Here at Avenir, we’re big cheese lovers. And today we’re going to show you how to tell whether the mold you’re seeing on the side of that $15 hunk o’ Parmesan in your fridge is inedible… or a hidden delicacy.

Ok, no we’re not.

I mean, we are cheese lovers, but we’re going to talk about mold in a different context. The kind that might be growing on the sidebar of your fancy website. Because you haven’t updated it in 5 years. Aged cheddar: good. Aged content: eh, could go either way.

Let us explain:

There are many, many… many schools of thought about how often to refresh the content and design of websites. How do you tell if that mold (aka older content) is adding value to your customers’ experience, or needs to be cut away.

At Avenir, we have these conversations with our clients (and ourselves) regularly. And here’s the truth: while yes, keeping your website fresh and relevant is important both for your customers and SEO purposes, you don’t have to throw out the whole wheel of Parmesan every time to achieve that perfect mix of consistent brand identity and new, engaging offerings.

Rather than a new design every time they stop by your site, your customers really want to see your brand evolving over time. The best way to show that is to add new features and share new information with them.

Your website is your most important and hardest-working sales tool. It offers your customer their first impression of your brand and offerings, or it can confirm what they’ve heard about you from others. Ultimately, your site should help a potential customer decide whether to work with you or purchase your goods or services.

When thinking about which parts of your website to update, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Making a good first impression doesn’t always require frequent updates.
  • Certain areas of content and design on your site should remain engaging and consistent over time, like your services, offerings, and iconic images that reflect your brand’s identity.
  • Being an authority does require periodic updates.

Instead of wholesale changes, keeping an area dedicated to updates – evolving work, new ideas, and thought leadership – is an excellent way to add fresh vigor to your website. Over time, a blog on your website will build into a beautiful library of thoughts and expertise. It can also be repurposed into newsletter emails, print and web marketing efforts, and for pitching new clients.

The Importance of Consistency

But you must keep it up. Consistently. No matter what. Otherwise, you don’t gain enough momentum to build rapport with your customers. And nothing looks worse than navigating to the blog on your favorite brand’s website and noticing that their last post was written before the 2016 election (I mean, we were at a loss for words too, but at some point, you’ve gotta find your voice again). Even the most creative and brilliant article starts to grow mold if it remains at the top of your blog roll for too long.

Even the most cutting-edge design can begin to look stale if it’s past its prime. Trying not to get caught up in trends while keeping your site looking fresh and forward is a tricky balance to strike. Just like consistently adding new and engaging content can communicate growth to your site’s visitors, so too can improving on any design details that, at a certain point, just don’t work.

As we begin to dive into the world of design and content updates, we’ll share some more examples of when to revamp your site, and when to leave well enough alone. There’s no hard and fast rule, so looking at a few different businesses and industries is the most helpful place to start.

Tell us What you Think

And for now, we’d love to hear from you: do you know what should be refreshed on your site and, if you’re not doing it, what’s holding you back from generating and posting fresh content or making some design changes? Also because we really do love cheese, we’d love to know: which do you like better: Morbier or Stilton? Start a conversation and let us know.