By Lisa Gullette, CreatiVisibility, February 2007
Having a Web presence has become one of the most important marketing tools available today for millions of businesses. In 2004, Forrester Research calculated that world wide internet commerce would hit $6.8 trillion that year. Companies today have grown by using the Internet as an efficient use of their marketing dollar by advertising online and using the Internet to increase commerce. But visitors to Web pages do not always want to purchase online, they have other motives for reading your pages.
If you want to keep your online visitors interested in your business, you have to keep your Web site fresh. Web sites are considered “live” which means they change and evolve and interact; don’t ignore this powerful marketing tool for your business.
"Your home page is similar to your glass storefront, window shoppers will be more intrigued to come in if they see something in your window they didn't see the last time they passed by."
Here are some tips to keep your Web site fresh and live:
- Update your Web site frequently. A site that has new content on a daily or weekly basis invites visitors to return. Such updates may include a product feature on your home page, news, press releases about your company, a newsletter that can be downloaded from your site, postings of your meeting minutes or classroom notes and assignments. Other ideas include posting recent presentations, research reports, slide shows of recent events you hosted, specials you offer for the services you provide, new coupons to download, syndicated content related to your business, industry news and even cartoons, facts, tips, verses and notable quotes. The type of update is determined by the type of business you operate.
- Add an interactive feature to your site, such as a Web log (blog) or online community, membership that offers advantages to those who sign-up, and the ability to chat or discuss a topic on your Web site with other visitors.
- Create a resource on your site. If you don’t have news, presentations, or products to offer, you may consider adding new links to build a site that serves as a reference to your clients. Such businesses may be a doctor’s office. You may post a new link on a featured area of your Web site to information such as new vaccines or home treatment for simple illnesses. Updating simple links will create a resource for your clients and they will pass on the word that you have a great service online as well as in the office.
- Change images. Many times just a change in graphics or photos helps to keep a Web site fresh. Change out your home page graphic several times per year, or make a rotating image that loads a new view each time a visitor returns.
- Overhaul your site. Every few years, your site should be redesigned. Technology is changing fast and Web site functionality options increase rapidly. A site built in 2001 was designed to look good on the available computer monitors, with limitations on size, download time and resolution. Visitors can easily determine that a Web site is dated, making your business seem out-of-date as well.
In any case, create an area on your home page that notifies your visitors that something is new or has been updated, use the Internet as your inexpensive marketing tool to your advantage by paying attention to how it is working for you, and consider it to be a living device that is always at work for you (if you let it!) Your home page is similar to your glass storefront, window shoppers will be more intrigued to come in if they see something in your window they didn't see the last time they passed by.
For more information about CreatiVisibility and how it can help you leverage your Web site to be a true marketing tool, please contact us through the Web: www.CreatiVisibility.com..
Photo credit: © Natalia Bratslavsky. Image from BigStockPhoto.com