How often should you update the “look” of your website?
This questions comes up often enough that I thought I better do a blog about it.
There’s really no strict quidelines on this, but in my experience the websites that tend to get better results, keep growing their traffic numbers and sales leads are changed every 18-24 months.
Just think about the websites you visit more than once a week. What draws you in? New, interesting content will bring visitors back to your website time after time.
There are a few do’s and don’t when it comes to updating the look and content that I wanted you to be aware of:
- Keep the navigation consistent throughout the website.
- If you add new features or tools, add instructions on how to use them.
- Set up a custom 404 error page if you are removing old pages – this will allow your visitors to browse your new pages for the info they are looking for.
- If you change your URL or website address, use a redirect on the old address pointing visitors to your new website.
- When reorganizing your website content make sure your visitors, potential customers, will be able to figure out and navigate to the content most important to them – for RV Dealers that would be your inventory.
- Make sure you have dynamic content (content that changes each time the page is loaded) on your homepage, such as Featured Units, as this will entice search engine spiders to index your website more often as they see the content constantly changes.
- Don’t put up pages that say “under construction” and just leave them there for weeks, months or worse years. If you don’t have the content, don’t add the page.
- Don’t use AOL, Yahoo!, Hotmail or another generic email host for your business website. Using domain name related emails does several things for you: 1.) It makes your visitors feel you are a legit company, 2.) It makes your visitors feel like you are a bigger company than you might actually be, and 3.) If email issues arise, it’s much easier to track down and fix the problem – those generic email guys are not really set up for business emails.
- Don’t build your website totally in Flash. Yes, Flash is cool but your website will not get indexed in the search engines, which is how most of your website visitors will find your website. You could have the coolest, flashiest website on the internet but if no one knows it’s there it doesn’t do you much good.
- The less clicks the better… don’t force visitors to make a bunch of clicks to get to the content, especially inventory. That will just frustrate them and they will look elsewhere for an easier-to-use website.
Remember, if you are building your own website or having a design firm do that for you, make it as easy-to-use as possible. Give your visitors as much info about your company as you can to make them feel welcome, give them a sense of familiarity and make them feel like they are already an important part of your company. Think of your website as an extension of your company, like an additional location.
If you need help with designing a website from scratch, redesigning a current website and/or website maintenance and updates let me know. My design and programming team are dedicated to making your website a success and are experienced in all facets of the process, including search engine optimization. Take a look at our Portfolio and other services we offer here: www.netsourcervs.com.
NEXT BLOG: Do you own your domain name? If not, what is the process to get it back?