… so why expect your audience to enjoy your outdated site?
When you look at your site, do you get the same feeling as looking at a rerun of the A-team or McGuiver on television?
Is your latest article or newsletter dated months ago, and the colour scheme just ever so slightly outdated? There’s an old saying that goes, ‘you never get a second chance to make a first impression.’ Your website is the first impression visitors will receive about your company, your products or services. If the information found there is outdated, or no longer correct, the first impression isn’t going to be very good. Nothing to send the user back to the search engine quicker. It’s like picking up the remote and flicking to a different channel.
The impression an outdated site creates is that you are out of touch on your web, so most likely outdated in your service offering, approach and views. Amazing how quickly an outdated site can seem comical. With the font and colours not quite hitting the spot any more.
But how do you stay relevant and ahead of your game, generating leads and keeping loyal customers? Realising that your time is limited, it is a great idea to keep an eye on your analytics. Find out which pages are visited and by whom.
The most crucial content to update is the news articles, blogs, press releases, events and anything with a date. Nothing like an old date to release as odour of staleness to hit you between the eyes with more force than an old French cheese. Good to follow up events by a post-event article.
Remember those old “career” pages? Has your last appointment already been on annual leave?
Remember how exited you were when your website was launched – to know that you are online and visible to the entire world? Now the challenge it to keep your website fresh and relevant like the day it was launched.
If you are really stretched, remember that you don’t need to undergo a complete website redesign every month to keep things interesting. Instead, consider the following strategies for ways to update your stale website without a significant investment of time, money or energy:
– Keep your “About” page, usually your home page, updated. Why should you be the customer’s choice – what sets you apart from the competition? Most companies slap together a generic “About” page – only to realize later on that it isn’t connecting with readers in a meaningful way. If you find yourself in this position, don’t worry. It’s easy to update your “About” page in order to make this content fresher and more engaging for viewers.
To revise this all-important page, start with the “5 Ws”:
• Who are you?
• What do you do?
• When did you open for business?
• Where are you located?
• How are you achieving your business’s aims, in other words, how can you help them?
– Get a blog to ensure that your content is fresh and engage the users. Blogs are great from both a reader and an SEO standpoint. When you install and regularly update your company’s blog, readers come back again and again to see what new information you’ve posted. The search engines also reward your site, as the inclusion of more content naturally creates more opportunities to get picked up for different keyword-specific search results pages.
Installing a blog is easy when you use Joomla. Truly, the harder part is setting and sticking to a consistent publishing schedule.
– Try a new template, while keeping articles simple and relevant. If you want to go all out and truly freshen up your website, you can’t do much better than trying a new template.
If your website operates on Joomla, updating your stale look and feel truly is as simple as uploading a new template. Of course, with any template swop, you’ll likely have to do a bit of clean-up work to ensure that your information displays appropriately within your new site. However, the time and cost of doing so still comes in dramatically lower than having a custom site built from scratch, making this a smart way to update your stale website.
The more time a customer spends on your website, the more likely they are to purchase your services or products. When there is no fresh content, there is no reason for customers to return to the website because they’ve seen it all before. However, adding fresh content, valuable tips, important news and new product information will keep customers returning to the website. This is especially powerful if you join forces between your website, Twitter, Facebook and any other social media of your choice.
In today’s digital world, websites must be more than simple, static billboards that telegraph the same information day in and day out. Your users are expecting an engaging, dynamic presence – and the easiest way to convey this feeling is to regularly update your content. At the same time, regular site changes are important from an SEO perspective, as the search engines value and prefer to reward websites that feature “fresh” content.
Search engines can smell a stale website through cyber space the way you can smell a camembert left in the sun, and in the same way you dislike stale bread, users dislike stale websites. Ignoring the authority a stale website has acquired, users and search engines prefer fresh and frequently updated websites over ones that are stale.
But how do you know that your site’s diagnosis is stale?
1. The Copyright in the footer says anything earlier than 2015.
2. The last published article in the news section of your site was from 2 years ago.
3. Your design/logo on your site is out of step with those on your marketing materials or social media, if you even have that.
4. Your back-link profile consists of links from … oh wait, you don’t have any back links.
5. No one uses the keywords or phrases that you once optimized for.
6. Very difficult to navigate since there is no clear site/page hierarchy (aka: no header tags).
7. “Multi-media” is a foreign concept.
8. Centred text is everywhere.
9. The site is mostly text.
10. Half the products/services you offer aren’t even on the website and those products/services offered are outdated or long gone.
11. There are no signs of social integration … anywhere.
12. Your contact email goes to an unknown or ‘dead’ address.
13. You can’t manage any of the content since it was not built on a content management system like Joomla.
14. Pictures representing your products/services/business rock 80′s or 90′s fashion and hair-dos.
15. When you log into Google Analytics, you see the dreaded: ‘zero visitors’.
16. If visitors stumble upon your website, they bounce right away.
17. Your design is outdated. Black background and pink text is so … stale.
18. Your site is 800 pixels wide.
19. It was developed prior to IE7.
But fear not! With a combination of time, dedication, excitement and an easily maintainable Joomla site, your site can be as good as new in no time, reeling in the visitors to the right pages, reading the fresh articles, enjoying the nice look and feel and breath of fresh air.