April 4, 2010
Let me start off by asking you a question…. How long has it been since your website’s home page has been updated with fresh new text and images? How about your blog? Has it been weeks… months even … since your last entry? What about the last time you sent out a newsletter?
If you had a strong urge to click the delete button after reading the above due to the sudden guilt pangs that just hit you, hold off on the temptation and be assured you are not alone! There are many business entrepreneurs that have neglected their website for many different reasons and now they are left feeling the whole “website thing” has been a bust. But there’s hope yet! Don’t abandon ship until you read this article…
Before getting started, it’s important to remember that your website is NOT a brochure! Its purpose was never to just build it and forget about it and then expect it to provide any kind of return on your initial investment.
So before you abandon your website all together and end up losing business to your competition, let’s talk about the reasons why it is vitally important to keep your website updated with fresh material and some things you can do now to get it back on track:
- Your website is your most primary marketing piece for your business. Period. This is due to it being accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It never takes a holiday and is never not seen by anyone who visits it. Ask yourself what impression are others getting if they visited your site right now? You want your site to give an accurate impression to not only your prospective client, but also your current clients so they can trust and believe that your business is in good shape too. No one ones to do business with a failing company.
- Google and the other search engines will only love your site if it’s got something new to show its searchers. If it detects that nothing has changed since the last time it indexed your site, then it will downgrade you in the search results. This is a critical point – you don’t want to get poor search result rankings!
- Search engines are only going to display your site that matches a user’s search string if you have the right keywords placed within the text of your home page. Changing these keywords to match what your ideal client is looking for is very valuable so they will find your site easier when searching for products or services that match their needs.
- Prospective clients can tell if a site has been stranded and will immediately get the impression you are either out of business or are not attentive enough to bother updating it. Either way, they have formed a negative impression on you and the credibility of your business.
- If you have a newsletter signup box on your site but never or rarely send out a newsletter, this also gives the impression you are not on top of things and really don’t care about building your business. This topic is a whole ‘nother article to write on the importance of newsletters though….
- Your website no longer accurately depicts your business direction anymore. Every business goes through the evolutionary process and it’s critical your website stays current with your product or service offerings. If you find yourself telling people, “oh sorry, my site doesn’t actually say anything about that particular service…” what kind of message is that person is getting about how well you run a business?
- Your website looks like it was created in the 90′s. Yes, even sites I designed several years ago are looking old and outdated Avoid your site looking old by giving it a fresh redesign; otherwise, it looks like you don’t care enough about your business or about technological advances to keep it up to date. Keeping your website looking modern will improve your credibility and will give the impression you are attentive to the success of your business.
- Your website looks “broken” in more recent versions of browsers. Have you ever looked at your site from a friend’s computer and wondered, “Why is it looking so funny?” This is a result of your site’s build being too old to be compatible with the newer browsers like IE 8 or Firefox 3.5. Back when your site was first built, it probably looked great across the more popular browsers but as browsers evolve, so must your website programming to ensure it continues to look good no matter what browser is used.
- Along the same lines as the look of your site being old, so can the technology and coding used behind the scenes to build it. Old technology can create many problems including security threats and costly programming to work around the old scripts and code if new features need to be added. Often it is more cost effective to re-develop your site than to continually patch the security holes and do programming work-arounds that can be precariously unstable as soon as the next version of web browser comes along.
If you’re wondering if any of the above is applicable to you, then ask yourself if your site is performing the way it was intended. Are you getting sufficient leads? Are people finding your site and signing up for your newsletter to get them into your marketing funnel? Is your conversion rate where you want it to be?
If not, it’s a sure sign to take a close look at your “busting” website and have a talk with your web developer on ways to get it up-to-date so that it can provide you with the results you desire.
Your site can be a constantly evolving, powerful business tool if you treat it as such. It’s important to view it as your important, dynamic marketing collateral in your business and marketing plan. It can be as exciting, innovative and interactive as you want it to be, all you have to do is ask; the technology is available to create an amazing marketing piece for you like never before!
About the Author: Susan is president/founder of eVision Media, a web development and eMarketing firm specializing in building effective brands for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations for over 10 years. With a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, she is able to provide an authentic and personalized service for those wanting a trustworthy member of their team for their brand & marketing design, website development and SEO/eMarketing needs. Contact Susan today for a free 30 minute consultation on helping you build your website presence to be the effective marketing tool is can be. email@example.com or visit www.evisionmedia.ca.