Has your website passed its expiry date?

“We only had our website rebuilt six months ago!” I often hear business owners cry – without realising that usually means the content on your site is already six months old. Would you read a newspaper from six months ago?

Research from User Experience experts at Microsoft crunched the numbers to analyse over 205,000 different web pages and over 10,000 visits – and discovered you have a mere TEN SECONDS in which visitors to your website will decide whether they want to engage with you or not. If they’ve been to your site before and see nothing new to grab their attention, chances are they’re about to click away and you lose a potential customer who’ll never know about that amazing new product you just launched, or read that glowing testimonial about a recently completed project.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the massive exposure via social media channels means a quick post about your new service or staff member is enough to “tell the world”, but it’s not. Potential new customers still check out your website before deciding whether to deal with you – particularly if you’re business-to-business. And if your site isn’t up to date, they assume your company isn’t up to date either.

The good news is; you DON’T need to create new content over and over. Simply learning to recognise those little changes in your organisation and sharing them with the world is the key to opening up your reach to a far wider audience – and the more people you reach, the more awareness of the great work you do and the more people have the chance to engage with you.

Like any new habit, this starts by making it part of your routine. Set aside a small slot in your calendar each month to reflect on what’s new and good in your business, then figure how to maximise that, to share it with the world. This could be a blog post, a quick photo, copy and paste some positive customer feedback – there are so many ways to use it once you’ve trained yourself to spot these little changes and it becomes second nature.

BUT sometimes you can be too close to your business to spot them yourself!

Back when I started my business in early 2001, I was determined to deliver individual, fully bespoke, custom-made websites for every single customer. Nobody coming to my company for a website would ever be given a template or an off-the-shelf design, it was all created from scratch to meet their exact, specific requirements – and this all still holds true today. I was so focussed on the work we created, I confess that I sometimes forgot about the people who were creating it – *hangs head in shame*

So a few years after I set out, there I am with my small team in our funky little office – yet our website still said “me” not “we” – and I was wondering why new customers coming to meet with us were surprised it was more than me, the cat and the keyboard! Simply because I hadn’t updated my website to accurately reflect my Company, and I realised this was something my clients needed support in too. We now offer a regular update schedule as part of our Support packages, whereby we contact each and every client, every month, to prompt them to tell us what’s happening in their world. We then use this to update their website, their News page, their Blog page, whatever it takes to spread the word – right down to sharing it on our own social channels and newsletters. That regular monthly prompt is enough to keep them engaged with their website, and keep their website engaging to potential customers worldwide.

The days of your website sitting alone as a “brochure” for what you do are long gone. Now is the time to share your treats and your triumphs as meaningful content on your site and see that engagement level really grow.