Update Your Website Content Effectively
4th March 2021

Your website is your online business card. Your shop window. Your virtual billboard. It is the one part of the internet that you control. Wielding that power can feel pretty awesome. If you update your website content regularly and effectively your website will become the tool that helps you achieve your goals. What if you don’t keep things fresh and info up to date?

If you don’t prioritise updating your website regularly you lose a lot of that power. You might lose a lot more. Your site may become less visible online, your reputation could suffer and both loyalty and trust in your brand could start to wilt. Not updating your website content really can be damaging. You wouldn’t let your shiny business card fade, get dog-eared and then hand it out to potential leads with the wrong information on it, would you?

Are You Who You Used to Be? Is Your Business the Same?

Think about where your business was when it launched vs where it is today. Think about the language you used, the images you chose and the services that you offered. Do these represent who you are and what you offer today?

You don’t necessarily need to delete outdated content. If you want to get more traffic to your website, refreshing old content is the perfect way to do just that. That how-to guide you wrote that was shared by hundreds and drove loads of traffic back to your site when you shared it on social media? That may be outdated now but with a few tweaks and some fresh information added in it will still be a very valuable piece of content.

Take time out to view your content periodically to ensure that it aligns with who you are now, and what you offer.

update your website content, Nicki Cawood, Nicki Cawood Copywriter

Updating your Website Content: Pages

Your Home Page

Your home page needs to grab the attention of a visitor and then keep them there. I’m not a web designer but one great tip is to make sure all the most important information can be seen above the fold. This means that visitors don’t need to scroll down to find out who you are and what you do. 

Look at your website homepage. Can a visitor easily see

  • What your current offers are
  • How you help your clients or customers? 
  • What do you stand for? 
  • How will they feel different after working with you?

The home page is often the first place a potential customer will go. You don’t have long to make a connection. You need to make sure that you update your website content regularly to make sure they see the up to date you.

About Me

I love a good about me page. It tells me where people are, expands on what they do, who for and why. This is important to me. I want to know that the reason that Jane offers baby yoga classes for parents and little ones is that she struggled to find time for herself when her firstborn came along. Now she’s helping other new parents feel less isolated and helping with their physical wellbeing too. Go Jane!

I want to know that the car dealership I’m considering using has been in business for years, recently won an award for great aftersales service and that they are up to date on car things. Ok, I’m not a car person but that doesn’t matter. A good About Us page tells a story, it doesn’t blind me with jargon. It makes me want to know more about them. It builds trust.

There is a storytelling aspect to the About me page but that doesn’t give you a licence to waffle. A good about me page will:

  • Explain who you are
  • Tell the story of your professional journey
  • Explain how you help people, what problem you solve and how.
  • Demonstrate how you’ve provided solutions for others
  • Illustrate your mission. Why do you do what you do and how do you do it better/differently from others?
  • Introduce your team members and explain their roles

This is a lot of information. It needs to be broken down into smaller chunks and of course, it needs to be up to date. If you are branding yourself as an ethical company explain this. If you used to be a sole trader selling books but now own a brick and mortar shop and have three staff members, update your website content to reflect this. With an important page like this outdated information will turn potential customers off fast.

Services & Prices

Please ensure that your services are up to date. If you don’t offer something anymore, remove it from your website. If you offer something new, get it on there and shout about it. Very few people will contact you to ask if you sell or offer something if it isn’t clearly advertised. Don’t miss out on sales. Similarly, if the way that you deliver your services has changed, make sure that is clear too.

If you advertise your prices online are they up to date? Are you charging enough? If you are a service-based business and haven’t updated your prices in five years you aren’t accounting for the five extra years of experience, training and everything else that your clients are receiving. Be clear about what you are charging, what for and don’t forget to pay yourself properly.

If you don’t advertise your pricing, say why. I don’t have a rate card on here. You can find out more about my pricing in the FAQ section on my contact page. See what I did there? I am encouraging readers to visit the page where they can see my FAQ section and contact me.

Contact Information

Is this up to date? Does your contact box even work? How frustrating to be wowed by your home page, touched by your career story and then not be able to get in touch. Check your contact box works. Leave an alternative method of contact such as an email address, a phone number or both.

