When we launch a beautiful new website for a client it’s a bit like watching them drive away in a new Porsche. They promise to look after it and keep it serviced and well maintained. ‘How often should we update it?’ they ask, running their hands over the sleek lines of the bonnet.
‘Update it whenever you have something interesting to put up’, we say. ‘The more often the better - but don’t post any old rubbish or just cut and paste the same stuff, keep it fresh and good quality’
We don’t have much to say, do we have to update it?
Yes. Your website is the first impression people have of your brand and your company and it’s important to keep them engaged. Your company or your industry will evolve over time so it’s important to reflect those changes – obsolete content is a massive turn off. Plus, Google will ignore you if you don’t update it regularly which hurts your web visibility.
Give them what they want
People come to your website looking for information about your company, products or services. Therefore make sure you supply it. Your About Us profile, your product and service list, your contact details, opening hours, news and events. Make it topical if possible – if you’re giving away World Cup themed merchandise or celebrating your staff’s fundraising for Comic Relief, make reference to it so you can capitalise on publicity in the public domain and look relevant.
Okay, I’ve done the obvious stuff, what more can I update?
Your homepage is both your shop window to attract attention and your doorway where you can entice visitors to delve more deeply and browse around. Here you can update your branding, imagery, titles or teasers for new articles and posts, social media feeds and staff profiles and photos.
Products and services
Probably the most important information sought by your visitors so it’s essential to keep this accurate and inclusive of latest developments.
Or your About Us section – this is a great way to introduce your company, your history and your values. You might think this information is pretty static but make sure you review it periodically as new visitors read this more often than you might think.
Client case studies or testimonials
What better way to produce favourable content than to quote satisfied clients? If you sell stationery the customer quotes may be fairly short and perfunctory – ‘Thanks for stocking a great range of drawing paper’. If you sell cupcakes you will probably have more emphatic responses ‘I love your cakes, especially the chocolate fudge frosted with sprinkles – yum!’ and if you have a service business you may be able to draft a detailed case study of a customer experience, eg. if you’re an architect or personal trainer, which gives you great scope to emphasise your competitive strengths.
Have a news section where you can put press releases, announcements, staff changes, product news, awards and office news.
Your news doesn’t have to be only about your business. You could comment on industry or market news that affects your company or customers. You can also offer advice and build up credibility as an expert within your trade.
If you find you often get phone calls or enquiries about the same questions, and if you often have standard responses to those questions, an FAQ page may help you divert time consuming phone calls. Then again, you might want to hold back some information and include a ‘call to action’ instead to get customers to get in touch with you. Eg. ‘Call us now for this week’s special offer!’ or ‘For a bespoke price please fill out our Enquiry Form’.
So next time you drive away a shiny new website, print this off and keep it in your glovebox for reference. There’s no point owning a Porsche and keeping it hidden in Google’s garage.