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Today, there’s no question that nearly all businesses have to have an online presence. In one word: Website! Our Founder and President, Brian will tell every business owner that "their website is their most important asset and their 24- hour employee." Most business owners understand this fact and want to have a great looking website.
What can be overlooked is how often a website needs to be paid attention to, tested and updated. Would you hire an employee and then never double check their work load or evaluate their performance? Do we have children and then never nurture or teach them? Of course not, but sometimes businesses make the mistake of establishing a website and then just letting it sit there like it will magically do what it’s suppose to do without any effort from anybody. Big mistake as it leads to lost revenue faster than you think.
The point is, websites are ALWAYS under construction.
Let’s put it into perspective. Ever been to a professional office, maybe a first visit or maybe on your 25th visit and thought the space could really use an update because it was looking so rough? Didn’t it make you question whether or not the services provided were good or if the provider even cared? The same thing can happen when a customer visits your website. If there is dated material, lack of current information or the overall feel of your site is out of date, the level of your service or integrity of your product will be questioned. Chances are you will lose a customer to a competitor who keeps refreshing their site, not to mention missing out on any opportunity for a decent Google ranking.
Here’s some helpful tips on keeping your website relevant:
- Once a month, take the time to look at your own website, click on links, test all functions, make sure it’s working! It was a painful experience for us to realize that our contact form wasn’t working on our website. For how long? Honestly, we weren’t sure, we had updated some things, which had probably affected those forms, but we didn’t think to test them. Once we realized it, we fixed it and leads came flowing in like a steady little stream. It hurt to know we probably lost a decent amount of potential clients all because we didn’t check this simple function.
- Every month or two, check your website for areas that you need to update. Check to make sure the services that you still provide are the services currently listed. Have you established any new policies that should be made known? Hours changed? Any new certifications or licensees been established that would enhance your credibility? Those are items that should be added to your site.
- Keep adding or refreshing your portfolio. Nobody cares if you worked on a great project 10 years ago; they want to see what you are doing NOW! Every business probably has a least one home-run project they can share, but customers want to make sure you know what you are doing now, in today’s market, not only what you achieved in years past.
- Do you have a blog on your site? Keep consistent new content on it, it’s not an option.
- Keep specials, discounts, seasonal offerings current. Don’t you get frustrated when you search for something specific online only to find out the discount is expired?
- Take advantage of new questions that customers have for your product and service and adjust your FAQs if you have that type of information on your site. In fact, this can help you stay consistent with blog posts. As you answer those questions or identify and solve current clients’ problems, you can write about them and keep relevant material on your site for potential clients to read. What a great lead generation!
- Hire a company to do all of the above for you! Yes, this is an blatant, direct suggestion from BT Web Group, a company that can genuinely help business owners stay up to date and relevant with their website. If you are unable to do this on your own, you can’t afford not to find someone to help you with this endeavor.
There’s lots of excuses for not keeping a website relevant or fresh and usually it’s a time factor. Let’s be clear – you cannot afford not to make time to keep your website consistently relevant and up to date. It’s time to get past the mindset of do it once and never worry about it again. Establishing a fantastic website is not the end goal, it’s the beginning of a journey that will always have new paths to travel. Setting aside time monthly to do a self-evaluation of your website is crucial and the second part is to make changes.
Now, depending on the way your website was built, it may make more sense for someone to help you with this updating. You may indeed not have the time to learn how to update your site; you may need help so you can focus on the areas of your business you know best. Don’t let this overwhelm you. If you can provide the information, BT Web Group can make sure it’s on your website and ready to reach new customers.
Calisa Fitzpatrick - Vice President