5 Website Updates for Businesses to Stay Competitive Online

business website updatesUpdate your business web presence with the latest online tools and marketing strategies that help keep your small business competitive

Nowadays, simply having a website presence for a business is not enough. Updating and evolving your online business presence is critical to grow your business and remain competitive.

Many small businesses spent some initial time and money building a website and then haven’t updated it recently. The website goes on autopilot – lacking fresh and relevant content as well as the ability to leverage the latest website marketing strategies and online tools.

Here are five website updates that every business should make now to keep a web presence competitive and maximize online marketing tools.

Updating Social Media Integration with a Business Website

Older websites that need to be updated most likely did not account for social media with their website design. As social media outlets evolved, integration with a company website has been a bit of an afterthought for many websites.

Social media content and sharing buttons should be well-integrated within a business website, including:

  • Blogs. Consider adding your blog link to the main navigation of a website. If not, make your blog accessible from all relevant pages on your website. Cross-promote by adding links on product pages to relevant blog posts.
  • Sharing buttons. Add social sharing buttons on all the primary pages of your website – either within your content pages, at the bottom or at the top of the website page. Make it easy for website visitors to share any page on your website.
  • Social feeds. Displaying a social feed for Twitter or Facebook enhances interaction on your site, keeps content looking fresh and encourages more followers.
  • Social connection buttons. Promote your social connection buttons across your entire site, not just on your home page if possible. Make it easy for visitors to find out how to follow you on Twitter, like you on Facebook, connect with you LinkedIn, subscribe to your blog feed or view videos on your corporate YouTube channel.

Finally, as part of your social media account management, consider adding all of your social media outlets to one location of your website, such as a press room or contact us page. This will help maintain focus on all of your social media properties within your business, as well as for website visitors.

Creating a Mobile Website Presence for a Business

The growing popularity of smartphones has made it almost a necessity to add a mobile website presence. Mobile websites act as an extension of your main business website and are important for small businesses to add to remain accessible via smartphones – especially if your business caters to customers on-the-go.

As you create a mobile website presence, it is also important to update a company website presence with mobile website widgets to increase sales such as click to call, GPS features or QR codes.

Adding Multi-Media Galleries and Features

There are many free or low cost marketing tools available to update your website with multi-media galleries and other interactive features. This simple update can make your website more interactive and better showcase your products and services.

A few multi-media functions and tools to consider for your website update include:

  • Photos. Create instant slideshow features on photo websites like Google’s Picassa or Flicker that can be embedded into your website for an instant portfolio or photo gallery feature.
  • Videos. Create professional looking business videos with tools like muvee Reveal Video editing software and easily upload directly to YouTube or Facebook. Once you have a website on YouTube you can easily grab the embed code and place it anywhere on your website.
  • e-Literature. Create a downloadable library of resources that can include product spec sheets or other valuable documents for customers and/or media representatives.

Updating Website Graphics, Navigation and Logos

There is always room for improvement when it comes to the look and feel of a website. Businesses need to periodically invest some time updating website graphics, navigation, layout – and even their own company logo – to keep websites looking fresh and updated.

In most cases, updates will need to be made to graphic features such as photos, button or promo images and style features (such as color schemes or navigational features).

Updating logos used throughout the site can also be a nice style upgrade to a website. Consider adding new icon images to represent certain website sections or features, as well as giving the web version of your own company logo a facelift. There are many low-cost or free design tools that make it easy to do design updates.

As business product lines and services evolve, websites also need to continue to evolve to adequately feature the latest content. This may mean restructuring a home page, updating website navigation, adding or changing individual pages or adding new features throughout the website.

It may also be a good time to look into a new website builder tool that allows you to update your website real-time without the need for an expensive website developer. New website builder tools like iBuilt.net give businesses the ability to keep website content updated while easily updating websites with the latest marketing tools to maintain a competitive web presence.

Update and Review Website SEO Strategy

Of course all the website updates a business may make to improve the look and feel, content, navigation and social media integration will not matter if you can’t drive traffic to your site. Search engine optimization is an ongoing process that businesses need to continue to monitor and update to stay competitive online.

Traffic sources and content activity can be monitored with free marketing tools like Google Analytics or StatCounter, and then adjustments should be made to you keyword optimization throughout your website based on stats and positioning on major search engines like Google or Bing.

Businesses need to stay on top of SEO marketing tactics for more traffic such as keyword optimization within content, creation of inbound and outbound links, integration with social media and more.

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With nearly 30 years of integrated marketing experience, Diane is the founder of SBMarketingTools.com and author of the award-winning book PR Tools to Toot Your Own Horn. Diane also runs Marine Marketing Tools, a site that bridges her passion for boating and small business marketing, and two boating lifestyle sites: MyBoatLife.com and BoaterKids.com.