8 Tell-Tale Signs NOW is the Time to Refresh Your Website Content
Is it time to update your corporate website content?
If you're like most businesses, you’ve probably refreshed parts of your website—on occasion.
But I’m not talking about just one or two pages.
I’m talking about the whole dang thing.
Think about it: when’s the last time you looked—that is, really looked—at your website’s content in its entirety?
Is it time for an overhaul?
Here are eight tell-tale ways to know.
1. People aren’t staying on your website
The good news: your SEO/web analytics are telling you that while some people are coming to your website.
The bad news: many of them leave almost immediately after getting there.
There could be any number of reasons for a high bounce rate.
But when you boil it all down, the crux is this: your website doesn’t appeal or speak to your target audience(s).
As a result, within the first few seconds (or even milliseconds) of entry, the people you’re trying to sell to are thinking “This isn’t for me”—and then they click away.
2. When you look at your website content, all you see is “blah, blah, blah”
"Blah blah fishcakes yada yada wah wah wah zzzzzzz..."
It’s possible you haven’t looked—that is, taken a strategic look—at your website content in a while.
So take a quick read-through. And be honest with yourself:
Is your digital content boring to read?
Do you feel proud to work for the company that’s promoting itself on this website?
Does the content even properly reflect what your business does?
And what is your online content actually saying?
Is it communicating anything of value?
Is your content meaningful or of significance to your target audience (i.e., the folks with the money)?
Or is each web page simply a smattering of words?
If you get a “blah” or “meh” feeling from your website content, it’s definitely time for a refresh.
3. Your website content reads (and looks) like it was written by multiple people
Because it probably was!
If you're like a lot of businesses, your website content may have been written by one person years ago...but over time, it’s been added to by a smattering of other folks, bit by bit.
The challenge is that while you used to have a “fresh” website written in one voice, it now sounds like it’s written by many.
And that can appear sloppy and unprofessional—because, as you know, some writers' content reads better and more strategically than others (and some is, sadly, downright terrible).
The key to clarity and brand awareness is consistency.
And that not only means removing conflicting information, but ensuring one consistent voice.
4. Your website content is inconsistent from page to page to page
"What the heck is ABC? I thought they specialized in XYZ. I want XYZ. Doesn't [competitor] offer XYZ?"
Conflicting information is often the result of updating pages occasionally, without considering the full website.
For example, one page may mention that "XYZ" is your flagship product.
But you published that page 10 years ago, when you were a brand-new company.
Now, "ABC" - which is the latest "next-gen" iteration of XYZ - is your flagship product.
But when you launched ABC, you focused only on creating a new page about ABC...and forgot to remove the old XYZ pages.
This confuses would-be buyers.
And given that many folks don’t have the time or patience to follow up with you to clarify things, they may simply go to a competitor’s website.
5. Your dates are…well, out of date
When you refer to timeframes in your content, you run the risk of that information becoming outdated.
As an example, “Lindsey McCaffrey has 14 years of B2B and B2C expertise in writing, editing and content strategy" was accurate...but that was five years ago, when I first published that statement.
Especially in a saturated business (like, for example, freelance writing), those additional five years can make a HUGE difference in:
Differentiating me from other content strategists with less expertise;
Upping the "impressiveness" factor; and
Increasing my audience's willingness to put their trust in me.
6. Your website is missing important or key information
What’s happened to your business since your website content was last updated?
Has your company:
Won any industry awards?
Gone through leadership or strategic changes?
Taken on any Fortune 500 clients?
Achieved any other significant milestones?
And what about your team—particularly your C-suite, executives or other folks in charge? Has anyone:
Earned their MBA (or other) degree since you last updated their bio?
Undergone important training relevant to their job or the overall business?
Joined Boards of Directors or contributed to the community?
Done anything else that would improve prospects' impression of your company?
All of these things can help to differentiate and even elevate your business above the others, making it stand out against the competition.
7. Your website refers to products or services you no longer offer
"I'm sorry sir, we don't offer free delivery anymore." [hangs up] "That's the fourth angry call this week! We really need to remove the 'free delivery' reference from our website. Also, I need a vacation."
Your content may include a particular product or service you no longer offer—or no longer want to offer.
Regardless, you don’t want to talk about it anymore. But it’s still on your website!
And so, every time someone asks you about that product or service, you have to:
Go through the uncomfortable conversation of “Yeaaaah…I'm sorry because I realize it's mentioned on our website, but we don’t do that anymore”;
Make it appear your business isn't on top of important things (like keeping its customers updated on key offerings); and
Disappoint a potential customer.
8. You're embarrassed by your website
You may not know exactly what needs to be fixed, but you instinctively know something needs to be done to improve it.
And so, you’ve stopped referring people to your website.
Or, when you direct people to it, you make excuses—like “oh, we’re in the middle of redoing it.”
It may be the content. It may be the graphics and images.
In many cases, it’s probably both.
"Can't I just focus on my job - and not all these other things being thrown at me?"
The intent of this post is NOT to stress you out about revamping your corporate website.
I get it: you're probably crazy-busy with so. Many. Other. Competing. Business priorities.
And even if you have a marketing team, it's likely they have enough on their plates as well (I've worked on many marketing teams, so I totally empathize).
The last thing you want to do is add more to your insane workload.
So what do you do, when you know it's time for a website overhaul...but you don't have the bandwidth to do it?
You turn to someone like me. (Or, more specifically, me.) :)
I can make your life easier - with awesome, dynamic, compelling web content!
Let's talk about how to remove your stress while still getting strategic, high quality, audience-targeted content that converts.
(Need a full overhaul of content AND web design? I can help you with that too. Email or call me to discuss your options.)
"Writer for hire" Lindsey McCaffrey is an award-winning writer, editor and content strategist for businesses and non-profit organizations. Learn more about Lindsey here. Or, contact her today to discuss your content needs!