The Importance of Maintaining an Updated Website

  • By Jackie Petre
  • 22 Jun, 2017

Is Your Website Helping or Hurting Your Business? Pt. 1

Our team of digital marketing experts agree: the worst enemy for a business’s online presence is an outdated website.

There are several elements of your website that might be considered outdated, including content, design and images. Even having just one of these sections not up-to-date can hurt your website’s effectiveness, because it makes your overall business appear to be outdated as well. People are less likely to trust a business with a website that looks like it hasn’t seen an update in over a decade, especially if they only landed on your website through a search.

When you look at your business’s website, ask yourself if the quality of your work is accurately shown.

  • Does the design reflect your brand?
  • Do the photos on your site show the work/products you are most proud of? Are the photos recent?
  • Is all the content and information about your services correct?
  • If you have a blog, when was the last time someone published an article?

These are elements that need to be updated regularly to keep your site fresh.

Design

Designing a modern website yourself can be tricky, especially if you’re not tech-savvy. But if you want to attract people to your business, a modern and well-designed site is an absolute must. Outdated websites will turn people away if it looks like you haven’t touched your site since the Internet was invented. Keep it simple by going with large images, non-distracting backgrounds and a color scheme that fits your brand.

Why does this matter?

In addition to attracting potential clients, this will leave a lasting impression on Google. The search engine takes website datedness and content freshness into account when ranking your website. The more updates you make to your site, the better it will look to Google, and the search engine is more likely to rank your site as the best option for people who are searching for local services like yours. Of course, it’s not quite that simple, but content freshness does factor into Google’s ranking system.

Photos

While refreshing content on any website is certainly important, updated photos are particularly imperative for businesses in a service-based industry. Most of your clients will either choose to call you or move on to another business based on the work they see on your website. This is why it is crucial to have current projects displayed. If your photos haven’t been updated since the early 2000s, people will think your style is outdated, and will look for a more modern company.

In the real estate industry, listings with professionally photographed homes saw an average 139% increase in clicks compared to similar listings with stock photos or unprofessional photos. Plenty of other industries similarly rely on the images potential clients see on your site to sell your goods or services, making the quality of images equally important.

If applicable, before-and-after photos can put your website over the top. Also keep in mind that real photos of your work are always better than stock photos . This really illustrates what your business is capable of achieving, and gets the viewer to start visualizing how your business can provide the solution they’re looking for. You’ll have a much bigger impact on leads if they can see the transformations you’ve done for others in the same situation.

Quantity and Quality

We’ve touched how important it is to have not just any pictures, but updated pictures on your site. Now, it’s time to think about the quality of those pictures. This is where you want to show-off your professional, high-end products and services. Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to take decent photos on your phone. For some, this might suffice; but when it comes to displaying your work online, hiring a professional photographer is probably the smarter business decision .

A professional photographer can make great results look extraordinary with the right lighting and angles. You’ll be amazed at how higher-quality images attract more leads, because customers see the professionalism in your work. Sure, it’s more expensive to hire a photographer to do the work. But when your average sale way up, you’ll be glad you spent the money to get first-class photos.

Increases in sales are a real result of an updated website beyond professional photos. In the home remodeling and improvement industry, having an updated website is particularly important if you want to increase your quality of sales. Take Outdoor-FX , an outdoor home improvement and design company, for example. In 2011, Bryan Critser, president of Outdoor-FX, decided to see if a website redesign and digital marketing strategy created by a professional team could change his business.

“Our site was basically completely invisible on the Internet,” Critser said. “It served no purpose other than being a digital business card.” But hiring a company to redesign the website and make it SEO-friendly completely changed Outdoor-FX’s business.

“It was a game-changing decision and move for me, business-wise.”

Since the company’s prime source of marketing and leads comes from its website, Critser said his online presence has gone from being nearly invisible to ranking for all categories and terms the company aims to show up for. After undergoing a strategic website redesign, Outdoor-FX has seen profits double since the start of the business five years ago.

“It has essentially been the best investment for our business.”

The Bottom Line: An outdated website is the #1 problem any sales-related businesses face online. Having an updated and professional website can easily increase your sales, just by attracting more leads and convincing customers that your product or service is worth their money. A few simple changes could make a huge difference in whether your site is hurting your business or helping it.

This article is just one part of a larger series, “Is Your Website Helping or Hurting Your Business?” To read the article in its entirety and learn more about leveraging your website, click here .

The Science Behind Digital Marketing

By Jackie Petre 16 Aug, 2017

Everywhere you look nowadays, people have their eyes glued to their cell phones. Between text messaging, taking photos and browsing social media, it’s hard to keep the attention of anyone under the age of 50 for more than a few minutes if their phone is nearby. That’s exactly why marketers started jumping at the opportunity to be right where they wanted to be: a few inches away from their target’s face on a cell phone screen.

