For most start up businesses, and businesses who are trying to move forward with the times, having an attractive website as the online face of your business is an essential part of a marketing plan. One of the first obvious questions I’m asked when I’m meeting with a new client is “how much will this website cost?” The follow up question, almost 100% of the time, is “how much work will I need to put into it?” The quick answer is always, “do you want an attractive site? or do you want an attractive site that gets results?” There’s a misconception among many small business owners that once a website is developed, the work is done. In reality, it’s only beginning, and we'll discuss what this means when updating websites for seo.
Related Post: Identifying Customer Needs: The Top 4 Customer Needs
Why a “set it and forget it” Website Will Hurt Your Business
Websites that have little to no updated content lose credibility in search engine results sometimes very quickly. I see this primarily as an issue for companies that have a highly competitive market – Restaurants, business professionals, medical, legal, insurance companies, etc. These are the industries in which competition is high, and lack of online involvement can be detrimental to welcoming new and returning visitors to your site (and eventually through your doors as paying customers).
What Can I Do About It?Need to get your site updated quickly, but don’t know where to start? Try these options.
1) Get access to your site
If you don’t already have access to update your site on your own, call your web design company and demand it! Many, but not all, websites these days are built using a CMS website system. This stands for web Content Management System, and allows clients to access their own site through an easy-to-use interface in which they can create posts, change content on pages, add/delete pages, etc. If your website is not built in this format and you have no way of updating your site, I highly recommend you start thinking about redirecting your website and marketing goals for your company. (by the way, I know a great company to call…)
2) Change Something. Anything!
Now, don’t just change content for the sake of changing it. Make sure there’s something valuable you are adding to your site, or removing things that are no longer relevant. It’s a lot easier than it sounds. For example, if it’s been six months since your last site update, what has changed in your company in that time? What has changed in your services? All it takes is a little content manipulation to get the ball rolling – at least to start the snowball effect.
3) Add a Blog
I know, I know… You’re not a blogger. you probably “don’t have time” for that, right? Wrong! When you put into perspective the amount of integrity a regularly updated blog adds to a website, you’d be surprised the kind of time you have to devote to it. One of the best features of a blog is the fact that it establishes one thing above all others for you: Credibility. it gives you personally a chance to be a credible, steadfast expert in your field. What more could prospective clients want? And you are an expert in your field. If you weren’t, would you be in the position you were in now? Probably not. Blog about your business experiences (both ups and downs), your favorite clients (and be sure to link to them in the post), the latest news updates around your office, why your company stands out, what drives you to be in the business, the current projects you have in the office etc. There are people who want to read the information you are providing, believe it or not. However, they can’t read it if it’s not there.
4) Add a Rotating Feature
This is where you start to really separate yourself from your competition. Add a rotating feature of your website that is specific to your field of work that will keep clients coming back. For restaurants, this can be your daily/weekly food specials, lunch specials, dessert specials, etc. For retail stores, start an “item of the week” to feature or perhaps your closeouts/clearance items. Business professionals, start a “project spotlight” and focus on some of your more notable works in the past. Tie it into your clients’ site, linking to them and giving them free advertisement (which will be much appreciated and makes you look good to the previous clients and new clients alike). Highlight a service you offer, perhaps at a discounted rate for a limited time, and change that service or the rate monthly/weekly. Start a “myth busters” section of your site and clear up commonly misunderstood information.
5) Tie Into Social Media
Your social media pages need to be a source of interaction with your customers, colleagues, etc. But, they must also drive traffic. Make sure your social media pages are linked on the home page of your site…preferably the header or footer so they’re visible on every page. Utilize your social media pages to advertise when something changes on your site (blog post, discount, special, news, etc). Let your customers know there’s something new worth checking out.
Basically, your site needs to be moving. It needs to be periodically changing, and it needs to remain up to date. Remember, content is king. No one wants to revisit a website that has the same information as before.