Why “Set It and Forget It” is Not a Winning Website Strategy
Michael D. Ocker
July 15, 2014
So, you have a nice website for your business—you can check “web strategy” off the to-do list, right? Not so fast! While creating a website that is easy to navigate, visible to search engines, and true to your company’s brand is no small feat, it should be just the first step in your website strategy. To maximize your organization’s web presence, you can’t just “Set it and forget it.” Keeping your site updated and evolving with your business is critical—otherwise, you are unlikely to reap the full benefit of the investment you have made in developing it.
Updating and refreshing your website is a task that never ends, but it also pays dividends in terms of the search engine optimization (SEO) of your site, not to mention the attractiveness of your site to new and existing customers. Many of the changes or additions that a website needs regularly are content-based. Adding blog posts or articles periodically not only shows your web visitors that your business is committed to communicating in a timely manner, it also provides new content for search engines to index, which improves your site’s search rankings.
While creating new content for your site seems like a simple strategy, it is often something that businesses struggle with from both a time and creative standpoint. This is why having a plan for who is responsible for website updates and a calendar of what will be posted when (for several months in advance) is essential. If you use a third-party web developer to maintain your website, it is important that you communicate with them about the frequency and type of updating you want for your site. If you plan to manage your site updates internally, ensuring that you have an easy-to-use content management system is critical.
Beyond the logistics of getting fresh content online, many companies also struggle with what information makes for high visitor engagement and search engine fuel. Focusing on topics your existing clients would be interested in is usually a good place to start when developing content. Are there questions that your customers always ask? Perhaps a “Frequently Asked Questions” section on your site would be a good addition. A blog that you update regularly is also a great way to add fresh, relevant content to your site, while highlighting your business and providing useful information.
From an engagement perspective, visual content such as pictures and videos are usually better received by site visitors than pages of text. Of course, whatever content you add to your site should be useful to your target market, so always keep the customer in mind when thinking about website updates. Remember, too, that quality content is much more important than producing quantity content. And, don’t overlook the basics when it comes to refreshing your site. If you have recently made changes to your business hours or you have staff changes or products or services that you no longer offer or are new offerings, make it a priority to update that information as quickly as possible.
Building a quality website for your business is critical in today’s market, however, it is only half of an effective web strategy. Ensuring that you regularly update your site may take some time and thought, but it is well worth the effort when it comes to attracting new site visitors and potential clients as well as providing your existing customers information and resources that will keep them engaged with your business.