19 May Designing Your Website: How Important is Change?
Recently, there have been a growing number of individuals that seem a bit nostalgic for the more “traditional” days of the Internet when sites were simple in design and function. Indeed, it is difficult to deny that such pages were easier to navigate and since they rarely changed in their form, a certain sense of familiarity was exhibited. Keeping in line with this theme, a number of web designers have been wondering how often a site should be updated. Is it a good idea to revamp an entire platform every few months or instead, would a rather “static” appearance generate more hits over time? In fact, there are arguments for each of these positions. So, it is instead a good idea to see which aspects of the site you can afford to change that will not cause your audience any grief.
Keep Your Landing Page Banner!
One of the mistakes that people will often make (particularly in the financial sector) is believing that their branding and logo found on their landing page needs to be changed with the rest of the site. This is one of the worst things to do, for clients can become confused and they may even believe that they have navigated to the wrong page! Regardless of how much you change the site itself, keep the logo the same (barring a takeover of the company, of course).
Update Content Over Layout
While it is important to keep your content fresh for search engine results, you will need to keep the overall layout of the site the same. This will allow visitors to easily find what they are looking for as opposed to having to relearn your entire site. In fact, one of the only times you should change your payout is if you are indeed completely changing your site or if you have found that black-hat SEO techniques (such as embedded blind hyperlinks) are present.
How Often for Such Changes?
Content should be changed at least once every month or when some major financial news happens. Of course, if your website focuses on Forex trading for example, you will need nearly daily updates. In regards to the layout of your site, this should be done more rarely and again, as the need dictates. However, there is a final trick that you can employ with great results. If you do decide to change the fundamentals of your site, ALWAYS provide a hyperlink that will direct the visitor back to the old layout (in other words, keep your old site active). This link should be clearly offered for at least six months until you note that few visitors are transitioning to the old page.
So, change is good but it should be meted out over time and in the correct manner. If you modify your platform too often, confusion will result. Furthermore, your site will no longer reflect the “stability” that is so necessary to gain additional customers in this ever-evolving industry. Embrace change, but at an agreeable pace.