MARKETING TIPS: WHY YOU SHOULDN'T LET YOUR WEBSITE STAGNATE DURING CORONAVIRUS
Written by Nathan Bees
Last updated: 22/05/2020
At Yachting Pages Media Group we are passionate about marketing – we love to help businesses flourish and fulfil their potential. It’s what we do. It makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside.
However, we understand the predicament businesses currently find themselves in. The world is in the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic and economies are grinding to a halt. It’s a difficult time and careful decisions are being made by business owners to ensure they can begin operations again as quickly as possible when lockdowns are lifted.
In these uncertain times one thing remains sure, however: Marketing is key – even in a crisis. With this in mind, we’ve decided to share some key marketing tips and advice in a new series of articles, specifically designed to help you help your business during these challenging times.
In the fifth article of the series, we discuss just how important it is to keep your website updated during the lockdown. New content and features are incredibly valuable, but you can’t afford to neglect the output you’ve already published.
Keep your website up-to-date to remain relevant and trustworthy
We know there are enormous benefits to creating new content and features on your website – both in terms of SEO and to provide you with social media ammunition – but what about all the pages that already exist?
It’s easy to think that once your website and all its pages are published, they can just be left untouched forever more. Unfortunately, this is one of the biggest digital marketing faux pas a business can make.
It’s never advisable to simply leave your website and every page on it ‘as-is’ until the end of time. There are numerous reasons why this is the case and it can have lasting damage. If left long enough, the value the pages brought previously may be totally eradicated and all the other websites that are frequently updated will leapfrog yours, leaving you nowhere to be seen.
Coming back from that position can be even more time-consuming than it would have been just to keep the pages updated in the first place.
Improve and refine the UX and design of your website
Innovation and updates are essential if you want to give your business the best chance of remaining relevant and, ultimately, successful.
As with anything in life, people are constantly looking for something different, something that’s better than they’re used to. The same applies online – trends change, SEO evolves and users become much more expectant. In the digital world the process is incredibly fluid and can change at the click of a mouse, and if you aren’t ready to adapt to it you’ll be left behind.
The fact of the matter is this: A stagnant website is not doing your business any justice whatsoever. You need to keep on top of the ever-changing digital landscape and improve what you’re offering your users. You could be selling the best product/service in the world, but if your website is clunky, takes an infuriating amount of time to load and offers poor functionality, you may as well not bother. People won’t see a purchase through to the end. It’s sad but it’s true.
It’s essential that you constantly undertake any modifications necessary to improve the UX of your website and strive to make the user journey as quick and painless as possible – not just for the users themselves, but for the search engines that rank your site too.
If your business’s website really isn’t up to scratch, it’s worth enlisting the help of a web developer to identify issues and fix them for you. Of course, this does bring about a certain level of expense (and the price will vary greatly depending on how much better you want to make your website), but longer term that sum will prove negligible given the benefits it’ll provide. Your business needs an attractive and dependable digital presence to be successful – as superficial as it may sound, it’s human nature that people (and search engines) are attracted to good-looking things.
Not every website will require such large-scale improvements. However, if this applies to you, don’t go thinking there’s nothing you can be doing to improve the quality of your site. There’s ALWAYS something you can be doing!
Go through every page on your website and think about what you can do to make it even better. Is there a redundant part of the purchasing journey that you can refine or remove? Can you alter the layout of your home page to make everything more easily accessible? Are there any pages that could do with rewriting if you now question whether it reads correctly?
Now is the perfect time to audit everything and implement whatever improvements you can, so that your website is ready for action when the industry gets up and running again.
Updating existing content is just as important as new content
It’s not just your website as an overall entity that needs to be continuously improved; your content articles need to be too. Sitting there and admiring it isn’t going to get you anywhere!
What to do when you rank highly on Google
If you dedicate the time, effort and energy into producing a content article that ultimately ranks highly on Google and other search engines, providing information or insight on a subject lots of people are keen to find out about, you can’t afford to rest on your laurels. Assuming it will stay there indefinitely without nurturing it is, unfortunately, a naïve and futile tactic. You’ve worked so hard to get there in the first place, why would you want to sacrifice the benefits that come with it putting up a fight?
When you rank top for a particular search term or chain of keywords, you can be sure your competitors will be doing everything they can to topple you as soon as possible – such is the power and credibility that comes with ranking highly on Google. It’s important your article stands strong and capitalises on the fact the search engines already love what it’s got to offer.
The best way of doing this is by:
- ensuring all of the text is grammatically correct and without spelling errors
- ensuring all content is factually correct and up-to-date
- utilising formatting
- adding to the text if necessary if there is new information to share
- adding new digital elements such as video or images where appropriate
- using keywords throughout, but not for the sake of it
- sharing the article across social media channels
By doing these things and keeping on top of the subject you’ve written about to make sure you know everything there is to know, you give yourself the best chance of holding your lofty position. There are other factors involved, which can sometimes defy even an expert’s idea of SEO best practice, but generally speaking you won’t go far wrong if you are proactive and constantly striving for perfection.
What to do when you want to improve your ranking on Google
We’ll be honest with you, much of what you need to do if you’re one of the chasing pack looking to secure a higher ranking on Google can be found in the bullet point list above. The list is, essentially, the criteria you need to follow for any content article you publish to ensure it’s in the best state in can possibly be in.
However, there are a few additional things you need to do if your article doesn’t currently rank highly.
Topping your to-do list is learning from the success of current articles. Do your research and understand what the articles currently ranking highly offer that yours doesn’t. Often you’ll identify a number of differences, whether it’s the length of the article (remember: Google prefers long-form articles, so if yours is too short it will hold you back) or the number of supplementary elements (like videos, original images or infographics), which will give you an idea of exactly where you’re going wrong.
Learn from them and use it as inspiration to reimagine your article. Don’t be afraid to give it a complete makeover if you feel that’s what it needs – but NEVER copy someone else’s text.
Once you’ve gone through this step, you can look at what you can bring to your article that will separate it from the rest. How to do this varies greatly depending on what you’re writing about, but it could include an interview with an expert, sourcing external authorities that may supplement what you’re saying or by embedding your own video or graphic. Consider anything and everything that will make your article different to everybody else’s – it may be exactly what you need to propel yourself above the rest.
Once you’ve made these improvements, don’t expect to see success overnight. Or the next week. Or even the next month. These things take time, the Google algorithms take a lot of things into account when indexing pages and you can’t rush the process. So don’t be worried if you don’t notice any changes in the short-term – this is perfectly normal.
While it might be frustrating to have to wait for the potential fruits of your labour, you can be sure that by doing the right things now you’re giving yourself the best chance of success. It may feel like too much effort, but visualise the rewards and focus on that. Future you will be very grateful you did.