Don’t Just Change Your Website, Improve It

Content_Marketing_ChallengesMy local supermarket changed its layout last week.  It’s annoying. I used to know where everything was and this weekend I had to hunt for half the things I needed and gave up on two or three things on the list all together. They did it to keep things fresh.  To make people like me wander down aisles they’d never normally venture into on the off chance that we might be tempted to buy something we never knew we wanted.

I know the theory…but I don’t believe it works. If it elicits the same frustration and impatience in everyone else as it does in me, it’s definitely more cross patch than cross sell! But it’s a surprisingly common approach, not just for supermarkets, but for all kinds of businesses: with a tendency to rejig the company website to keep it fresh, instead of adding something fresh to keep visitors interested.

At CME we help lots of clients with their websites and we always view them as a work in progress, even when they’re ‘finished’.  But that doesn’t mean that they should be redesigned every year or two with new navigation and a whole new look - far from it. Such major changes can make it difficult for regular visitors to find what they’re looking for, prompting them to look elsewhere instead. A website should be a work in progress because it is scalable and designed to offer new and interesting content to keep visitors returning, sharing and recommending the site to others. In short, it should be designed around content marketing not just a description of the company.

So what is content marketing?

It can include:

  • Project case studies
  • Technical articles
  • Blogs
  • ‘How to’ articles
  • Topical industry comment
  • Social media feeds
  • Video or audio content

The art is to keep adding new content that will be of interest to visitors without bombarding or confusing them.  The site needs to be designed around that premise and underpinned by an effective SEO programme that will help drive visitors to your website from general searches as well as encouraging existing traffic to return.

I will get used to the new supermarket layout, no doubt shortly before they decide to shake things up again. Or, perhaps, at some point, somebody will realise that it would be better to add new things that might be of interest than to move what was already there.