“My website is almost brand-new! Why would I update it now?”
We know it might sound like a lot of wasted effort, but keeping your website updated across its various facets is one of the best ways to instill confidence in your prospects. The first question you should ask yourself is: “How new is my website?”
A general rule of B2B web design is that you should evaluate and update the feel and structure of your website every 2-3 years, so it always looks current. When prospective customers visit your website, the last thing you want them to think is “stodgy” or “out-of-touch,” as it is a reflection of your company. If your B2B website is getting a little long in the tooth, we have a 3-Part B2B Website Audit to help determine what you need to update in your next website design.
- Audit Your B2B Website Messaging & Layout
- Audit Your B2B Website Technicals
- Audit Your B2B Website Design
The good news is you may not need to conduct a complete overhaul. Instead, you should be making continual website updates and changes to your from the launch of your current website to your next website redesign. The more you stay on top of these “maintenance” changes, the longer your B2B company can go without a total website overhaul.
When conducting website updates, we advise focusing on these five top concerns:
To help you cover all of your bases in these five critical areas, we’ve put together a B2B website updates checklist to help you keep track of all the essential moving pieces. Here’s what you should be doing from the moment your website goes live to the launch of your next website.
Post-Launch B2B Website Updates
Conversion Website Updates
First up is your bottom-of-funnel content. If this isn’t working properly, all your other efforts will be wasted.
What to Check
- Ensure pop-ups/Landing pages are working: Check for 404 errors, broken links, broken on-page elements, formatting issues, and cross-browser, cross-device functionality.
- Are CTAs punchy and powerful?: Whether they were written poorly the first time around or due to dated language, Call-To-Action copy requires your attention. If you aren’t already, consider A/B testing copy changes for CRO.
- All forms are working: Sometimes, out-of-site, out-of-mind can result in catastrophic loss of leads for a website. Don’t rely on incoming notifications to ensure forms are working correctly; regularly test them yourself. As with landing pages, the best practice is to test them across multiple devices and browsers.
- Form data is correctly being funneled (CRM, Email): After your test form submissions, verify all the proper triggers executed on your back-end systems. Did the lead funnel to your CRM, did the appropriate person get notified, was the lead successfully added to your email list?
- Thank You Message/Page/Email is working: Thank you pages or emails are an unparalleled opportunity for upsells, lead nurturing, and relationship building. But your B2B company can miss out on all of that if your prospects never receive them. Try setting up a test email account to verify you got the right message.
- Chatbot is working: Automated chatbots can sometimes break after minor changes to lead-flow or workflows on back-end systems, and these breakdowns do not leave a clear trail. To test your chatbot, run through your chat flows yourself from A-to-Z and ensure the desired outcome is achieved (did notifications go to the right team? Did the user leave chat satisfied? etc.)
User Experience (UX) Website Updates
With the launch of Google’s new Core Web Vitals algorithm update, a great on-page experience is more important for your website than ever before. What does excellent user experience look like on a website?
- Website displays correctly on all major devices/browsers: Don’t stop at checking website forms and landing pages; navigate through your whole website. Check different page types, navigation menus, and buttons in addition to the forms.
- Employing caching: Caching is a fundamental step to conserve resources for your prospect’s web browser. Caching essential resources like images, page content, and even CSS/JS code with a proper TTL means your website loads faster and ranks better for SEO. Just remember to flush your website’s cache after website updates so visitors can recreate their browser cache with the up-to-date information.
- Logo links to homepage: A small and often-overlooked check is verifying your logo links to your homepage throughout the website. This linking is not an optional design decision anymore. It is an expected user experience as company logos on websites have replaced the old home button.Make sure to check the header, footer, and main menu.
- Intuitive navigation (Menu/Breadcrumbs): Large websites should ensure that the menu structure is intuitive and as “flat” as possible. Minimizing the number of clicks and page loads a user needs to reach their goal is vital to the success of your website and conversions. Any website with eCommerce pages, content categories, or generally “deep” link structure should be using breadcrumbs so users can trace how they reached a page.
- Working internal/external links: Internal broken links should be found and replaced with a 301 redirect or updated to work correctly. Links should open in a new tab. To scan your entire website for broken or suboptimal links at once, use a free SEO tool like Screaming Frog.
- Social Media icons and share buttons work: Along the same lines, ensure your social media icons are linked correctly and test that your crucial social media sharing buttons are easy to use and display perfectly across devices and browsers.
- 404/Redirects are working: Redirects are easy to lose track of over time. URLs can change, and there are not many easy ways to verify you didn’t already have 301 redirect pointing to that URL. One way to batch-check these is using your Google Search Console report to check for excluded pages due to 404 (not found) errors. Make sure these links are updated or redirected to the appropriate page.
- Favicon: Does your website’s favicon display correctly in multiple browsers? More than displaying, your favicon should be visible and recognizable, so your website stands out in an ocean of tabs.
- ADA-compliance: Compliant websites are mandatory. It’s not just an SEO ranking factor. The need for ADA-compliant websites is much more common than you would think because:
- 1-in-12 men have some form of color blindness (NEI)
- 40% of American adults 65 and older have a disability (CDC)
- 25% of women have a disability (CDC)
So make sure you’re checking all your boxes. You can use a tool like Accessible Metrics to help quickly identify problem areas.
Technical Website Updates
Technical website updates can seem complicated at first glance, but we’ve simplified the primary considerations into a handful of easy-to-check steps.
- SSL: Does your website use a properly configured HTTPS protocol? If you see https:// in your browser’s address bar with a “locked” icon, you’re good to go. If there’s a warning in the lock, run it by your network administrator or dev team.
