You know your website needs updating – it’s been on your To Do List forever – and you will get around to it at some point but there’s no real urgency, right?
If you plan to grow your business in the next 12 months, updating your website on a consistent basis is one of the easiest and most effective ways to increase your visibility, enquiries and represent your Company in the best light online – three key components of your marketing strategy when planning expansion and attracting new clients.
The search engines (and there are more than one!) LOVE a regularly updated website – it makes them look good to be delivering the latest, up-to-date results in their listings. They are more likely to favour your company in results above similar – but way older – content from similar sites. Give them what they want and you reap the benefit of better ranking and more traffic. Leave your site to wither under old or outdated information (how many times have you heard “oh, they don’t work here anymore, they shouldn’t be on the website”?) and you risk dropping not only in the search results, but out of favour altogether with those potential clients who do reach your site. They rarely return later to see if things have changed…
Regularly updating with great content relevant to your right-fit client can yield other rewards you may not have considered too. In over two decades of working with established UK Companies with plans to expand their online reach and impact, we have seen countless occasions when a programme of continuous improvement had significant internal benefits within your own team. This could be the star player who steps up to take on responsibility for new content or checking over what your site already says and reflecting any changes to that – they have a new role with visibility and impact – who springs to mind on your team who would love to take that on?
Sidebar: Avoid a costly mistake here by clearly defining what the role entails then asking who in your team would like to take this on. This is rarely a role you can “pick” someone for without their buy-in, having this done badly can be as damaging as not doing it at all.
So you can see the perks and prominence of regular website updates, you’ve defined the role and (hopefully) found a willing volunteer to make it happen – how to get started?
Here are three steps to get the ball rolling and set you on the road to effortless, regular updates:
- That which is scheduled is done. The person responsible for your updates (even if it has to be you to begin with), MUST schedule at least a one hour slot each month in their calendar for this. Same time, same day, once a month and nothing is permitted to move it – no meetings, no “just need to finish this first” – set it in stone and leave it alone!
- Start small. Setting yourself the task to write a new case study, update your portfolio, change all your photos in the gallery and create a new blog post every month is a full time job, and not a very fun one. Aim to review and update ONE page a month is enough – and probably more than you’re doing already. Small steps are still steps in the right direction, aim for constant improvement, not inventing the wheel every four weeks.
- Plan ahead. You have the time set aside, you have a manageable task to do within that time, don’t waste the first 15 minutes wondering what to do with it. Spend a rainy January afternoon writing a simple bullet list of possible tasks you can refer back to – such as topics to write blogs about, pages of your site to review and work through, new products not yet shown online, etc. Then choose one of these each month and focus your hour on that. Easy.
We went through this process with one of our clients, an established and successful insurance company who weren’t sure what they could do to increase their visibility and online engagement. They held a strategy session with us at the beginning of the year to plan ahead just as laid out above and, within an hour, they had a full year’s updates and marketing topics planned out. We then watched as their visitor numbers and enquires grew month on month that year – no coincidence!
You wouldn’t continue to have the same conversation with someone over and over in your life – so why expect your clients to do that in your business? Keep your website updated and your content fresh – while making it fun and easy for your team – and you will see the difference in how engaged people are both within and outside your office walls.
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