Refresh your website regularly

Why not use every available weapon to keep ahead of competitors?

Online, competition is fierce. But there are plenty of things you can do to stay ahead of the pack. One important (and often overlooked) way to stay sharp is to make sure your site is updated regularly.

What happens when you never change your shop window?

There’s a shop in Brighton’s North Laine whose window hasn’t changed for almost a year. It is open for business. But spiderwebs are steadily colonising the display which looks more and more faded, tatty and neglected week on week. You get the impression that nobody’s home and nobody cares.

Take the scenario online and it’s just as disheartening to find a website unchanged month on month. Just like on the high street, to keep shoppers inspired and sales healthy your site – your shop window – should be dynamic, exciting and stimulating.

Luckily there’s plenty of scope for new online content

A handful of random ideas in no particular order:

  • Linking to new, exciting content – articles, power pages, newsletter, archive, Q&A, customer feedback
  • Rewriting product and service descriptions
  • Event marketing: write new content based around events like Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day…
  • Introducing special offers, new prices & products, complementary products, new services & business partners
  • Asking for visitor / customer feedback via questionnaires, surveys and opportunities to vote
  • Announcing new research, white papers, successes, case studies and testimonials
  • Promoting a customer competition
  • Setting up a blog
  • Including targeted RSS feeds

Avoid disappearing up your own corporate backside by remembering to stay focused on visitors’ needs. While news about your business is exciting to you, it won’t perk your visitors up anywhere near as much. Stick to things that’ll interest them: customer, industry, product, service, information and offer-based content.

Last but by no means least, something that’s often forgotten. While adding fresh content is vital, it’s equally important to remove old, out-of-date information from your site. Best of all, regular updates also make search engine bots ‘n’ spiders happy so deliver an ongoing natural boost to your site’s visibility.

If time’s an issue, take on a good copywriter.