So you have a website… now what?
I find it curious how many people put all this time, energy and effort into creating a spectacular website and then never do anything else with it. And I don’t mean social media or getting your site linked to various resources or other sites. What I mean is within the site itself.
Many small business owners think that creating a website is a “get it done and forget about it” activity. If you’re one of them, here’s some food for thought.
- Are you doing EXACTLY the same thing as when you started your business or website?
- Is the future of your business exactly where the future of your business was say a year ago, 2 years ago, 5 years ago?
- Will your business be exactly the same as it is today 5-years from now?
- Has technology stopped progressing since you created your business or website?
No doubt you answered ‘No’ to one or more of these items. If you’re like most business owners, you’ve answered ‘No’ to all of them.
Let’s face it… business keeps moving… technology keeps moving… so should your website.
But wait a minute! It took way too much time to get my website up in the first place. I don’t have time to spend looking at it all over again.
The reality is we all have businesses to run and most of the time our top priority isn’t some website that is supposed to be helping us generate more business.
Ultimately, there is an elegant balance that most small businesses can do which will not only help keep their website fresh and relevant, but can help them attract more attention. It’s a 1-to-3 approach (pun intended).
Yearly Website Review
When you’ve completed the work on your business goals for the year and drafted up your business plan, make a part of your closeout activities a review of your website. Don’t do yearly updates on your goals or plans???? Well, that’s a whole other discussion but consider at least every year taking a moment to figure out where your business is at.
This yearly review is primarily for assuring information is still relevant. You aren’t going into nitty-gritty details. What you want to focus on is:
- Are the products I offer still relevant and described accurately?
- Are there any new products I’m looking to introduce?
- Are there certain products I want to highlight over others? Conversely are there those that I’m looking to phase out?
- Is my “about” or “bio” information current? Has anything happened in the last year that’s noteworthy of adding?
- Do I need to tweak or change my welcome message at all?
If you do this on a yearly basis, your website will retain fresh information and correctly reflect the type of business you do. In addition, giving a “fresh face” to your product pages might highlight some inaccuracies you originally had or help you emphasis the right messages to your potential clients.
Every Three Years – Total Review
Let’s face it. Technology is changing at such a rapid pace these days it’s hard to keep up. Only just a few years ago, we were all focused on trying to figure out how to get things more mobile because the screens on mobile devices weren’t capable of handling most of the information. Now everything is about tablets and mobile devices are as clear, if not clearer, than many computers.
Not only is technology changing, but so too is the environment around you. For instance, if you’re in service base industries like construction or lawn care, the changing climate in the economy and neighborhood can impact who you’re marketing to. Maybe you need to extend your reach? Maybe you need to reach out to a different age group or demographics? The environment also changes in terms of your competitors. Who is still out there? Who is new that has come along? It is important as a small business to know your competitors and what they may potentially be doing.
I recommend every 3 years for an in-depth look at your website. This is a far more detailed scrutiny of the website and really gets to the heart of the question – “Do I need to update my website?”
Step 1: Start by reevaluating why exactly do you have a website and what you intend to do with it.
You can use our nifty Client Ready Checklist to get a sense of where you’re at.
Step 2: Investigate what others are doing, both within your industry and outside. Is there something neat that maybe another site is doing that you’d like to see on your own website?
Step 3: Do a page by page review of the content and really look at what it is saying. Is the page focused on the right content? Do you say what you mean to say here? Get a friend to help even review the content and make sure they understand what you think you’re saying as well.
Step 4: Get in touch with the industry trends. What are other companies like you talking about? What are people who refer to your business talking about? Are there obvious trends or things you see happening.
Step 5: Update your language. Last time it was called “pink” but now it’s referred to as “blush”. Language changes over time and if you’re trying to attract a certain demographic or client you have to use a language that they understand. Even if your clients are most established, what words they are using to describe certain things will be influenced by things happening around them. It’s important to be in touch with those language changes so you can properly reflect them on your website and used them for SEO.
Step 6: Take a hard look at colours. Not that long ago, it was a definitely “no-no” in the web space to d strictly blank texts on white backgrounds because it was thought to be too harsh and too plain. Today, most people do exact that. Colour not only conveys a mood but it also alerts people to the idea of being fresh and new. Just like you might put a new coat of paint on your office space to change the atmosphere, so too will you want to take that into consideration when you do the more in depth review of your website.
Step 7: Update pictures. I know we all want to stay young forever. But the reality is we do age and change… and so too do the places where we work. You erode away at the client’s trust if you aren’t depicting yourself or your business as realistically as possible.
Now before you balk at all the work, take note:
NOT ALL STEPS NEED TO BE EXECUTED
What I’m calling for is for you to review all the content but that doesn’t necessarily mean you will make a change. Use it rather as a gauge to determining how close you are to what your business is today. Ultimately your website should stay in synch with what your business is all about. If you can accomplish that without spending money on doing an upgrade, then go for it. But be honest and don’t be shy if you really do need to spend the time and effort to make that change. You and your business will be rewarded in the end!