Rise and Shine

Websites – Update The Content, Or Start Over?!

updateMaintaining a Website is Like an Office

Think of your website as being the same as an office space.

You might sign a 3 to 5 year lease, furnish the office, and add signage. When the lease is up, you have the opportunity to renew, or relocate. Website content is similar to having an office. After several years you may need to move, renovate, or only invest in some new furniture.

If your office (or website) had very little traffic, maybe customers don’t need the services you offer, or you need to offer new services. It might be time to start over on your website.

Should Web Content Stay, or Should It Go?

Step outside of your website, and look at the market around you.

Looking at the online landscape around you is like walking down your street. See which shops are busy, and what types of people frequent the cafes. Notice who is paying for search advertising, and who is mentioned on websites your ideal customers visit.

  • Have your competitors moved into a new market, or are using new keywords?
  • Are there non-competing business that get a lot of traffic, and use a clever method of interacting with their customers?
  • Are your ideal customers rushed, and using a mobile device instead of a desktop computer?

Decide to change your content to connect with your ideal customer.

In an office, this might mean improving signage, or moving popular services to near the front of the office. You may only need to refine your text, image, and product details. Or, you may need to break up pages, and feature popular information on the home page.

Think of your content like your office fixtures, your signage, and your office furniture. Don’t let your website get old, and shabby. Consider starting over on your website if it is more than 5 years old. Your ideal customers will feel more confident in a modern, organised website.

Less is the New More

There has been a culture shift in online behaviour. Ideal customers are looking for less. Paragraphs are reduced to bulleted lists, and people only want a few pages of summary information.

  • Say who you are, and clearly state who is your ideal customer
  • Show where you are located, how to contact you, and who your real staff are
  • Offer action, or ask for a sale quickly

Having small amounts of mobile friendly text, and quick access to service is a bit like adding a drive through to your business. The top of every page has to have 3 to 5 words that summarise your product or service. (If you are wondering about how to find the words your ideal customers use, see my blog post, ‘Keywords – In Your Customers’ Words’)

Don’t Waste My Time

Customers don’t want a long sales cycle on a website. They want to get in, and get out.

Put a registration, or buy button at the top of the page. Or, quickly instruct the visitor to call, and repeat your phone number. Online it is OK to be blunt!

  • List costs, quantities, dimensions, and weights
  • List delivery or event dates and times
  • Ask for only the information you need to complete the action, such as a name, and email

Updating your content is more than office maintenance. And starting over on your website is more than moving to a new office. Make your website, and the content inside it as useful as possible. Keep topics organised, and easy to find.

Bring in outside experts to discuss your market with you. A digital advertising agency, a web developer, and a copywriter can be useful resources in your conversation. Delegate tasks that you don’t do well, or that take you away from your core business. Learn how to maintain content that you can frequently, and easily update yourself. Feel free to contact me. I’d love to be part of your conversation, and to help you connect with other reputable people that fit your needs.

This post was inspired by these articles:

Shauna McGee Kinney

By Shauna McGee Kinney. Shauna is a writer, and trainer working in Perth, Australia. She helps small businesses communicate their knowledge through web pages, blogs, print manuals, and in-person training. Her hobbies include neoprene, harnesses, and sheets! (She races catamarans when she’s not racing for a deadline.)

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