You built a great website, an SEO-friendly work of art.
Job well done, you ticked it off your to-do list and moved on to the next project.
You sit back and waiting, expecting visitors to flock to the site and sales rolling in. Some way down the line, you realise you’re not getting the sales and enquires you hoped for. Traffic to the website is low, and a quick Google search confirms that you’re nowhere to be found in the rankings.
How did that happen?!
It sounds like you’ve made a common mistake - what’s known as ‘set it and forget it’. Many businesses fall into this trap, thinking that once their website is up and running, their work is done.
In reality, websites need consistent nurturing in order keep delivering results. Think of your website like a garden. You can’t just plant the seeds, forget about it, and expect to come back in a few months to a botanical masterpiece! Your website is no different.
Here’s why you should keep your website updated - and how.
Even if you’ve been working hard to drive traffic to your site, what’s waiting for your visitors when they get there? If the answer is a news article from 2011 and an expired coupon, then you might be running a cyber ghost town!
Old content gives the impression that you’re not up to date with what’s going on in your industry. It promises no ongoing value to the visitor. It suggests that you don’t care about your website, and by extension, your business. And if you don’t care, why should they?
If you want to make sure you’re giving the right impression, try these simple tips.
- Keep your news section current.
- Remove out-of-date offers.
- Post to your blog regularly and keep content relevant.
- Update older content to reflect the latest developments in your industry.
- Review your website regularly to ensure your offers are still relevant and really reflect what your business offers.
Nurture Your Relationships
Like all relationships, the one between you and your visitors takes work. If you simply offer up the same old set of web pages day after day, that relationship is going to get stale pretty quickly.
However, if they can count on your site to keep them informed, entertained and connected on a regular basis, your visitors will keep coming back for more. Why? Two reasons…
We want information and we want it now!
A frequently updated news section says that your site is the place to go for the latest industry news, while fresh, regular content ensures your visitors continue to get value from visiting your site.
We love to be kept in the loop.
A continuous stream of new content appeals to our fear of missing out and encourages us to keep checking in. For the same reason, encouraging your visitors to be part of ongoing conversations keeps them interested and engaged.
Search Engines Need Love Too!
Just like your customers, search engines love new content. They regularly ‘crawl’ your site to see what’s new, which goes towards deciding where you land when somebody searches for the product or service you offer.
Regularly updating your website with fresh new content encourages the search engines to crawl your site more often and rank you higher in the search results. However, like your customers, if they keep checking and finding nothing new, they’ll soon get bored.
Eventually, search engines will stop crawling your site altogether, and you’ll drop down the search rankings. That means that it’ll be difficult for potential customers to find you through sites like Google and Bing, and your website traffic - and sales! - will suffer.
Website technology changes incredibly quickly, and what was once absolutely groundbreaking now looks old, tired and dated.
A website that’s several years past its prime is a sure-fire way to tell your visitors that you’re not at the front of your field. You don’t have to completely overhaul your website, but small, regular updates to keep it looking modern and fresh will go a long way towards boosting your credibility with visitors.
Patch and Protect
It’s not just your content that needs to be kept up to date. Technology is evolving fast and unfortunately, so are security threats.
Web content management systems and web-based software are constantly being updated to address new threats as they arise. If you’re running an older version, you risk leaving yourself vulnerable to newer viruses, malware and hacking weak spots. This puts your business and your visitors at risk, and you’re also likely to be cut from Google’s search listings until you fix it.
Protect yourself and your visitors by keeping your software up to date. The latest patches and bug fixes should be applied as they become available. These are designed to essentially ‘patch up’ any holes in your software security between versions, keeping you protected until a new version is released.
You’ve put so much effort into developing the perfect website - don’t let it go to waste!
We know the importance of keeping your site up to date. We also understand that, as a business owner, you have plenty of other things to take care of. That’s why we make updating your website simple.
As a Bee Online Website Care Plan customer, we take care of the web server security and apply software patches and updates to your Silverstripe CMS.
You’re also entitled to at least one small change request per month. You can use this however you like - simply send us your change request and we’ll update your website for you. Alternatively, you can easily update it yourself via your Silverstripe CMS, and have us on hand should you get stuck with anything.
We’re here to help, so if you have any questions about updating your website, get in touch today.