We’ve all encountered a house at some point where you can’t tell if anyone lives there or not. It isn’t quite derelict, but there aren’t any signs of life either. The same problem can befall internet real estate. A website that looks old and hasn’t moved on with the times, won’t drive sales.
The Internet has been around a long time now, and it has accumulated old, abandoned sites – as well as sites that only look abandoned. When visitors arrive at your website, you need to reassure them that you are still doing business. They need to see evidence that your site is up to date and well maintained to build the trust required for them to continue to engage with your brand. So how do you do that?
For starters, you need to review your site regularly for any internet cobwebs. Whether you check weekly, monthly or quarterly depends on what type of product or service you are selling, how frequently you run special offers or update stock and how the changing seasons affect your business.
Look for outdated offers as well as products or services you no longer offer frequently. But at least quarterly you should take a deeper look. Do the staff photos look dated? Are you all wearing styles that are starting to look a tad vintage? Does the content on your homepage, ‘about’ page or any other page (aside from old blog posts) use phrases that are past its sell by date? Do you refer to current events that are no longer current? Those are the sort of things that need to be updated to keep your site fresh and reassure visitors.
Here are a few easy ways to keep your website fresh and up-to-date.
Blogging regularly does more than help you stay up in the search engine results. It also shows visitors that someone is indeed manning your site. Some sites publish blog posts with no dates. This is better than having your last blog post dated six months ago, but not as good as using this chance to show people that you are engaged and present.
Your blog content can demonstrate that you are up-to-date on developments in your field. And showing the dates on your blog posts reassures visitors that your business is on the job. If you have decided to stop blogging, it is best to remove the blog or at least the dates on the posts.
While your blog content is extremely important, you can also use your blog for quick updates. For example, if your staff attended or hosted a special event, you can quickly post a few photos to show visitors that your site hasn’t been abandoned. It’s fine to mix those types of posts with meatier, more valuable blog content to keep your site fresh.
Expired special offers are the biggest tumbleweeds on websites. Nothing gives visitors the sense they’ve landed in a ghost town quite like seeing a call to action urging them to act now and discovering the offer expired. Why would a visitor have any confidence in a site with CTAs that lead them nowhere? Keep your special offers fresh by being clear about the date they end. This shows visitors that your company is functioning well.
Adding a few visual seasonal touches to your site is another way to show you are present and paying attention. Pumpkins and colourful leaves indicate autumn, while snow and Christmas decorations reflect winter. Add a few shamrocks in March to mark St. Patrick’s Day, then swap them for flowers, butterflies, bees or ladybirds to announce spring and summer. If your site features a photo of your premises, use a fresh one quarterly to show the building in spring, summer, autumn, and winter. That reinforces the feeling that the site is current and fresh.
Want to know if you are doing your best to attract customers to your website content? Contact us today for professional guidance.
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