Does Your Business’s Website Need a Manager?
Small business owners and managers have plenty to do. And a large number of them put their websites on the back burner after their sites are online. A neglected website loses value quickly. A well managed website will keep the content and the functions of the site up to date and working smoothly. That management will help a site maintain its value.
There are three basic areas that need to be manged in a website. First, a site needs content updated on a regular basis. Second, a site needs to have it’s structure reviewed and updated. Third, a site needs a back end review of things like its domain, hosting and email setup to make sure that services are renewed on schedule.
Keeping a website up to date for most small websites is not costly. It just requires a little discipline. Many smaller businesses only need to make a change once or twice a month. This job is normally turned over to someone who has little experience in web work and doesn’t have the time to learn it. This lack of experience can hinder the performance of the site.
We can help by managing your website’s content for you. We will develop a plan and a schedule for updates. We will also review the back end of your website operations.
Content is one of the primary items a website manager needs to update regularly. The frequency of updates will vary for different businesses based on what goes on in their markets. Those that update frequently are often able to stick to a schedule and keep content up to date. Those that don’t find it harder to stick to a schedule. This is where we can help. When we manage your content we will make sure it is updated on schedule.
Determining When to Update
Businesses need to create a program for content updates. For some businesses an update every couple of weeks is ample. For others, they should make daily modifications. This factor is determined by their markets.
A business that is selling heating and cooling services in a small community is likely to have just a couple of competitors. And you wouldn’t expect those competitors to be updating their sites very often. Reviewing the site and posting up to date content every other week will help keep this site fresh and well ranked in the search engines.
A business that is selling cars in a big city needs to update their site daily. Maybe several times a day. Why? Because their competitors are doing exactly that. Car buyers are likely to be looking for cars for several days in a row. And they are looking for new material on the websites. When visitors find nothing new, they probably won’t be back to check the site again. This will cause their site ranks to fall. And dropping behind competitors will have a negative impact on their site’s traffic.
Customizing a Plan for Content
Our website management services will include a plan designed to keep your site updated on a regular basis. We will take a look at your market and your competitors and develop a plan that will work for your business.
Review the Website Structure
Businesses need to review their entire websites on a regular basis. Even those that make daily content modifications tend to forget about back pages. For that car dealership, someone needs to review the entire site on a seasonal basis to insure that a special promotion is not out of date. It doesn’t look too good when a visitor finds an offer on a website that is no longer available.
Comparing to Competitors
In your website review you need to also review the websites of your competitors. Doing so will keep you from getting behind on any new elements in your market. And it will keep you in close competition with others in that market.
Back End Review
There are businesses out there that have posted their sites and practically forgotten about them. That is until someone calls them and wants to sell their domain back to them after it has expired. Forgetting to keep updated contact information on your domain provider or hosting service can cause sudden problems that can be very hard to overcome. A schedule needs to be developed to keep a regular check on those functions.
Are You One Of Those Who Forgot?
Too many small businesses today have put their websites up and forgotten about them. If you are one of those, then now is the time to develop a plan for getting your site active again.
Make Us Your Website Manager
If you find it hard to create a plan for updating your website or for sticking to a plan, then we will be happy to help you. We will review your site, review your market and review your options. Our services range from designing a plan that you keep in-house to creating and managing a plan for you.
Contact us and we can help you develop a plan to manage your site effectively. We can schedule regular content updates, make scheduled site reviews and keep a check on your site’s back end.
Content is King
In January of 1996 Bill Gates, a co-founder of Microsoft, wrote an essay that holds true today, just in a slightly different context. The “Content is King” essay referred to the process of selling information over the Internet. In 1996 less than one percent of the world population was using the Internet. The essay was written before most people knew anything about the web.
What is Web Content?
Web content is the textual, visual, or aural content that is encountered as part of the user experience on websites. It may include—among other things—text, images, sounds, videos, and animations.
A business has many options in the type of content it can present on the web. The two primary elements of web content are text and media. We all know what text is. Media includes several elements. Those are images, video, animation and sound.
In creating web content, text is the first thing most of us think about. But, the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” rings as true on the web as anywhere. And the presentation of a quality video can raise a presentation to another paradigm.
Today, on the web, the impact of animation and sound can be very good or very bad. Poor animation can simply be ugly. Unexpected sound can catch visitors off guard and simply piss them off. Be extra careful when using these mediums for your web content.
Web Content Management
Content is king, especially on a website. A beautifully designed website is inviting to new visitors. But, quality content is what gets them to stay on the website and, in most cases, come back repeatedly.
Business Website Content
Content is the key element that makes a business website. It needs to be created thoughtfully and carefully through effective web content management.
Businesses need to update the content of their websites on a regular basis. Old content carries a range of liabilities. It chases away regular visitors to your site. It sends harmful signals to the search engines. And it brings your commitment into question. Updated content can be enticing and encourages them to visit in the future.
Blogs run on a timeline. Content is updated in younger blog posts. Older posts serve as a record of the past and don’t always need to be updated, especially if newer posts update content that is outdated on older posts. Creating a link from the older post to the newer one with a little explanation of the changes helps visitors and has a positive impact on your search engine ranks.
Republishing is another option for older posts. But, they need to be updated and the post should reveal that it is an update. Blog content that is no longer relevant, or out of date, should be deleted and/or replaced when republishing.
Selling Website Content
Many people consider “selling content” as selling a subscription to a blog or selling ad space on a blog. Gates predicted in his 1996 essay that this type of content provider could “expect a lot of disappointment in the short-term as content companies struggle to make money through advertising or subscriptions.”
He went on to predict:
In the long run, advertising is promising. An advantage of interactive advertising is that an initial message needs only to attract attention rather than convey much information. -Bill Gates
Today, that “initial message” comes in the form of the title and description of the website. These are the first things a searcher sees when they get results in the search engines. If their content quality attracts the attention, then the visitor will click through to the site. Next come the quality of the websites first headlines and text. Their quality determines whether the visitor scrolls further on the web page. Then the quality of the web page determines whether the visitor goes to additional pages.
As you can see website content can break down at many points. Quality web content management helps avoid this.
Contact us if you need help with your web content.