A common problem that we see with businesses that have a website is when they stop updating or managing it. Many companies leave an employee or a manager in charge to keep things up-to date and maintained. More times than not, they never bother to train them on how best to handle this responsibility. Couple that lack of knowledge with inexperience, and they end up leading potential prospects and buyers’ right to their competitors!
Your number one priority should be to keep your website updated and well maintained. Your website is your ambassador to the world. It’s your first impression to potential online prospects. For this reason, you need to be sure it’s updated with the right information and kept current at all times.
If you’ve been running a business that requires an online presence (every business does), then you undoubtedly know that your website is one of your most important assets. Without a quality up-to-date website, you’re most likely leaving money on the table.
As we update and maintain our website, let’s also consider
Prospects are inherently shopping. This means they are looking at your competitors, too. You must study what they are doing and refine your experience and do it better. It’s not enough to replicate what your top competitors are doing. We’ve actually seen businesses do this. If you want to be successful, you must set a higher standard and offer something better. Offer a higher level experience, a simple and confusion free website, easier buying. You get the point.
To help you understand this concept better, let me pose a question: When you buy or order something online; whether that be groceries, clothes or even schedule an oil change for your car; what kind of experience do you hope to have? I bet you’re hoping to have a great experience with minimal friction. You want quick delivery, quality products and friendly, knowledgeable support from the companies that you love. Perhaps better return policies, or faster shipping.
That’s why it is important for your business to stand out from the crowd and your updates need to reflect this. The more accurate, updated and well positioned the information on your site is, the easier it will be to bring in new customers.
Let’s outline some tips to help you organize a schedule to keep things on your website up to date. First, note all the things you will need to review regularly. These may be…
- Product line changes (availability, price change etc..)
- New product releases and features updates
- New business information (hours of operation, contact info or location change etc..)
- Updated company profile information (mission statement, values and vision etc..)
- Site reorganization/redesign or just site maintenance (broken links, fixer upper pages etc..)
- New customer testimonials.
- Don’t forget back-end updates if required to keep your website running smoothly.
- Search engine optimization updates on a regular basis.Once you have this list together, organize it in a calendar format. You can also use spreadsheets if that’s your thing. This will allow you to have clear days and times to perform your updates.
Now let’s look at more detail and additional suggestions on how to kick off this process so your website doesn’t get too far behind:
- Update company information–These might not be things that need done daily or even weekly, but at least monthly; or whatever time period works best for the entire team.
- Update digital catalogs–Depending on how large your product line is, do it every other month or quarterly. This will help to keep the information fresh and up to date all around.
- Update location information–Changing hours of operation, contact info, phone number etc… If these change, or are likely to change, be sure to update it.
- Update product information–When changing new products in your catalog or updating prices, you’ll need to keep this up to date on your website. Be sure the right images are available and relate to the information posted on each page; and don’t forget about your social media channels too. All too often, social media pages are not in sync with the website content.
- Update social media links–If you have a presence in any on the popular social media channels, be sure to make it easy for your customers/prospects to find you there. You can also use these sites to announce your new product lines or events that are happening.
- Take advantage of local search optimization–This is huge right now. Update your Google Places page and sync it with the information on your website. There’s nothing like continuity from your customer or prospect perspective. Be sure to leverage it properly with social media, blog posts etc…
- Update coupons/vouchers, gift card terms or any other discount offers–You never want things like this changing without letting people know about it; so be sure to make a note to always change important information.
- Update Testimonials–These are exceptional assets to use and place on your website; but if you don’t keep them up to date and relevant, people will begin to doubt the validity of your claims.
- Update News/blog articles–When doing updates to your news or blog articles, be sure that you’re keeping the links working properly. If an article gets changed or removed for any reason at all, make a note of it on your blog. Your readers will appreciate this.
- Site maintenance/broken links–When your website gets a lot of traffic, it will usually influence certain parts of the site. Unfortunately, broken links and images that don’t work properly can ruin your professional image.
- Keeping up with all these updates can be a chore, but it is important that you stay on top of them. If you do this regularly, then your website will remain alive and well. It can even payoff with new business!
- Site reorganization/redesign upgrades–This can be something that you can do once a year or every five years, depending on the size of your site and how often you have a need to update it. However, if there are changes to your website structure, be sure to let your customers know about these changes by posting about them in your blog, Facebook page etc…
You can schedule your updates with online tools, traditional Windows or Mac calendars or spread sheets. The trick is to work in applications that you feel comfortable with. You’ll get a lot more accomplished that way. Keep your update schedule flexible too. If you notice you don’t have time for all of them because you’ve been extremely busy, then don’t be afraid to push back the updates for a day, a week or as needed. Just stay on task even if things slide around a bit.
Remember, you’re not a superhero. If you don’t have enough time or you’re just too busy running the show, then there’s no shame in hiring a professional agency to help you.
Paragon Media One is a website design and digital marketing agency. We provide digital marketing, SEO services and web design solutions to businesses all over the U.S. If you would like to learn more about how keeping your site up-to-date and online marketing can help grow your business, or simply maintain your current customer base, call us at 814 455-3500 or click here to our contact page.