Is Your Website Good Enough? – 5 Ways to Avoid Website Complacency
We’ve all heard about how important it is to have an online presence – to cultivate your website’s reputation and keep your content fresh. However, there comes a point when updating your content just doesn’t cut it anymore. Frequently, I’ve heard sentiments like this regarding a company’s website: “It’s good enough for now”, “I’m eventually going to get a new site”, “It doesn’t matter, we don’t get much traffic anyway”, etc. But, is it really good enough? Some companies and organizations redesign their website annually – which is not what I’m suggesting. Rather, I advocate evaluating your website frequently to determine if your website is still being effective for your organization.
COMPLACENCY BREEDS STAGNATION
Tony Robbins said, “Complacency breeds stagnation, unless you’re extremely dissatisfied with your current pattern of behavior, you won’t be motivated to make the changes that are necessary”. If you become complacent in just about anything – your relationships, your career, your website – you’ll stop progressing and stop growing personally and professionally. The same is true of your website – being complacent with your website, assuming the it’s good enough for now, can lead to a reduction in search engine ranking, reduced website traffic, a hit to your website’s authority score – overall stagnation. Correcting website stagnation can take weeks to change. So, how do you keep you keep your website from becoming stagnant? Follow these basic website maintenance tips:
5 TIPS TO AVOID WEBSITE COMPLACENCY
Here are five tips to help keep your website content fresh and to avoid website complacency.
1. EVALUATE YOUR DATA FREQUENTLY
What do I mean by this? You should (if you’re not, that’s a topic for another time) be collecting data about your website using Google Analytics or some other data tracking software. If you’re not, check out this post about Google Analytics here. Why? Well, first, GA (Google Analytics) can tell you a lot about your visitors, what they do on your site (or don’t do) and how they convert. This data can tell you a lot about where your site is succeeding and where it’s failing. And, just because it’s not failing now, doesn’t mean it won’t in the future. That’s why it’s important to review the data that GA provides frequently and make changes as necessary. This tool can tell you whether your website is good enough or not and where you need to improve. It’s not necessary to check your metrics every day unless you’re expecting the data to change that quickly. Bottom line: Check your data frequently to stay ahead of any trends and to ensure your site is still converting.
2. CONSISTENTLY ADD CONTENT
It’s important to not only evaluate the content that you do have on your website to make sure it is still relevant, but to also add new content that will provide value to and engage your visitors. Doing this creates a two-fold benefit: First, new content will help drive traffic to and give your visitors a reason to stay on your site. Keeping a visitor on your site is challenging; your content needs to be not only engaging but be what they want – solving a problem, offering money or time saving tips, or providing in-depth how-to instruction on a popular topic. Second, frequent and consistently created content will give your site an “SEO boost” by seeing the steady flow of new content and pushing your site to the top of the SERPs. Search engines like Google love new content, especially when it positions your website as an authority on the topic. Consistent new content is the best approach toward avoiding website complacency. Bottom line: Consistently add new and engaging content to your site to help give you an SEO boost as well as to engage your visitors with new content.
3. DROP OLD UNDERPERFORMING CONTENT
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it begs to be mentioned – content that was once relevant, shiny and new but has seen better days should be dropped from your site’s sitemap. Why? It hurts your search engine ranking. Old or even underperforming content can be seen by Google and other search engines as being low quality. Google will demote poor quality content in favor or newer, more popular content. For example, if you have a post that recounts the design trends from 2012, it isn’t likely to be helping your search engine ranking anymore and should be removed from your site. However, if you have a post that could be tweaked or updated, such as ways to improve search engine ranking because algorithms have changed, update and republish the post and have the search engines re-crawl your site. Bottom line: Get rid of old outdated and underperforming content as it is probably hurting your search engine ranking.
4. KEEP UP WITH YOUR COMPETITORS
This doesn’t mean copy what your competitors are doing – simply see what kind of posts they are adding to their website, what content they’ve added and how they are marketing themselves currently. It’s good to be aware of what your competition is doing to A. compete on like products and services by knowing how they are marketing their products and services and B. to not duplicate what they are doing to market their products and services. Why? You can’t compete if you don’t know how a competitor is marketing the thing you’re competing with them about. At least, not successfully. Finding a niche, or a way to differentiate your product or service from theirs, is really the best way to compete, which you can only do by examining their marketing angle. Second, if you duplicate the same marketing strategy as your competitor for a like service, you’ll be perceived as copying them and likely won’t be viewed with respect by a customer or your competitor. Bottom line: Stay up to date on what your competitors are doing – don’t copy, rather, emulate the practices that are working well for them. Be original, but competitive on like products and services.
5. FIND OUT WHAT PEOPLE ARE SEARCHING FOR
This is something you should be doing anyway but it bears reminding – using online tools, like Google Keyword Planner or Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest, you can see what keywords and phrases people are searching for to give you ideas of how to target your content marketing. These are metrics you should be following anyway, however, by taking a more active role, or proactive role, in finding ways to reach more people or reach more of the people you want as customers, you can avoid having your website get stagnant with information. If you want to see how people are finding your site in their search queries, you can use Google Webmaster Tools, if you’ve set it up for your website. Here you can see queries (what people have searched for, as well as impressions (how many times it appeared) and clicks (those that clicked on your site in the search results). It also shows you queries that you showed up in the results for but not necessarily were clicked on. It will even tell you your position within those results. Bottom line: By knowing what people are searching for, you have a better idea of how to market to them. Use online tools to examine user searches and optimize your site accordingly.
As stated earlier, correcting website stagnation because you’ve become complacent with your site can take weeks to fix. And, like most things in life, regular and steady maintenance can make a huge difference – in keeping your site fresh AND your bottom line. Certainly, these aren’t the only ways to avoid having your website not be good enough, but these are perhaps the easiest to accomplish with the greatest effect. Got any website maintenance hacks or tricks? Let’s hear them!