Tips on How to Update Your Website
Websites are a lot like clothing – when something is out-of-date, it’s obvious. And unlike grandpa who can get away with those dated duds, your website must keep up with the latest trends if you are going to stand out (in a positive way) from your peers. A website can still convey a classic or old-fashioned image, if that is what you want to communicate, but it must do it in an up-to-date way. And old and dated website simply looks old and dated. It’s nothing to be proud of, and it won’t help you land even old and dated clients.
A website must be constantly evolving, changing, growing and improving. Not only does change ensure that it is up to date, but it improves the website’s search engine optimization (SEO) performance (where the website appears in searches).
The changes need to be strategic and should consider things like what searches potential clients are typing into search engines, what pages are getting lots of visits, which pages aren’t seeing much traffic, the type of work that you are seeking, and the latest professional developments in the lives of the firm’s members. It is better to have no news or blogs than the latest posting being dated years or even months ago. If it is old news, take it out of the rotation or move it to some sort of history or archives section.
FAQs & Blogs
Including FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) and blogs on topics that the type of potential client that you desire would be interested in reading can do wonders for your SEO and the engagement by your visitors.
Blogs should be substantive but not too long. Five hundred words seems to be a sweet spot. FAQs can be modeled on the searches that people are actually entering. There are services which can provide you with that information.
Gone are the days of packing your site willy-nilly with keywords. The latest Google analytics will actually punish you for doing this.
The Google “bots” that determine where your site will appear in search engine results are looking for fresh, current, substantive information that they believe their users are looking for. Give searchers what they are looking for not what you want them to know.
Quality Website Visits
A quick word to the wise on web designers. Many will call, email or show up at your office, show you some statistics on your website’s performance (visitors and their engagement), and promise to increase the number of visitors by some percentage. Run.
While obviously more visitors could mean more potential clients which should mean more actual clients, your goal is just that – clients, not website visitors. There are lots of tricks for driving website visitors (some companies even use digital robots or programs which “visit” your site thus driving the number of visitors up), but what you ultimately want is more clients. It’s better to have 5 visits by individuals who are genuine potential clients than 5,000 visits by “individuals” (bots) that will never be clients or referral sources.
If you don’t engage someone to generate the material necessary to keep your site updated, then it is going to require some work on your part. Even if you do, you should be engaged with whomever is doing your writing and managing your site so that they are aware of any trends that you see in the pipeline of your potential clients and in the marketplace generally, and any changes in your client or work goals.