Are you sitting down? I’ve got a shocking statistic for you. 23% of small business websites get updated less than once each year. This can be somehow veniable. After all, small business owners are busy! While striving to bring your business to a new level, building your portfolio, and delivering the deliverables to your existing clients, you’ve got a lot on your plate. I know, I’ve been there.
Unfortunately, letting your site get outdated may inevitably harm your business. Just picture it from a client’s perspective: someone visits your website because they’ve heard you offer top-notch services. When they get there, though, they find an outdated, unattractive pages with poor functionality. Your work samples aren’t up to date, and you’ve got no reviews. Do you think they’re going to bite? Most probably not.
Luckily, that's early to write a death note for your website! In this article you'll find simple, yet effective ways to strike it rich dedicating just a couple of hours per week. Let's get started!
How Important is a Website for Your Business?
First things first, let’s talk about why having an efficient website is so vital to your freelance business. Here are some stats to wrap your head around:
- People use search engines to make 6,586,013,574 searches each day
- 66% of small business owners report that attracting new customers is their primary concern
- 70-80% of customers research a business online before making a purchase
- 30% of small business owners have trouble keeping up with technology, which means most small business websites are outdated
- Google loves fresh sites, and Moz reports that one of the biggest metrics the search engine looks for is the amount of change, and how frequently a webmaster updates the content on said site. Specifically, Moz says “Content that changes more often is scored differently than content that only changes every few years.”
While these stats say it in different ways, they all point to one fundamental truth: your customers are online, and they expect you to be there, too. When they do find you, they want your website to be up-to-date, responsive, and user-friendly. When it is, they’re more likely to become customers and spread the word to their families and friends.
Good website is the core of your successful online presence. It’s that simple.
The Busy Person’s Guide to Keeping Your Website Current
Once upon a time, experts used to recommend small business owners to dedicate at least 12-16 weeks to design, build, and launch a website. Who has that kind of time?
Fortunately, that’s not the standard nowadays. Thanks to simple tools like Ucraft, you can create a beautiful website in less than an hour. Once you do, your biggest challenge is simply keeping it fresh and up-to-date. Here’s how:
Pencil it In
As a small business owner, there are dozens of demands on your time. You’ve got potential clients to meet, work to complete and a marketing strategy to spearhead. Any time that isn’t allocated to something specific is most likely to get eaten up by something else. I struggle with this just like everyone else.
The trick I use, though, is simple yet effective: to literally schedule time to work on my website. In my freelance business, I religiously dedicate time to creating blog and social content and updating my site every Friday morning while sipping my coffee, sometimes even two of them. I fix this time down on my calendar and don’t schedule anything else on top of it. It’s non-negotiable, and it’s always worked for me.
When you make your website a priority, two great things happen:
- The first is that you decrease the likelihood of a backlog, and your site becomes easier to manage. That way, when you sit down, you’re not confronting a year-old, outdated site that needs a massive overhaul.
- The second boon is that you keep your website fresh in your mind. This makes it easier to see weak points, address them, and keep your site as nifty and functional as possible.
Time to Spend: My recommendation is that you spend 1 hour per week on work that your website can leverage on. It can be anything, from online research, improving your theme and adding items to your portfolio to updating SEO and the language on your site. The other two hours should go toward analysis and content creation, which we’ll cover here.
Keep an Eye Your Stats
As it stands now, less than 30% of all small business owners basically use web analytic software. This means the majority is not aware of the number of their site visitors, conversions, or clicks. Again - I get it. I didn’t track anything on my website for years. Sometimes, it just feels easier not to come on board. Not to mention that website analytics can feel confusing and complicated.
Unfortunately, ignorance is not bliss in this context. When you don’t know what’s going on on your site, it’s impossible to update or improve it accordingly. With this in mind, you’ll want to implement a simple analytics tool, like Google Analytics on your site.
Installing an Analytics platform will enable you to figure out how many people are visiting your site, what they’re looking at, and what can be changed to offer them a better user experience.
For instance, you may be getting a decent number of site visitors each month, while none of them are contacting you about your services.
Analyzing your website performance, in this case, will allow you to expand your knowledge on your site visitors’ behaviour and adjust your strategy to improve your CTAs and offer more visible contact information.
While it can be tough to realize that your site doesn’t get as much traffic as you have expected, grounding yourself in reality is essential to enhancing your site’s performance.
Time to Spend: Installing analytics will take around 20 minutes. From there, tracking your traffic on daily basis will be a matter of minutes.
Add New Portfolio Pieces and Content Once a Week
This is the most time-consuming, yet worthwhile aspect of keeping your website updated.
Your content is the thing that changes most about your business, and keeping it fresh is the best way to ensure your new site visitors are getting a realistic and up-to-date impression of who you are as a freelancer.
With this in mind, dedicate a chunk of time each week to updating the material on your site. You can tie this in with your Friday (if you choose to follow my model) work session, or set some time aside for this at the beginning of the week when you’re full of new ideas. Make it a goal to post a few new pieces of blog content, add your most recent portfolio to your site, and don’t forget to create a new page for the services you’ve started to offer just lately.
There will be weeks that the process will take a little bit more than usual, while sometimes you won’t have many updates. That’s just fine - roll with the tips above as it comes and an eye-catching and fresh-looking website is guaranteed.
Time to Spend: 1-1.5 hours. If you’re using a platform like Ucraft, you won’t have to waste your precious time worrying about issues like SEO. In other cases, be ready to conduct regular SEO audits and sacrifice a couple of extra hours to make your website visible on search engines.
Meet Your Updated Website
Gone are the days when having an up-to-date website was a challenge.
With Ucraft you can build a beautiful and functional site in less than an hour and update it with just a few clicks anytime you want.