seo copywriting,copywriting,content management,content maintenance

Content Maintenance: Don’t Just Set It and Forget It!

Content maintenance is essential to keeping your website current, relevant, and SEO friendly. And it lets people know you’re still in business.

Have you ever visited a company’s website and wondered, “Are they even still in business?”

I have. If the content is outdated, the images are old, and the design was “Best in Show” in 2006, chances are I’ll be moving on. If the website isn’t up to current standards, the business probably isn’t either.

For many entrepreneurs, the launch of their website is the official launch of their business. They worked hard to create the perfect website, making sure to include relevant content and images, and putting effective SEO keywords in place.

But sometimes they get so busy that they forget about content maintenance.

[tweetthis]When it comes to your website, don’t just set it and forget it![/tweetthis]

Depending on your individual LOB, you might not need to check your site as much as others. My mechanic’s website hasn’t changed in ages, but he still does a brisk business. Most other SME’s, however, would be well served not to let a lot of time pass before logging on just to check analytics.

Of course, blogging once our twice per month helps keep things fresh. But does your blog comprise your entire site? Is it the only part of your business you want showing up in search engines? Of course not. Businesses need to practice regular content maintenance checks to stay forefront in customers’ minds.

Here are some things to keep a particular eye on when maintaining your content:

Update your Story: Is your About Us page more than couple of years old? Something new must have happened since then, so it would be wise to tell your story from the perspective of where you are now.

Check your Images: Unless you’re going for a retro look on purpose, your images should be current and reflect a modern image. No mile-wide ties with short sleeves!

Unlock those Keys: Keyword phrases for SEO should never be locked down. What might have worked on Alta Vista or Excite might not be relevant to Bing or Google. Keyword phrases need to be revisited regularly to keep your website as close to the top of search results as possible.

Watch your Language: Has your audience changed? Or, has your audience stayed the same, but do you need to address them differently? I might still like a brand from my younger years, but I don’t respond to language directed at 19 year-old me anymore. A language check might be in order, to adapt to your audience’s changing needs.

Regular content maintenance is essential to the life of your website and, by extension, your business. Revisit your content regularly!

So what have you done for your website lately? Share it in the comments below, and include the URL if you like!

social evidence, call to action

Social Evidence: Testimonials in Action

Social evidence is more than just tooting your horn. It’s a useful tool to showcase your brand, and create valuable backlinks to your colleagues.

It’s gratifying to get positive testimonials from clients. Whether they come in the form of a LinkedIn recommendation, or through a customer feedback form, knowing we pleased our clients leaves us feeling great!

Testimonial web pages have been used by businesses for years. But with the recent surge of content marketing, testimonials have taken on a new role as important parts of content strategy.

Why? Because they provide social evidence of your brand’s expertise, and allow your products and services to shine.

Social evidence is stronger than your average Amazon book review, or those anonymous comments on Yelp. Social evidence is provided by your clients, and include their name, title, company, and often a headshot, making the testimonial much more credible. They also give you the opportunity to create backlinks to their website or LinkedIn profile, strengthening the entrepreneurial community as a whole.

[tweetthis]Social evidence showcases your brand like nothing else.[/tweetthis]

Here are some things to consider when creating your social evidence:

  • Asking before Acting: Before grabbing someone’s headshot or using their testimonials, be sure to ask their permission, stating clearly what you’ll be using them for. Don’t forget to offer the backlink!
  • Your Signature, Please: Use your contact’s digital signature (name, title, and company name) in the testimonial. That way, readers will know that a living, breathing human provided the comments.
  • Give Face: People love seeing people, so a professional headshot of your contact will add a degree of warmth (and authenticity) to the testimonial.
  • Share the Love: If they’re giving you social evidence, be sure to give them a backlink. Let them choose whether it’s to their company website, LinkedIn profile, or somewhere else. As long as it’s relevant, and there’s a direct benefit to your contact, it works!

You can use social evidence throughout your site, wherever customer engagement is necessary. It’s also the perfect complement to your calls-to-action, giving customers that extra incentive to download that eBook, join your newsletter, or attend your workshop.

How do you use social evidence in your content strategy? Let me know in the comments below!