If you haven't added a word to your website in months, then it's time for new content. The vast majority of business websites haven't been updated in years. The next time you're looking for a plumber or a car radio installer, scroll to the bottom of their webpage and look at the copyright date. It isn't unusual to happen across sites that haven't been updated in more than five years. Some haven't been touched in ten. No, seriously. Hey, have you heard of that awesome movie Space Jam? Or that totally happening presidential candidate Bob Dole? The Internet is littered with the carcasses of websites that are still alive simply because nobody remembered to pull the plug.
That isn’t acceptable. People used to update their checkbook background illustrations more often than that. (Remember when that was a thing? Admit it, you had a bunch of fluffy baby seals adorning all of your checks.) It used to be more or less accepted that having a website was a ‘one and done’ type deal. Updates were strictly limited to having your computer-savvy nephew change the phone number or the physical address of your business if it happened to be necessary.
Think of the last time you strolled through an old strip mall. The kind where half of the storefronts were closed and there were more tumbleweeds than cars in the parking lot. What did the business signs look like over the few doors that weren’t boarded over?
Sun-faded. Dirty. Crooked. Unkempt. Littered with the corpses of long-dead flies. I don’t think anybody has to ask how enticing those shops looked.
We use external cues to inform our opinions of what waits for us inside the front door. And you know what? Your business website is as much the face of your business as a storefront sign. If you care enough to clean the windows and dust the counter tops, then do the same for your website. That doesn’t mean that you need to overhaul your website every six months, or that it has to super fancy.
Here’s a good way to assess where your website is at. Do you know how to add a new page or a new blog post? If you don’t know, or it’s a huge hassle to do so, then maybe it is time to have your site tuned up, or even rebuilt. A well-built website is as easy to update as a Facebook post. No really, I promise. Don’t believe me?
First, make sure you’ve logged into your site as an administrator, just like you would log into Facebook before you uploaded your latest riveting photos of food or cats. Okay. Here we go.
Annnnnnd… that’s it. One click. Either of those options will bring up a window in which you can make a title for your new page, and a box below in which you can type your content. It’s more or less a simple word processing application, like Microsoft Word, WordPad, or OpenOffice. You can change the formatting of the text, insert images, create links to other sites, etc. To make a simple text-based blog post, the learning curve is about two minutes.
Much like most word processing programs, there’s more than a couple of layers to the onion, and if you poke around online, you can find tutorials on the Internet to learn some of the more in-depth details. But the basics really are just that: basic.
If your site is too unwieldy for you to create and post new content on, then it’s probably time for a website redesign. Here’s why: a lack of confidence in working on your website is not an excuse for not keeping your site up-to-date with new content and maintaining an active public presence online. When you start digging through the data, it’s truly impressive just how much of a difference the (not-so-) little stuff makes.