Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ten tips to keep your website fresh

You’ve heard us say that your website is one of your front doors, especially if you are an online or remote business. It should be clean, free of cobwebs, with a fresh coat of paint, and oh so welcoming.

Here are ten simple tips to help you keep your website fresh:

Keep the look and feel current
The look and feel of your website (and other company collateral and social media sites) is as important as the clothes you wear. It is the eye-catching part of your brand and it is important that it represents your company today, not 5 years ago. It doesn’t take a total rewrite of your website to update the look and feel. It can be as simple as a new header, some new pictures, or a new color scheme. Don’t let your look and feel get stale or that’s the impression customers and potential customers will receive.

Change content often – it’s not that hard!
You will often hear the mantra “Content is King!” and it’s the absolute truth. The content on your website should change often and there are many different ways to do that. Some companies nowadays use a blog or Facebook page in lieu of a website. That is one way to assure that your content is always current – so long as you are always posting new content. But if you are using a traditional website, you can easily update content. We talk about several ways to do this below.

Access is everything
It is critical that people know how to stay connected with your business. Be sure that access to you is prominent on the home page and throughout your site. Update icons and links as you add new social mediums. Don’t make people search to figure out how to keep in touch.

Tell people the good stuff going on
One of the easiest ways to keep content up-to-date is to include current information about your sales, new customers, new staff, new products, improvements to old products, etc. Include a quick summary on your home page and allow visitors to drill down to get more information.

Talk about your team
One of your greatest assets is your team and you should showcase your team members as often as possible. This serves two purposes – let’s your customers learn more about your team, and is a morale booster. If you are just a small shop and showcasing would equal tooting your own horn, include information about your partners, board members, star vendors, etc. They are all a part of your team!

Use your current customers to help you get new customers
There is nothing better than a customer testimonial to help tell your story. Look how Amazon.com uses customer reviews to help sell each and every product in their massive arsenal. Request testimonials from everyone and post them on your website!

Add video to spark interest
Video captures attention – it’s something unique and quick that can tell your story. Add video to your website – particularly on the home page. But don’t have it play automatically! That can be a huge turn off to your visitors.

Add promotions or events
Be sure to update your website with every promotion and event you hold. Don’t forget to capitalize on national events like Small Business Saturday so you can leverage their marketing!

Add a Twitter or RSS feed 
You can add some simple code to your website that will continue working for you without any additional work on your part. Add a simple Twitter feed or RSS list and it will do the updating for you!

Make it a priority!
The most important thing to remember is, even though it seems like a daunting task, if you make updating your website a priority you can make it happen in just a few minutes each week. So make it a priority! Add it to your task list!

These simple tips can help you keep your website fresh and inviting so people will want to continue to visit through that door.

Kerry Brooks is Co-owner of
ProfessionalEdge Associates, offering a wide range of marketing and support services to businesses that want to increase their success, but aren't in a position to add to their staff. Visit the ProfessionalEdge website at www.gettheprofessionaledge.com, email info@gettheprofessionaledge.com, follow them on Twitter @profedge, or like their Facebook page.