The contact page is a great place to leave some frequently asked questions or FAQs for your readers. These should be aimed at answering questions that are likely to crop up before a potential client contacts you. Questions about pricing and the process are popular, even if you’ve covered this elsewhere in your website content. Make sure that your FAQ section is up to date and gives the right answer to the listed questions. It might be that your services or processes have changed and therefore your FAQ questions need updating too.

Update Your Website Content: Other Pages/Parts to Consider

There are lots of bits and pieces on your website that you need to keep on top of.

  • Testimonials – If your last testimonial was from 2006 get some new ones on there
  • Awards/badges – If these are still current/valid make sure they link through to the awarding body they came from or an announcement. If you don’t have your achievements up there, get them up
  • Broken links/images – Urgh! These are annoying. Check that your call to actions all point to the right place, that your links work and that your images display properly. It’s hard to trust a business with a visually displeasing site that is not maintained. A broken link will rob you of the opportunity to encourage direct contact or to show off a blog post or product that you are proud of. Ahref’s broken link tool could be a good place to start.
  • Product description – Review these every so often and make sure they are correct, relevant and engage potential buyers.
  • Footer information – This is another key place that visitors look for information. Don’t let them down.

Have a look around your website and see if you can see anything else that is out of date or in need of revamping.

Evergreen Content is King, Queen and All the Other Important Chess Pieces

Updating website content regularly is an important business tool. The web pages above are essential. You don’t want to be changing them significantly every month though. Regular blog posts, however, offer the customer new ways to get to know you, your mission, your products and your services. By offering something of value to your network or potential clients, such as a great guide on how to update your website content effectively, you will build trust, loyalty and engagement.

I could write a book about content strategy and other aspects of website copy but will spare you. What you really need to think about is evergreen content. Like the trees that never lose their leaves, evergreen content doesn’t go out of date. These are guides or articles that stand the test of time. You may need to go and change tiny portions of them every now and again but they don’t go out of date as other content does.

Other content is fine, but if you prioritise evergreen content you will be building a directory of great advice, information and value that may be referred back to time and time again. It benefits your SEO (Google loves it) and shows that you are an authority in your field.

This blog post explains Evergreen content in more detail: Are you writing about Covid?

Evergreen, evergreen content

Bonus: Don’t Forget to Update Everything Else

This handy checklist will help you keep on top of other key pieces of information that should be kept current. Bear them in mind when you update your website content.

Google My Business – This is a great tool. It is your business card on Google and allows you to reach your target audience in a number of ways. Update your links, your branding, your opening times and anything else someone might want to know about you.

Consistent Messaging – The internet is wonderful. You can spread your message far and wide. If your messaging has changed, make sure you hunt down as many examples of the old you and update it. Mixed messages don’t go down well.

Bios– If you have a bio on any other sites, social media and otherwise, make sure they are up to date. Guest posts are a great example. If you wrote for someone else you want their readership to be able to find you.

Security – Do you force your way through security warnings to visit a site? Do you wait for a slow website to load? No, me neither. Make sure your SSL is up to date and your plugins and themes have been updated and are working correctly. If your website is still slow, talk to your hosting company.

Branding – Have you rebranded? If so make sure that your website isn’t the only thing that looks swanky and new. Update your social media pages, directory listings, headers, profile pics and everything else. Consistency and a recognisable brand built trust and loyalty.

do more, computer screen, update your website content

Best Practices For Updating Your Website Content

There are many moving parts of your business. I always remember starting out in 2006 and thinking that all I needed to know was how to write. So funny! I didn’t realise that I needed to know about graphic design, accounting, web design and everything else that goes into running a successful business. You wouldn’t forget to update your accountant so please make sure that you make it a priority to update your website content. Make a good job of it as great content will help your business grow in ways that no other tool can.

If you have any questions or are looking for someone to give your website content a free, no-obligation health check – get in touch.

 

Nicki Cawood, Nicki Cawood Copywriter,
Nicki Cawood is The Small Business Copywriter.

Established in 2006, she has provided copywriting, editing, rewriting, blogging support and more to many many small businesses. 

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