Tech Trends for Small Business: Updating Your Website’s Content
Fremont’s Economic Development website recently got a dazzling makeover. Which makes it a perfect segue to our next Tech Trends topic — as a small business, just how often should you update your website?
The ideal answer is, “as often as you can!”
While this is a good rule of thumb, however, the answer isn’t a one-size-fits-all strategy. Depending on the industry, audience, and the competitive landscape, business websites may need one simple refresh per quarter or more detailed weekly updates.
Why Website Updates Are Important
What is simple, however, is the reason for updating your website’s content. The bottom line: An out-of-date website can drive customers away, while an up-to-date website can lure customers in.
For example: How often does a person go to their accountant’s website? Perhaps a few times a year … unless they hear about a big financial data breach. They’ll check for an email or a call from their accountant sharing more information on the situation. Then, if they don’t get an email, they’ll check the accountant’s website.
But what happens if the accountant’s website has zero information on the data breach? Customers will start to worry. “Do they know about the breach? Are my finances safe? Maybe I should talk to someone else …
This scenario helps to illustrate the value of updating your web content!
How Often Should You Update?
Did you know you can figure out the ideal website update schedule with a formula? Let’s call it an “update interval” that small businesses can follow, regardless of industry, to determine when to update their website. Follow this simple two-step rule:
First, consider how often you have something to say. If your industry isn’t extremely active, you can get away with fewer updates per year. But if it is, you’ll have plenty to put on your website.
In general, update your website whenever you:
- Have company news to report (new products, new services, new hires)
- Have an event to promote
- See industry changes coming that affect your business or customers
- Have important product-related information to convey, e.g. updated features or service changes
- Publish an article or are cited in news publications, blogs, etc.
Second, check how often your competitors are updating their websites.
You’re checking competitors’ websites, right? If not, now’s the time to start. Watch how often they update their content, and which topics change the most.
Think of this as a yardstick, rather than a race. If your competitors update infrequently, you’re OK doing likewise. If they update three times a week and you don’t, it’s time to pick up the pace!
Combine the answers to these two factors and you have your Update Interval. Follow this update schedule and you will not be disappointed by the results, which should include higher search rankings and more website traffic.
How to Create New Content for Your Website
Since customers have a lot of choices when it comes to resources online, it’s up to you to give them a reason to visit your website, sign up for your mailing list, and buy your product.
Even the most basic business website needs updating. Let’s use the analogy of a storefront. If the storefront looks shabby with outdated style and old products…nobody will want to come in.
On the other hand, if the storefront looks fabulous, showing current products and trends, customers will want to visit your store rather than hopping over to a competitor’s shop.
You may be wondering, “How do I refresh my website though?” Just keep your content fresh and relevant! Below are some ideas you can use:
- Add a new webpage
- Update an existing webpage (changing the text)
- Announce news or an event
- Add a new video
- Add a blog
If you are looking to create new content, you can either hire a content writer, or you can do it yourself.
If you’re the DIY type, here are a few books that can help:
So ask yourself: “When was the last time I updated my website?” If you don’t like the answer, you just got yourself a new project! Happy updating!