One of the biggest struggles we have with our small business clients is getting them to understand the connection between regularly updated, relevant content and higher traffic and user engagement.
Many small business owners want it to be easier than that. They want to put up a static website, in the same way they might publish a glossy brochure, and not pay any attention to it for another year or so, until it’s time to make a few updates and reprint.
Websites don’t work that way. You can have an attractive website that showcases the work your business does or the products it makes, but if you want to have people find your site who don’t already know something about you, you’ll need to make some special arrangements to provide content.
Some businesses know exactly what they want in a website. They simply want a portfolio of their work and nothing more. One new client we’re working with wants a website that legitimizes their business for the government clients they are already talking to about a relationship. In this company’s case, they don’t need to attract new clients through their website. They simply need an effective website to seal the deal for clients they’ve already begun a relationship with.
But most of our customers need to use their websites to attract new customers in order to get a good return on their investment. And part of getting the best return on your website investment is using it wisely. Here are some of the objections we hear and what we have to say.
I don’t see why my site has to be updated regularly. There are two audiences for your website: customers/potential customers and search engines. The search engines are important because they send potential customers who want your product or service directly to you. Updating your site regularly makes both audiences like your site. A real human sees that you put time and effort into updates; a search engine sees that your website is more current and informative than those of your competitors.
I don’t want to give away information. These types of customers generally run a service business and are afraid that they’ll give people all the answers. If they write how-to articles and educate readers, they think those people won’t need to become clients. The truth is that potential customers don’t want to do it themselves. They want to know who the expert is to do the work for them. Writing articles that offer a glimpse into your expertise can help build a relationship with a customer. Don’t give away any trade secrets, but think about the kinds of information people want to know who might be hiring someone like you.
I don’t have time to keep my website updated. That’s a legitimate reason; most small business owners are very busy. You need to weigh the importance of updates with the amount of business you need to get from your site. Maybe you could task an employee with writing blog entries or creating educational articles for your site. Maybe you could hire a writer or web marketing expert like us to create regular content for you. If you do, make sure whomever you hire understands your business and what sets you apart so your updates aren’t generic and dull.
Try an experiment: Commit to six months of weekly updates and see what kind of traffic increases you see at your website. You don’t have to write every day or even every week, although weekly updates tend to deliver the best results. Perhaps you could write several entries at one time and then post them over the course of a month. Whatever solution you work out, remember that in order to get the best results, you need to update your site with information that helps people understand what you can do for them and establishes you as an expert.