In recent years, many small businesses--especially those that use a scheduling system of some sort—have started utilizing SMS (short message service, aka text messaging) as a form of marketing and communication with clients. SMS marketing is an immediate form of communication that has the capability of reaching a largescale audience within seconds, something that emails and phone calls can’t compare to anymore. And with 75% of millennials in a recent survey choosing texting over talking, it makes sense that SMS marketing is a tool small businesses need to start utilizing.

By Jackie Petre 09 Aug, 2017

When was the last time you pulled out your phone to find a nearby restaurant or coffee shop? Probably pretty recently. And when you did, what phrases did you type into the search engine? Probably something along the lines of ‘Mexican restaurant near me,’ or ‘nearby coffee shop.’ With more and more people using their mobile devices to perform Internet searches on-the-go, there has been an increase in usage of the phrase ‘near me.’

And this doesn’t just apply to food searches.

People are searching for specific services using the terms ‘near me’ in industries of all kinds. This simple change in search terms can give users better search results, and can market your business in a wider area. However, this isn’t something Google can do on its own; first, you need to make sure your company’s website is optimized for ‘near me’ searches.

By Jackie Petre 03 Aug, 2017

Google’s latest technological asset for businesses has recently launched, and it’s a game-changer for small businesses that are just starting out. It’s called Google Sites.

For those who have a business but are just figuring out the best way to establish an online presence, Google Sites might be the tool for you. This feature, provided by the search engine, allows business owners to build and manage a mini website on their own, all without the help of a programming professional. It’s not a high-tech website, but for those looking to make basic information about their company and services available to the public, Sites can get the job done.

Anyone who runs a Google My Business account —which should be all business owners—can access this feature and create a mini site in as little as ten minutes. Plus, everything is done through Google, so when you make a change to your local listing, such as updating business hours, the changes will automatically be updated on your website, too. For a small business owner, saving valuable time like this adds up.

Sounds pretty great, huh?

By Jackie Petre 27 Jul, 2017

When you look at your business’s website, are you proud of the way your company is represented? Do you feel like your level of work is accurately portrayed through your photos, web design and site optimization? If you can’t stand using your own site, chances are that your customers won’t either. But before you give up on your company’s online presence, consider the difference your business could see when your website is gaining you new clients rather than repelling them.

When it comes to your company’s online presence, your website can go one of two ways: either it can help your business, or it can hurt your business.
By Jackie Petre 26 Jul, 2017
While it’s obviously important to have quality images of your products or service jobs on your website, you don’t want to overlook the content portion of your site , particularly in the form of descriptions. Providing the visitor with detailed product and service descriptions gives a better idea of what to expect when working with you.
By Jackie Petre 20 Jul, 2017

The purpose of a call-to-action (CTA) is, first and foremost, to provide an instruction to website visitors to contact you immediately, as well as a reason why. It tells them what they will gain from working with you and motivates them to take action to make that happen. Therefore, a good CTA will invoke the customer to contact you on the spot. 

Here's how you can create the perfect call-to-action that will have consumers off your site and in your office. 

By Jackie Petre 17 Jul, 2017

SEO. There it is, that daunting acronym. If you’ve done any research whatsoever about having a successful website, you know that SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the foundation of an effective site. It means that your website does a good job of incorporating a bunch of elements, like specific keywords, location and load time, making it easy for people to find your site when they’re searching for local services like yours.

For the sake of keeping this at a basic level, we won’t delve too deep into SEO and how it works . But there are a few parts of it that you can easily incorporate into your website that can help immensely.
By Jackie Petre 11 Jul, 2017

One of the quickest ways you can drive people off of your site is by having an unresponsive website. You might be wondering what makes a website responsive or unresponsive, and what you can do to change that. This all starts with the most important part of your website: your web design.

There are so many elements that factor into website design, and if you don’t utilize your site’s design, your online presence has the ability to hurt your business.

By Jackie Petre 06 Jul, 2017

When it comes to marketing your business online, making your business’s website reflect your brand is an absolute must in any service-based industry. It’s what sets you apart from your competition, establishes your credibility and shows people why you are the best choice for them.

Metric Marketing’s “ Guide to The Importance of Branding in Your Marketing ” breaks branding down to a simple definition:

By Jackie Petre 28 Jun, 2017

Online reviews have been around a while. But in the past few years, they’ve increasingly become more important than ever, and the statistics to support its relevancy are overwhelming. Think about it: when you are considering buying a product on Amazon or searching for a restaurant to go to, do you ever look at the reviews to help make your decision? The answer, most likely, is yes.

Today, you can find just about anything online, whether that’s a product or a service, and everyone out there is in the business of marketing. Oftentimes, it’s hard to tell if the images and descriptions are really what you’re getting, or if you’re being scammed. But when we see online reviews from real people just like ourselves who are willing to testify for this brand, it gives us peace of mind that we’re making the right decision.

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