- Hosting/CDN: Improperly configured hosting or CDNs (Content Delivery Network) use can dramatically reduce the load speed of your website, especially when being accessed from a location physically distant from your hosting server, such as another continent. Test this with a website speed test like Lighthouse (press F12 in Chrome and load a page) or GTMetrix.com. If the server response time is poor (>1s), consider increasing your hosting speed or a new CDN.
- Firewall/Security suite: Web security is a constant, growing concern as internet tech accelerates. Verify your firewall is configured correctly and up-to-date. If you run WordPress, consider a security suite like Wordfence https://www.wordfence.com/ to protect your site from common hacker tactics like brute force attacks and code injections.
- Create and schedule website backups: In the worst-case scenario, if your website is taken down, hacked, or otherwise compromised, you’ll thank your lucky stars that you set up a proper backup procedure. Without one, you could have to rebuild your website from scratch. Work with your web developer about setting up automatic backups for your website and databases.
- Updated CMS: Keeping your CMS up-to-date is vital for ensuring proper website front-end and back-end experience, as well as patching security flaws, especially if you run a popular CMS like WordPress that is often targeted for attacks. Always ensure plugins are up-to-date as well. Just remember to create a backup before updating these items to restore your website if an update breaks it.
- Third-Party tools (CRM, E-Commerce, Email Service, Marketing Automation): Some websites rely heavily on these third-party tools for functionality. If yours is one of them, you’ll need to take charge to ensure you’re up to date on the proper implementation and management of these tools or risk reduced website performance or functionality loss.
- Tighten website accounts/access: Over time, various internal users, external vendors, or customers may create and abandond accounts or otherwise require user management through your website. Periodically ensure you have a clean user list, so your website is not exposed to securities vulnerabilities, and also to keep databases clean and tidy. You can also tighten security by changing user account passwords regularly.
Routine SEO Audit & Updates
A regular SEO health check will help you make sure new website content follows SEO best practices and that you’re up to date with the latest search engine algorithm updates.
- Confirm indexing status and re-submit: When you crawl a page, does the robots.txt return “no-index” or some other status code other than 200? You may have an indexing issue. Dig into the root cause and re-submit this URL to Google Search Console.
- Technical: Technical SEO is a broad and deep field. For small sites, it’s easier to verify all your webpages are appropriately indexed, and metadata and schema are properly implemented. Larger websites, or eCommerce sites, may require specialized professional audits or eCommerce consulting services.
- Sitemaps: Does your website have an XML sitemap, and has it been submitted to Google? Is that sitemap properly recording <lastmod> dates, and does it reflect all the current URLs on the website? Check Search Console for pages “indexed but not in sitemap.”
- On-page: On-page SEO means ensuring all your on-page elements (headings, links, meta description, image alt-text, etc.) align with the keyword focus of each page. You can check these items yourself or consider hiring a specialist to audit this for you.
- Analytics/Pixel/Google My Business/Search Console: Review that your analytics, Google tools, and social media tracking codes are all implemented correctly, and that data is formatted correctly in these tools. If you see a discrepancy in your website or social media analytics, dig in thoroughly to uncover potential problems.
What to Remove
Lastly, you’ll want to run a “clean-up” of old or outdated content. Modern B2B websites focus on being clean, streamlined, and reducing the clutter that stands between prospects becoming conversions. Make sure to check, and remove:
- Autoplay Sounds
- Bad or Outdated Information/Offerings
- Spam Blog Comments
- Old Branding
- Outdated or Bad Graphics/Photo/Video
- Old Portfolio/Social Proof
- Overzealous Pop-ups
- Poorly Written Content
Plan for Your B2B Website’s Future
Not every update can be tackled in the short term. Some updates require more thought and planning. The best strategy is to make a schedule for website maintenance and prioritize it. Your website is your silent salesperson and the first point of contact for many prospects.
- Advanced tracking (Pixel/Heatmaps/Lead Capturing/Event Tracking): Optimizing conversions on your website requires a clear understanding of how people use it. Use on-page tracking codes and tools to develop insights around possible improvements.
- Establish Website Analytics Benchmarks: Reviewing analytics tools, make sure you establish a clear benchmark for your Key Performance Indicators. Are these improving over time?
- Content Strategy: If you notice clear areas of improvement, do they require new content? Does strategy need an overhaul? Plan this into the coming weeks or months; you’re not going to tackle it all today.
- Social Media Strategy: How is social traffic impacting your bottom line? If it’s not working for you, it should be. Where could you be doing more to attract and convert your audience from social media?
- Website Updates: Your company is constantly evolving, and you should update your website’s key pages regularly to stay current and reflect where you are today. Common areas that need the most attention are:
- About Pages
- Graphics and Video
- Product and Services
- Resources Sections
- Social Proof (Case Studies, Reviews, Testimonials)
- Google Alert Mentions: Setting up google alerts for mentions of your company name is a great way to identify opportunities to engage with your audience or pull in a backlink for your website. Stay on top of these, as quick responses yield the best results.
Putting It All Together to Keep Your B2B Website Updated
Your website is a living representation of your B2B brand online. It’s important to take care of your online ambassador and ensure your silent salesperson has the latest information about your company. If your team is struggling to keep up with the demands of ongoing website maintenance, a professional partner can help keep your website in top shape.
Remember, the website launch is the starting line, not the finish line; taking care of your online presence is a sure path to business growth and a great customer experience. Bold Entity can help ensure your new website complies with best practices, provides a great user experience, and helps you rank higher in Google Search. And we can help your new website stay current with changes, updates, and auditing services. Contact Bold Entity to take your B2B website to the next level.