August 27, 2015

How to Keep Your Website Fresh

How to Keep Your Website Fresh

Remember the last time you opened a bag of chips and they were stale? You certainly didn’t keep eating them (OK, if you’re me, maybe you ate a few. A handful at most, because hey, they’re right there. OK, probably not the whole bag. But the point is, you didn’t enjoy them). Well your website can be the same way. To truly engage them, don’t serve your customers and prospects stale goods.

When did you last overhaul your website, or even do a minor design or content update? If it’s been longer than a few months since you added new content, you might consider upping your game. 

Many companies and organizations put a lot of time and resources into making major website overhauls every few years. But what they often overlook is the ongoing maintenance and content updates that are so important to their success. Here are a few reasons why.

Search engine optimization is key to your website’s success. You can have a great-looking website, but if you don’t add new content on an ongoing basis, prospects will have a more difficult time finding you. A few years ago, Google updated its algorithm for search results to put a big emphasis on content freshness.  This means that the fresher your content is, the higher your page will rank in search results — and the more new eyeballs you’ll get on your website.

Buyer personas change. Buyer personas are what help you understand your ideal customers and what their needs and pain points are. To properly engage and convert your ideal prospects, your website must address the right triggers for these folks with the right content (You’d deter a heavy-metal fan with Justin Bieber music, right? Right. And maybe a lot of other people too, now that I mention it … ).

But your buyer personas may have changed over time, along with everything else. Maybe your industry has gone through some changes, or more likely is constantly evolving due to new markets, regulations, competitors and customer needs. Your website content needs to reflect this.

Be the expert. Each time there are changes within your industry, this leaves the door open for you and your company to be the expert on new related topics. Establish yourself as an industry big cheese through your content. Build that trust with your potential customers — and your existing ones.

Content Revival Ideas

Now that you’re on board with the importance of ongoing content addition to keep your site fresh, you might be wondering what exactly you can do to help keep your stats up and convert your website visits to loyal customers. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

  • Refresh that design. First, if you haven’t updated the look of your site in a few years, now’s the time to do it while you’re already planning for new content areas (two birds with one stone and all that good stuff). Take cues from your logo and other existing marketing collateral. Is everything cohesive? Does your website design reflect an image that will resonate with your customers?
  • Include a blog. Blogs are a great way to not only attract new customers, but also to engage the ones you already have. By providing a consistent source of regularly updated content, you will draw in a regular readership that will intimately get to know your brand through your blog’s voice. Don’t have a voice? Well, your blog can help develop it!
  • Talk to your team – and research. Your fellow coworkers are a fantastic source of ideas for new content. Your front-line workers are often very much in touch with what’s on your customers’ minds, and your sales team intimately knows the common objections that put an end to the sales process. Take those nuggets of ideas and develop content that will solve customer problems or intrigue them into learning more about you.
  • Repurpose. Chances are, someone in your company already has some great content that can be used or adapted to fit your website content needs. A manager made a recent presentation? Post the slide deck. An executive is giving an upcoming speech? Take some video and post it. Industry white papers are another way to provide relevant content.
  • Refresh. Don’t let your main static pages be stagnant. Take your existing About Us page, for example, and inject it with steroids. Don’t just state who you are and what you do; give the why, and tell a story. Don’t just talk about your services, but who you are as an organization and what you can help your customers accomplish. Main rule: Don’t be boring.
  • Hire an expert. If you’re really at a loss about where to start with your website content and design, don’t hesitate to talk to an expert (Us? We thought you’d never ask! We’re big cheeseballs cheeses, too.

No matter how long it’s been since you updated your website, it’s never too late to get started. And put down those stale chips. You’ll thank me later.New Call-to-action

Wendy Angel

Wendy is a creative specialist with madison/miles media and has done a little bit of everything communications-related during her career: marketing, public relations, and writing and editing for magazines. She recently relocated to the DFW area from Atlanta with her husband and enjoys riding her horse Oliver, whose head is entirely too big for his body.