Small Businesses that update their website five times a month enjoy on average 300% more traffic.
So you have a new website, designed to your requirements, content finalised and now its live. So that’s your website sorted, isn’t it? Not quite! Keeping your website fresh is a key factor in attracting new customers – and keeping existing ones. I have seen customers of my own fall into the trap of seeing their website go live then resting on their laurels.
When I deliver workshops for Enterprising Newcastle or support for new businesses via PNE Enterprises, one of the first things I establish is why a website is important. I do this by asking the attendees to look at my business card and tell me what they can find out about me. Obviously there’s my name, my business name, logo, contact details, some information about my services and that’s about it. Pretty much the details you’ll find on 99% of business cards. Nothing wrong with that, it’s a quick and easy way to introduce myself. So the person who I give my first card to in October 2013 and the next person to be handed one, will both have the same information about Fluid Web Development. You don’t get to see my portfolio and you can’t read my testimonials or my price lists. If you want to interact with me or read a blog like this you can’t via my business card. But you can via my website.
But if you treat your website like a business card and leave it to just sit there then what point does it serve? Sure it can still be used as a point of contact but if that is your approach then you are selling yourself and your business short.
Why do you need to change online content regularly?
There are three important reasons why you should keep your website updated.
1. To help the search engines find you
This is one of the most important reasons for keeping your website updated. Put simply, search engines like websites which change regularly and regard the ones with the most recent content as most relevant to web surfers. A lot of value is therefore placed on websites with fresh and unique content. Neglect your website and it’s sure to fall down in the search engine rankings.
2. To show your customers that your company is busy
Is your last news item from 2010? If so, website visitors could be forgiven for thinking your company hasn’t done much since then; or even worse, for thinking it might have gone out of business. Let your customers know that your company evolves and has news to shout about each month; or even better, each week.
3. To attract inbound links to your website
The more interesting your website content, the more likely people are to notice it and discuss it – perhaps on social media networks, on their own blogs or they might even link to it from their own company website. The more often you update your website with something interesting, the more likely this is to happen and the more likely your website is to get noticed.
In other words, keeping your website content fresh and up-to-date helps your company to attract, and keep, more customers. But how do you do that, well here’s some ideas:
1. Incorporate a blog on your website
A blog is a great way of adding new content on a regular basis, even if it’s just once a week. If you’re not sure what to talk about, think about the industry you’re in and what your potential customers might be searching for online. You might choose to comment on a news story that relates to your sector, or maybe discuss upcoming industry events. Either way, blog posts have several benefits as they not only keep your website fresh and drive more traffic to your website, but they can also help your company to establish its position as one of the ‘voices’ of your industry.
2. Include a news section on your website
Even if you don’t think your company has much news, there is always something interesting going on in most companies that could warrant a news story. You might have just served your 1,000th customer, you might have attended an industry training event, some members of staff could be taking part in a charity event, you might have launched a new product or taken on a new member of staff. Any of these could form the basis of a news story which helps to keep your website content fresh and attract more customers to your website. Remember, even if you don’t think your news is that exciting, a news article relevant to your industry will help keep your website popular with the search engines, and that’s what is important.
3. Add images or videos to your website
A gallery page is a great way of not only adding fresh content to your website but also of demonstrating what your company can do. This type of page could be updated regularly, each time you complete a project. Similarly, videos are another good way of adding fresh content to your website. Video clips could be of anything from short tutorials to product demonstrations. And even though search engines don’t actually search photos and videos, you can add a description for each one, providing the search engines with fresh content to view each time you add a new one.
4. Include client testimonials on your website
Adding client testimonials to your website is a good way of adding fresh content regularly, especially if you have a lot of customers and regularly receive good feedback. As well as being a good way of adding more content, positive feedback looks great to prospective new customers.
5. Add more menu pages / posts to your website
The more content you have on your website, the more likely you are to increase your search engine rankings. But how can you avoid overdoing it? The key is to adding content that is relevant to your customers and to your industry. If your company is one which involves a lot of face-to-face customer contact you might choose to add a profile page for each member of staff, providing them with the opportunity of showcasing their personality. Or if your industry is quite technical, you might choose to include a resources section, which could be updated regularly with industry developments.
In summary, there are many ways of keeping your website content fresh. It’s just a case of deciding on the most suitable for your company.
Keeping the content of your website fresh can take as little as a few hours each month. If you don’t have time to do it yourself then you might want to consider hiring a professional writer to do it for you. If you choose to do it yourself, it doesn’t have to be difficult; it’s just a case of choosing the most appropriate method for your company.