The dynamic nature of the internet demands that your website must be updated regularly. When customers arrive on your website they believe that the content is live and that it has the most up-to-date information about your business.
In my opinion it’s better to have no website at all than to have a website that has not been updated in ages. Sadly a lot of websites for small businesses in Nigeria, fall into this category. In fact not updating your website for more than a week should is one of the worst thing you can do for your online business.
An enormous amount of work has gone into the creation of your website – whether you did it yourself, or called the neighbourhood tech geek to do, or hired a professional web designer – that’s why its sad when owners of websites sit back and expect their site to run forever without updating it.
Updating your site doesn’t need to take much time or resources. What you need to do is:
Establish a Schedule: If your site visitors know that you normally place new content on your site every Wednesday, they’ll visit your site every Wednesday. However the type of schedule you establish must be related to the type of content on your site. A sports website must be updated more frequently than that of a paper clip manufacturer.
Determine what needs updating: Has there been any changes in the management structure of your company? Have you changed your logo or brand colors? Do you have some links or information on your site that’s no longer relevant? Or do you have broken internal/external links? These and more are some of the things that need to be updated regularly.
Find new content: Finding new content for your site is one of the most important things to keep your site active and relevant on the internet. This is often challenging for most website owners.
Finding new content for your site is the most challenging. But there are basically 2 ways to go about it:
Providing New Content Yourself: Here you could consider adding the any of following to your website:
- A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page: Make a list of all the common questions asked by your clients etc about your product/services and your answers to these questions and upload it to your site.
- News Page: with up to the minute information about your company/industry.
- Links Page: with links to other websites of interest in your niche market or industry.
- Testimonial Page: where you publish feedback given by your clients about your products/services.
Having Your Visitors Provide New Content: You can encourage your visitors to provide new content for your website and interacting with your site incorporating any of the following into your site:
- Blog: A blog or web log (such as the one you’re on now) can be added as a plugin to your existing site or can be incorporated into the site in the design stages. With your blog its best to keep your postings relevant to your niche market. Your site visitors can then read these and add their own comments or possibily post their own topics.
- Forum: Unlike a blog (which in most cases is more relaxed and informal) a forum is more formal and structured and users are expected to join the forum before they can post their comments. But like the blog, you can add a forum to your site as a plugin or you can include it in the development phase.
Having a blog or forum is time consuming and it will take a while to grow your own online community. Until recently, most companies often wrestled with the idea of having a blog or forum because they didn’t like the idea of allowing anyone to add negative comments about its products or website. This is understandable because no one likes bad press.
But by allowing your customers to air their feelings the end result is generally positive. What do you think?