So, you have a new website up and running… congratulations! You obviously recognize the importance of a great online presence for your business or organization. You’re sending people to your finished website to learn more about your business and hopefully your website usability is keeping them there. Here’s the thing. Do you ever actually have a finished website? You should be wary of ever thinking that what you have is a final product.
A Finished Website is a Myth
When I talk about the end of a website project, I usually say that it’s ready for launch instead of deeming it finished. The following are just a few reasons to avoid the term “finished website”.
1. Your Business Isn’t Stagnant
At least you HOPE your business or organization will not always be the way it is today. Do you want it to grow? If you don’t want your business to be stagnant, your website shouldn’t be either. Would you prefer to do business with someone who never learned anything new, didn’t keep up with the latest trends, or just sat there doing nothing? Your website should grow and evolve as your business needs do. My favorite clients are those who are constantly evaluating their sites as their needs change.
2. You Need Credibility
If a “finished website” sits for too long without any changes, you start to lose credibility. If I go to a site that has a copyright or last edited date that was a year or two ago, I’m going to think that what I’m reading is not very credible. The business owner doesn’t care enough to keep an updated website, so how do I know they will care about me as a client or customer?
3. You Need Better Search Engine Rankings
No business owner wants to see his or her site slip down the line in search engine rankings. If you’ve decided you have a finished website and are never changing or adding to it, that’s exactly what will happen. Google will not visit a site as often to index it if the site is not updated very often. If your site content remains unchanged, your SEO will take a hit. Content frequency is critical to successful SEO.
4. Technology Changes
The perfect example of changing technology leaving businesses behind is the evolution of mobile friendly design. In this day, and especially since Google changed their algorithms to include penalties for sites that are not mobile friendly (you can test your site to see if it passes), having a site that doesn’t comply does more harm than good. Deciding you have a finished website and never changing it based on evolving technology will have competitors leaving you in the dust. I don’t know what the next big change will be, but you’d better be ready to embrace it. There are plenty of people who said that the Internet itself wouldn’t last.
5. Your Website Should Work For You
This is one of my favorite phrases: Your website should be your most valuable employee. It should make your life easier. If your information becomes outdated, people will have to call you to get what they need, and you don’t have time for that. Post your event calendar with details, your class schedule, ways people can contact you, forms they can fill out, or anything else that you’d like to take off your own plate. When visitors see that your website is a valuable tool, they will realize your value as well. They’ll also be super impressed at how organized and streamlined you are!
So be careful the next time you say your website is finished. Seriously, having a finished website isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. You and your website should be evolving, growing, and changing. Keep that website up with the times, and keep swimming along!