Web Development

How to keep your website up to date on a small budget

In this day and age where a website is the main source of information for customers about a business, you cannot afford to leave it to chance.

You have probably been postponing or pushing aside the idea of revamping your site, likely because you think it is too expensive or you just don't have the time to do it. In this day and age where a website is the main source of information for customers about a business, you cannot afford to leave it to chance. A recent study involving local consumers showed that 28% believe that having a smart website adds credibility and they are more likely to buy from the website. You therefore need to take time to ensure that your site fits the bill. The following tips will help you create an appealing website without having to spend a lot of money or time.

Strategic blogging

If you don't have a blog for your website, you need to have one. A blog allows you to update the content of your website frequently and easily. Blog about your niche industry, how to solve problems related to your field or how to accomplish a certain task for your readers. Hire a freelance writer to do this for you if you don't have the time to do it. A blog is an information resource where visitors can learn about your industry without necessarily feeling that they need to buy from you to benefit. By providing value to visitors, you develop readership and authority which translates into sales in the long run.

Add video

The closest thing to real life on the web today is video. By incorporating video into your website, you add that extra touch of reality that your visitors can connect with.  About 60 hours of video are uploaded on YouTube every minute. You can decide to either tap from this huge online resource or take your own videos using a smartphone or a Flip video camera. You can start with a welcome video that tells your visitors what you do and what your business is all about right on the homepage. Your blog can also feature video posts where you post talking heads interviews or your own testimonials. Videos that feature industry thought leaders and ‘how-to' content are particularly popular online and can help boost your website as a valuable resource for information.

Free resources

No one wants to buy all the time. As an expert you also know that there are many products and services or valuable information you can give out for free without hurting your business. For example, if you are a web designer, can you offer free tips on how to create a simple blog layout? If you are a software engineer, can you offer advice on how to hire the right developer for a web application? You can even offer a free download of the checklist you use before developing an application for a client. Being a free resource will allow you to garner a fan base that will be willing to buy from you when you finally launch a book or a service that they may need.

Social media tools

Almost every article you come across on the web has a sharing option to either Tweet it or to post it on your Facebook wall. This is a great way to build awareness about your brand's products or services.  In addition, search engines like Google are using social elements to determine the relevancy of your content. The more your content is shared, the more valuable it is perceived by search engines and this will gain you more ranking points. Adding sharing buttons on your website has never been easy. There are free widgets across the web that give you the code needed to display the share buttons on your site or blog. Some even tell you where to place the code on your web page. By having share buttons on your website and blog, you make it easy for visitors to share your content right within your website without having to navigate to social networks. It is well-known that people are more likely to listen to their friends' recommendations than to what an expert in the field might say. By not allowing sharing on your website, you are missing out being recommended by your visitors.

Install analytics

Analytics are software tools that you use to monitor how your website is doing in terms of website visits and conversions.  Free tools like Google Analytics can even help you determine where your website visitors are coming from, which pages on your site they are visiting and for how long. By looking at these statistics, you are in a better position to see how your site is performing and what you need to do to improve your website visibility. Google Analytics will even recommend what keywords people are searching and which ones are driving traffic to your website. By looking at keywords that perform well on search, you can then incorporate these into your site which will help boost your search rankings and help you be found easily. By learning how your visitors interact with your website, you are more likely to create content that resonates with them.

About

David Gitonga is an avid reader and writer and has worked with various companies to design, develop, and maintain their websites. He has worked with websites as an online content marketing strategist in the field of tech, social media, design, and de...

8 comments
davisg
davisg

Many thanks thanks for this summary but yet contains lots of information in details.

DavGit
DavGit

Thanks Tom. Point Taken. I think developers just need to find a way to incorporate video while avoiding "having noises start blasting out of a page the moment it loads." Check out "http://www.conversocial.com/" on how to implement video on the home page the right way.

sperryr
sperryr

Though this article gives some good ideas on how to keep your website "up-to-date" with fresh content, I am not sure it addresses how to "revamp the website on a small budget". Revamping suggests improving the form, structure or appearance. This is what a web designer is paid to do and what I thought I was going to read about. I actually think you can learn a lot by reading comments. In most cases, the viewer to your website comes for a specific reason and we have to structure or "revamp" the website to meet their needs and be cognizant of how valuable their time is. The website should be structured so that the viewer is in control and what keywords or search drove them to your site is available right when they get there. This article talks more about keeping content fresh and up-to-date. Don't get me wrong, this is critical to a successful website but a "revamp"... I don't think so!

BillGates_z
BillGates_z

It's vitally important to add all kinds of distractions and entertainment features to help use up those boatloads of free time you have. Blogs are great for that since, well take her for example, daily blah blah blah is soooo vital to ...... uhhhh (it'll come to me...)

tom.marsh
tom.marsh

My least favorite web-fad right now is the idea that every web-site needs videos. And while there's a simple solution to sites that have added videos (don't play them) it gets a little more irritating when the videos on sites home pages (or any page) are set to start playing immediately. That's just ridiculous: The last thing I want is to open a site in a tab and have some video start braying on in the background. It's really irritating when there's a delay before the video starts and you're opening multiple tabs and you can't figure out which one the noise is coming from... Also, I often surf with music playing, and having some video (usually preceded by a twice-the-volume double-your-distraction advertisement, of course) start playing really wrecks my enjoyment of my music and detracts from my overall experience. If I was a developer, I'd be working on browser plugin that automatically pauses/doesn't load the braying "auto-play" videos that web-sites are using these days. I'd download it... For that matter, I would PAY for a plug-in that does that.

DavGit
DavGit

Hi @Sperryr. Thank you for pointing that out. We have changed the title to reflect the content of the post.

DavGit
DavGit

Hi Tom. You can always set the video to playback only when a visitor clicks the "Play" button. Research has shown that people are more likely to play an audio or video clip rather than read content when offered the option to do so.

tom.marsh
tom.marsh

The problem is that 99+% of the sites I visit aren't sites I control, so I don't have that option. I'm complaining as a user of web-sites here, not as a designer of them (although I suppose I technically am both.) While I do believe that "when given a choice" people are more likely to view a video (since the American public reads, collectively, at an average 4th grade level) what site designers need to realize is that this isn't a universal truth, and that a significant number of users are diving to click "stop," "mute," or, in my case, leave your page for one that doesn't start braying noise at me the moment it loads. Sounds that just start playing have been a design no-go since the 1990s... And even though retro can be cool, sometimes, in this case having noises start blasting out of a page the moment it loads is not cool. It is, in fact, the opposite of cool. If you really are intent on jamming a video down our throats with auto-play, at least start with the audio MUTED so that the people who don't want to watch the video (because they were taught how to read) aren't subjected to the audio interruption.