUpdate systems, which employ advanced marketing, promotion and security features designed to give businesses the best competitive edge online.
Terry Young is the founder and CEO of Internet Marketing and Design,
the award winning web and multimedia design agency in Chesapeake.
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