Catch 22.0

Nearly all businesses have some kind of presence online. Right? Well, Probably. Today’s entrepreneurial mantra is likely to be that there’s no business quite like online business. Why? Because invariably, it’s recognised as relatively risk-free route to growth. So far so good. Yet interestingly, yesterday’s report by Infoserve presented quite a business conundrum. If, as the survey claimed, that 80% of the businesses questioned understood the importance of their businesses appearing on the first page of Google search rankings to attract traffic, why did only a third make the connection between high rankings and keeping their website content fresh? Regardless of industry, the outcome of a business’s website is wholly dependent on what that company does. For example, a manufacturer, a retailer, and a non-profit organisation will all benefit from a website in radically different ways. However, what they have in common is that the potential usefulness of a website is wholly dependent on how they choose to maintain it.  Unfortunately, so many businesses fall into the pitfall of thinking that once an all singing, all dancing site has been created, that the job is done.

Search Engine Results - Your Site Number One

Businesses are constantly changing and evolving. Small businesses probably more so than most. As such, it’s important that your site reflects this. If you remember, in my earlier blog, Building a better online presence for your business, I talked about the importance of making your site ‘sticky’. How engineering interaction on your site encourages visitors to spend longer on the site and inevitably come back.  So,  when they come back, what do they want to see? Exactly the same thing as last time or new and engaging content?  After all, when we do the supermarket run, it’s not the ‘basics’ on our list that get us excited, it’s the new promotions and products that make the mundane task of the weekly shop a little more exciting and keeping us engaged enough so that we spend more money. The good news is that with the growth of web 2.0 innovations such as rich video and social media, there’s loads of avenues which you can go down to create new and interesting content for your site.  This can be through forums and reviews, blog posts, a news stream or a bolt on video; all of which are easy to create and easy to maintain. Businesses really need to get a grip with this disconnect if they want to compete with the endless stream of content being produced online not just by competitors but by their own customers. In an age rich with information, constant regeneration of content is simply what we expect, we’re used to it.  Businesses, take note, you’re websites only as good as its last refresh.

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