A recent study found that 54% of small business owners update their websites less than once a month. This makes sense to us. Rosie was talking with a business owner this week who wanted a one page website with map and hours, and that’s it. She doesn’t like computers, doesn’t want to pay for updates, and is thinking of her website as the equivalent of a one-page magazine ad.
There is definitely a place on the web for sites like this. If your customers look for your company by name online and don’t find it, they will find you less trustworthy (studies say) and will be more likely to visit your competitor who is online. A well-designed website that gives them the information they need to come to your brick and mortar shop will increase your sales.
However, there are things to be said for updating your website. The same study found that weekly updates could triple site traffic, and that integrating social media brought better results than PPC campaigns.
Clients of ours who added a weekly blog post in the past few months are now showing increases of 40-70% in traffic, so we find these results believable. So what’s the easiest way to keep your site updated?
- Blogging is the simplest, most obvious way to accomplish this. The cost of having your blog updated regularly is less than advertising in your local paper.
- Featured content can bring blog posts, tweets, or your calendar onto your home page. You can even use the same technology to pull in news feeds or blog feeds automatically from other sources.
- Get site updates on retainer. We do this, and so do plenty of other companies. For a monthly fee, you can shoot your web pros an email asking for a change or a memo that needs to be added to the company news section, and not think about it any more. One of our clients said that he has lots of people in his company who could do these jobs, but in actuality they get passed around till it’s too late. When he sends things to us, they get done immediately.
- Make cosmetic changes. While design changes are often the most expensive things to do, changing out an ad or an image is not a big job, especially if you tell your designer ahead of time so the option is built into the site. You can rotate the images in your header, change colors, or add products if you have a CMS; we’ve had clients who had this functionality in their ready-made websites and didn’t know it.
In short, while a static website can give value to your customers and is certainly better than nothing, a regularly updated one is more likely to bring you new customers, more likely to bring people back more frequently — and may not be as hard to accomplish as you think.