Your website should be the face of your company, trigger brand recognition and offer instant credibility. A complete website redesign is recommended every 1-2 years, but a refresh should be done more frequently. Below are ways to update your website without going through a redesign process.
Write “thought leader” posts
In order to keep your website healthy and updated in-between redesigns, it’s important to do a content refresh. You may already be a frequent blogger, but there is always room for improvement. Instead of writing about industry trends, think about a new perspective. Blogs and stories that are positioned as “how to” guides can make your company appear more as a resource and thought leader. If done well and often enough, users will return to your site to gain more helpful tips. The best part is, you can repurpose the same content in different formats such as a video, SlideShare, or infographic.
Revise and refresh previous content
Over time, we become better writers and readers. But how often do you read old blogs or pieces of content? Trends change and “hot companies” you might have blogged about might not be around (i.e. Vine). It’s important to make sure that your content is still relevant and fresh to the industry and your reader. A user could search for an older topic on Google and come across your piece of content. While this is great for search queries and analytics, it won’t do you (or them) any good if that content is stale.
Swap out images
When first building a website, you may have used a stock image or two (or 10). As long as stock images are high quality and appropriately illustrate your story they serve a purpose. In some cases, you might notice another company using the same imagery. While this isn’t always problematic, if you begin to see the image appear more frequently, it could be a sign that it’s time for an image refresh. High-quality stock images are added every day; it just takes some digging. It’s always better to hire a photographer to take some shots of your team and/or office if your budget allows. This is a bullet-proof way to ensure that your pictures will be unique and never appear anywhere else.
Update all plugins
If your website is built on WordPress, you’ve probably noticed the “updates” section in the dashboard. Sometimes it’s a matter of updating to the latest WP software, but more often it’s the plugins that need some attention. As the engineers at WordPress fix bugs and any other technical issues, a newer version of the plugin will become available. Updating the available plugins will keep your website safer from security hacks and less susceptible to bugs.
Monitor and update links (as needed)
Sometimes, links break. And when that happens, it’s important to fix them as soon as possible. This can be anything from referencing another blog that has been taken down, or a broken mailto link that goes to an invalid email address. Instead of testing them manually, use a tool like Validator. This program will do a comprehensive check of all the links in your website and let you know which ones fail.
By keeping your website fresh, you’re not only keeping it secure, but you’re making it more efficient for Google. The more frequent your site is updated, the more likely you’ll be included in a greater variety of search terms. Continue to optimize your website and you’ll be set until your next redesign. If you’re already at that point, give us a shout. We’d be happy to talk about your project.