Your Website: A Living Breathing Organism
Have you ever thought that your website is a living breathing organism? Kind of silly, right? Your website may not be a sentient being where it thinks and acts for itself, but it does need to be an active, current, fresh place for your customers to come and learn about your products and services.
When's the last time you updated your website? When's the last time you refreshed the site's design? When's the last time someone viewed your website?
Many people get stuck in the "a website is a product" mentality. The idea is that you build your website once and then forget about it and it will automatically bring people to your business. Without making you too mad at me, I have to let you know, that is the stupidest idea you could ever have, and here's why.
From a search engine optimization standpoint unique, fresh content is one of the key factors in getting high rankings. You are shooting yourself in the foot when you don't update your website. The less you update your website, the less visits Google and other search engines make to your site to consider it as a top search result. The less your website's content changes, the less Google visits, and the less Google visits, the lower your rankings become. Eventually you get to the point where nobody will ever come to your website through Google because you have never updated your site and it's so low on the search results no one will see it. With so many other sites out there, being updated everyday, why would Google even want to give you the time of day? Harsh, I know, but true.
Your Customers Perspective
From a customers perspective, if your site hasn't been updated in 10 years what does that tell them? Does it tell them you stay on top of things in your industry? How else are they supposed to know that you are fresh and current, trained in the latest skills and technologies? Does it teach them that you'll quickly resolve their concerns and handle their complaints? Or does it tell them you'll treat them just like you do your website? Important once, but no longer relevant.
Regular Upkeep is Vital
Your website should be updated regularly. Think of it as your virtual office, the place people come to learn about you, and engage you. Just like you clean your office regularly, you wouldn't leave junk and outdated material out on your floor for customers to see. Don't do the online equivalent with your website. If you don't update your website regularly, it will have virtual cobwebs and dust.
A Small Tangent
Worried about the costs of regular website maintenance? Website updates don't have to be extravagant. It's all about economics and the opportunity cost of money. If you're time is too valuable, hire someone else to update it. If you can update your site at cheaper cost to you, then update it yourself. You don't have to be a expert programmer, you just have to have the right technology. Wordpress, Drupal, or other content management sites make it easy to write new articles, or edit existing content. If you find yourself too busy, then those technologies make it easier for experts to quickly update your site at minimal cost.
After All This...
Put your best foot forward. Make your website a living breathing organism, a place where you engage your customers on a personal level. Solve their problems, and show them you are relevant.