If a visitor to your website today also visited 3, 6 or 12 months ago, would he see the exact same, unchanged website? Or would he have a plethora of new information available to him? Will the visitor, customer or potential customer think you went out of business if your website hasn’t changed since 1997?
There is much value to gain from a frequently updated web presence. It provides the ability to engage your customers and prospects and gives your company a sense of activity and stability. It can also be a valuable marketing and sales tool to keep your website updated with your latest and greatest services and products.
There are a few simple avenues you can take to provide a rich, lively website to excite and educate your customers and prospects.
Blogging with RSS Feeds
A blog (or even a news page) is a great way to give your website a lively and updated feel. This will allow you to keep your customers and prospects apprised of news and events with your company, and can also provide an avenue of marketing and training involving your products and services.
Providing an RSS feed along with this blog could empower some customers to follow you and your updates without needing to visit your website by subscribing to your RSS feed with various desktop and web based readers, and even mobile (cell phone) readers.
Twitter and Facebook
By using social network sites, such as Twitter and Facebook to connect to and interact with your friends, customers and prospects, you have an additional avenue to broadcast information about your organization. Much like a blog, you can use these networks to share company news and events, as well as market products and services and provide training on those products and services.
Those that connect with you would have easy visibility into what’s going on with your organization every time they access their social networking profile and see your updates in their feeds. And all of this happens without them needing to visit your site.
But as we’re talking about keeping your site alive, you can also use these social networking sites as a means to update your site by displaying your most recent updates on your website. Thousands upon thousands of sites (including our own!) display recent Twitter updates. This gives the feel of an updated site without even doing anything to update the actual site.
Announcing events such as sales, contents, trade shows, conventions and community outreach events on your website is a great way to show that you’re engaged with your customers, and a great way to keep your website updated and looking fresh. Not all these events have to be specific to your company. You can sponsor charity events, such as relief funds and blood drives, or if you don’t have the money to sponsor, you can provide free advertising for these events which still shows that you’re involved in your community.
By building your site within a content management system, you have the ability to actually update the content of all your pages yourself. Continually enhancing, correcting and updating your content is a great way to keep your customers informed and educated about your organization, your products and your services. It also shows search engines that your site is alive and that it should be visited and checked more often.
A Fresh, New Look
When it comes down to it, though, does your website just look old, regardless of how often you update the content? It might just be time to start over with a fresh, new look coupled with some great interactive features. Maybe your website looks fine, but is too outdated or complex to easily integrate some of these ideas. Every website, maybe with the exception of Google, gets a new look every once and awhile. Is it time for you to get one?
Using some of the ideas we covered, you can give your website a lively feel by enhancing and frequently updating your content.