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If you build it will they come - keeping your website up to date

by  David Dwyer on  10/06/2014    1412 Reads

What an updated blog could do for your website - and your business

The journey to creating a successful online presence doesn’t end when your new website goes online. In fact, going live is only the start. To get the most out of your investment in your website – and to make it work its hardest for you – you need to think about how you’ll keep it up to date and engaging for readers in the weeks, months and years ahead.

 

The businesses we work with add ‘stickiness’ to their sites in lots of different ways. The most common are regular stock updates, company or supplier news, photos and special offers – but you’ll know what’s likely to be most interesting for your customers – and what will keep them coming back for more.

 

We recommend that clients incorporate a blog (like this one!) into their websites where possible to help keep their websites fresh. Not only do blogs give potential customers an insight into your areas of expertise (though customer tips, ideas, FAQs, observations or whatever else you care to write about), blogs also have the advantage of attracting search-engine traffic to your website as potential clients seek out specific information.

 

The easiest and most effective way to tackle keeping your website up to date is to make a detailed plan –ideally before you go live. Look at the year ahead and plan a calendar of updates to showcase different aspects of your business on a regular basis or reflect on items of seasonal/monthly interest.  If you’re writing blogs, use a similar approach to plan your topics in advance and don’t be afraid to share the workload. There’s no rule that says you have to write all the blogs yourself. Take the opportunity to show off the breadth of your company’s experience or the skills and interests of different members of your team. Taking this approach can make your blog more engaging to readers, lighten your own workload and, in turn, make it more likely that you’ll keep to schedule.

 

If you’re thinking, ‘Great, I’d love to write a blog, but will people actually read it?’, you’re not alone. It’s a question I get asked a lot. The answer, I’m pleased to say, is ‘Yes, they most definitely will!’ Analytics are now so detailed we can tell exactly how long users spend on each page of a website, as well as the engagement they make while they’re there. The reverse is also true: analytics can tell us what parts of a website users aren’t looking at, and thus which parts of a business might need a little push through some content updates or specially focused blogs.

 

I won’t kid you – keeping your website up to date takes some work and careful planning, but it does pay off in terms of improved search-engine results, attracting and retaining customers and showing off what makes your business special. And that’s why you wanted a website in the first place, wasn’t it?
 

David Dwyer is Managing Director of Inspire Web Development. He has years of experience in a range of web and IT roles plus seven years in sales and marketing in a blue-chip FMCG company. David’s academic and professional qualifications include a BA (Hons) in Business Economics (Personnel & Ergonomics) from the University of Paisley, an MSc in Information Technology (Systems) from Heriot- Computer Society, Entrepreneurial Exchange and Business for Scotland.

 

Follow Inspire on Twitter @inspireltd and @developersos

Inspire Web Services, Search Engine Optimisation (Web Copy), Sticky Websites, The Evolving Web, Website Copywriting
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