Having a website for your business is great. Actually it’s pretty essential. All too often though, after spending a great deal of time building a site and obsessing over every little detail, the excitement of the launch and the flurry of new and exciting information wanes and things suddenly run dry. Happens to the best of us (including us at times!)
Something that we have always tried to promote with our clients (as well as nagging plenty of friends and family members) is the value in keeping your website updated. More value perhaps than all the time taken to actually build the website in the first place. Sure, we will often encourage active management because Google loves fresh content but like anything Google-related, it’s actually more about what’s best for the user. A current and active website is most certainly best for the user.
An outdated copyright is unnecessary and gives visitors the message that you’re not really keeping on top of things
As a user, you’ve probably come across a website that looks dated. Blog posts have run dry. The footer copyright is several years behind and as a result it probably didn’t fill you with confidence about that business and/or service. You may even second guess doing business with them. Let’s have a look at a real life example.
My interest was piqued recently on this subject while doing some research on where to watch the Rugby World Cup here in Philly. There are a few pubs around town that I know will show the games so I go and have a look online. I compare Fado, Tir Na Nog and Cavanaugh’s, all places that I have been to many times for games and/or other extra curricular activities. But when comparing all their websites, the only one that i know is showing the games is Fado as they have the full list right on their events section of the website. None of the others have that information. In doing my due diligence for this casual research project I decide to call them up. Sure enough both of the other pubs will be showing the games, Tir Na Nog will even be showing some live. How will I know which ones are live and which are replays? Apparently I’ll have to call beforehand.
This experience simply highlights the value in website management. A bar that doesn’t keep its event schedule posted vs another nearby that does, is already behind in a users decision-making process. My friends and I will be eating and drinking at the establishment that doesn’t make us jump through hoops to get that information.
For restaurants and cafe’s, the website always seems to be an afterthought. But why? People visit them. People look at images and menu items. People often use them to decide whether to visit or not. How many restaurant websites do you see with outdated menu’s (or menu’s as PDF’s that you can’t read on your mobile device or no menus at all). Even if they’re active on social media channel to deliver information on specials, there is often very little communication between that and the website. Why not at least have a tight integration between them? As a side note, we are aware of some ADA compliant lawsuits against restaurants around Philly which has been quite a deterrent from restaurants actually having a website but while we consider these opportunistic trolls, it does highlight the need for paying greater attention to the ongoing management of your website. Understandably budgets and resources are always a factor but keep in mind that your information will not only keep these opportunistic trolls at bay but will also be something the majority of users will value (and potentially bring them in).
After noticing many of our hosting clients fall behind as a result of an outdated and lifeless website, we added website management packages to our service offerings for WordPress users. We felt these were an affordable way for small businesses and non-profits to not only maintain their websites but also offer some opportunities for enhancements, compliance, some SEO, some content…a useful array of options. It’s done well for those who have taken it up. There are plenty of other companies that offer an easy-on-the-budget option for keeping things fresh, not only in WordPress but others like Squarespace.
So when was the last time you updated your website? Might be time to have a closer look.