I know, I know. You spent a large amount of time and money brainstorming, planning, writing, designing, and developing your website and finally got it launched. Now you’ve read the title of this blog post thinking “You’re telling me I’ve got to do more?” Well yes, you need to have a content plan to maximize your web presence. It may be better received if you understand and accept that your website is a living breathing marketing being that has to be tended to frequently, just like your business. In fact, your business and website should be reticulated with all of your marketing efforts, thus making it easier to update your content. Keeping fresh content on your site will pay dividends as it brings many benefits to offset your effort and monetary investment.
Benefits of Fresh Content
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
One of the most important (if not the most important) traffic drivers to websites are search engines, and they tend to favor sites that regularly update content. This makes the value of fresh and unique content extremely high. If you have neglected or forgotten your website, I encourage you to take a look at your traffic analytics and expect your site has fallen in rankings.
I may be going out on a limb here (not too far), but I’m willing to bet that your business has changed in some way since you launched your website. Maybe not your business name or tagline, but rather new promotions, branding, events, news, or marketing campaigns. If you have changes like that, you should update your website with them. If your magazine or newspaper advertising campaigns worked for you, why not put the same material online to work in the same way? As you generate new ideas and strategies, consider using them for your website so that it is relevant and reflects your business as it is today.
New and Lasting Impressions
This is an easy one…KEEP IMAGES NEW! Images help convey your messages but images are also the unsung heroes of your content. They leave visitors with impressions that last and entice the user to remember or even share your content. And by keeping them fresh you can ensure that a visitor’s second visit will be just as impressionable as the first (or close to it).
Types of Updates
Minor Content Refresh
If you’re working within a Content Management System (CMS), most of the work you can do yourself. Like news, have you been written about in a newspaper or blog recently? Login to your CMS and create a news story post to tell your visitors about it. Chances are they will be interested as the audience of the source is interested. Have something on your mind or do you fancy instructional how-to articles? Consider creating a blog as part of your website. How long has it been since you changed imagery on your site? What about company events? All of these things are easy things you can be doing to keep your content fresh.
Major Design Update
Often times, a professional design/development firm is needed to bring ideas to life online. As your business grows, you often develop needs for a new feature for your site. Like the need for a store locator to accommodate the large number of customers needing to find one of your locations. Maybe your site isn’t appealing and is need of a new look. A professional web designer could be consulted to bolster your online image.
When to Update?
There is no special formula to follow that will ring a bell, sound an alarm, or send an email to let you know the perfect time to update. The key to knowing the “when” is to stay in touch with the changes and evolution of your business. Let things like your brand updates, sale promotions, events, news etc. be your guide. As these type of things change, so should your content. If you have a new product for sale or a new ad campaign, let that reflect in your web content. That would prove to be a timely opportunity to evolve your web presence along with your business.