Why is website development important? One of the most common complaints we hear when we meet new clients is ‘but we’ve recently updated our website, why do we need to do it again?”

The answer to this question lies in people’s interpretation of ‘recent’. Our experience shows that ‘recent’ for many organisations can mean anything from 12 months to 3 years. This is where we need to start thinking of ‘Google years’ as ‘dog years’. The time scale of one human year is the equivalent of seven dog years, due to the lifespan of a typical dog. In comparison, one ‘human year’ is more akin to twenty ‘Google years’. Over the last few years Google has upgraded its search algorithms an average of 500 times a year. Although many of these changes have been small, some have been major and combined they have had a dramatic impact on Search Engine Optimisation.

What is Search Engine Optimisation?

Put in the simplest of terms, Search Engine Optimisation is the activity undertaken to improve a website or web content’s organic search profile. This activity includes link building (from credible sites back to a website), to technical SEO (what happens in the back end code to ensure a website complies with ‘SEO best practices’), to content generation.

What is an organic search profile?

Think of the web as a popularity contest, with Google as the judge. Google makes (and changes with increasing regularity) the rules for the competition and the more closely you follow the rules, the higher you appear on a specific search on the Google search engine.

Google has now taken this popularity contest idea one step further and is evolving their algorithm so that a websites popularity is driven less by how many people visit a website and more by the experience site visitors have.

Again, ‘why do I need to re develop my website?’

As said earlier, your 12 month old website may have already aged 20 years in ‘Google years’. Google’s evolution in the past 12 months echo’s the changes in the technology used by web users to engage with the web and their web user behaviour. 

The impact of new technology on your website

Smart phones and tablets are increasingly becoming important for web engagement and Google can identify if you’ve optimised your website for these tools. Google has released reports demonstrating that more and more people are using multiple devices at the same time to engage with the web. It’s not uncommon to see someone sitting with a tablet and using their smartphone at the same time. This ‘multi screen engagement’ means that you need to adapt your website to show different types of content, for difference devices. The latest website development technology makes this possible.

Why can less traffic to my website be a ‘good thing’?

On average, websites receive less traffic now than they did 12 months ago. This concept seems counter intuitive to most people. There is more web use but less average website visitation. The reason is that there is a lot more websites, social media and video content than there was 12 months ago, so website users are becoming increasingly selective about what they will view. A drop in website traffic is not a ‘bad thing’. In fact, when you look at the reality it’s overwhelmingly a ‘good thing’. 

When you look at the analytics on the average website, you will see more than 50% of all traffic arrives at the front page and leaves immediately. This means that 50% of the traffic that comes to the average website has not found what they were looking for. Web users are increasingly becoming ‘destination shoppers’ who know exactly what they are looking for and are increasingly less tolerant of poor content.

This is overwhelmingly a ‘good thing’ for those who are building better websites and maintaining them with great content, because it means they will have less ‘window shoppers’ and more real prospects. 

Did we get our website upgrade strategy right the last time we did it?

Chances are, you didn’t get your website strategy right last time you upgraded it but it’s hardly your fault. It’s more likely that you received poor advice. You were probably told you could do it on the cheap, recycle old content and were not given a content management strategy. You were probably not even told about Google’s new guiding philosophy for organic search profiles or the impact of ‘multi screen viewing’ and mobile technology. 

Website development in Melbourne

The good news is you probably didn’t waste too much money and now you’ve read this article, you have a better understanding of the issues you are facing next time you redevelop your website. This time around make sure you talk to someone who understands this technology better but more importantly, make sure you talk to someone who knows how to listen and how to communicate. For Website development in Melbourne, talk to Digital Storytelling Collective.