Very often it’s an oversight. However, an outdated copyright notice on your website can be perceived or reflect services and products that are old.
Is that the message you want to convey to potential customers?
Expired by a few Months – but Years?
When it comes to a long expired copyright notice on a website, I’m a bit of a stickler. In fact, I find it maddening when a website’s copyright info is outdated by years!
That being said, who at some point hasn’t eaten food labeled “expired”? Perhaps you’ve bravely take a sip of milk even though it’s bordering on unpalatable. Heck, the smell alone may have been a dead give-away.
Admittedly, packaged goods tend to have a bit of a longer shelf life beyond their expiration date. Unless of course they’re Hostess Twinkies. Then again those are NOT real food!
But if something was expired by years would you trust it??
CASE IN POINT:
A little while back I was doing some research on local Environmental Engineering firms in my area. I came across some great websites loaded with wonderful, relevant content. Yes, all of their copyright info was current. That’s something I suspect would be very important for Environmental Engineering firms to convey. And from a user stand-point those sites reflected credibility in that I would want to do business with them.
Then I came across another Environmental Engineering site whose copyright info still said 2006. SERIOUSLY 2006?! I thought perhaps they were no longer in business and someone had failed to take down their site. But low and behold, after a quick phone call (curiosity got the best of me), they were still very much in business.
It had been YEARS since they updated any info on their site – let alone the copyright. Worst yet, they had a downloadable .pdf brochure that was from 2006 too!
Environmental Engineering is some pretty touchy stuff and wouldn’t you want to reflect to potential customers that your info is current and you are a leader in your field?
So think of it this way:
“When the decision to stay or navigate away is made in a few seconds, perception is everything.”
Where a Copyright Notice is Located on Your Site
If you look down in the footer area of just about any website, you will see some form of copyright notice info. It may read ©1999-2018 or Copyright 2018 or similar. Regardless of the format, it’s there.
Savvy businesses recognize the importance of this little item on their website. They want to ensure customers know the information pertaining to their products or services is current. And keeping your notice updated can reflect just that!
Copyright Update as Part of Website Maintenance
Hopefully you have maintenance performed on your website on a consistent basis. Doing so is a good practice all the way around for customers AND search engines. Let’s say it also helps people know you’re still in business. And from a search engine optimization perspective, Google tends to look more favorably upon websites which are updated on a more frequent basis.
Keep in mind…
Your website is likely the first interaction potential customers may have with you. If your copyright info is literally outdated by years – along with your content, what is that saying about your business?
Keeping your copyright notice updated helps them know that you’re current and not taking a passive approach to your business. That is if you want to be considered trustworthy or an authority in your industry.
When performing website maintenance for clients, one of the first things I look at is to be sure their copyright info at the bottom of their pages reflects the current year. For savvy users who notice, they will see that you have taken the time to ensure your site is current and ideally so is its content. Consider it good business etiquette 🙂
Written by Barbara Rogers of Future Primitive Graphics. Helping businesses grow through better design and search visibility solutions. Creatively collaborating with those who genuinely want to make the world a better place with their products or services.