As a part of the presentation I gave to the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, I listed four reason why the life of a typical corporate website is not an enviable one. Here’s a recap:
1. It is Static
Which means that the day-to-day efforts that make your company great are not being reflected and shared with your visitors. Those interesting ideas, insight, thoughts, and opinions you have? Lost.
A static website also lacks the ability to have a dialog with your customers and prospects. It is clear to me that the power of blogs and podcasts is that they are predicated on an architecture of participation.
2. It is Cumbersome to Update
Anybody with a voice in your business hates your website. Why? Because it’s too damn hard to add a new page. Don’t believe me? Here’s the steps:
- Open a new page in favorite editor
- Create/write the content
- Spell check
- Preview the content locally
- Upload the new page via FTP
- Secretly test the page
- Revise the navigation scheme throughout the website to reflect new page
- Rinse and repeat
Blech. Not exactly conducive to new content.
3. It’s Hard to Find Stuff
Do you know the average time a first-time visitor spends on your website? Three minutes or less. And because you’ve placed important content in a variety of places, there is a good chance that your visitor is missing something you thought was important.
4. Google Doesn’t Love You Anymore
While search engine optimization techniques still have value, Google give much more weight (and search result order) to content that comes from a dynamically-created, often-updated website. Like a blog. Or a podcast.
There have been no less than three occasions (that’s I’ve gone to the trouble of checking) when I placed new content on a site (either blog or podcast) that could be found on Google within one minute.
Bottom line: A static corporate website will become more and more problematic as time goes on and users expect more from their vendors/solution providers. The question you have to ask is, are you willing to risk losing business to your competitor because you haven’t taken the steps to communicate the way your customers want?
Nice and informative post!
I firmly believe that search engines loves fresh and unique content in your website. And having all the same thing all these time- you just have to think again… It may be the end of your website..
Could not agree with you more. Although, I think more and more businesses/people are becoming aware of the “static” and “hard to find stuff” issues. More sites are becoming web 2.0 savvy and the rush to flush everything to the frontpage of a site is becoming obvious.
However, it’s number 3 and 4 that give websites the most trouble. imho, cms (content management systems) are becoming easier to understand and thus making it easier to use. Given the flexibility of systems like Drupal, Joomla, Expression Engine…toss in blogging software like WordPress, Blogger, and Typepad, “cumbersome”… maybe? but it’s still a time-killer for someone. To me that’s the bigger issue, who’s going to do it? Solve that question, then make him or her a cape, give them a superhero name like “CodeBreaker” or “Social Mediator Man” or “I’m the Only One Who Understands the Importance of Online Media and Sure I’ve Got Hours To Do This Stuf Woman.”
To your point about #4, Google-Love. That may require an additional cast of characters to keep up with the search giant’s ever changing path to total domination. Just about when you think you got SEO down and the idea you need to be extremely text friendly. Google drops “universal search” on us. Now, how many web folks spent the night retagging all their media files. SEO should be at the forefront of every business that is online, planning to go online, or wanting to survive online.
Keep up the Good work. I love listening to your podcasts for more insightful ways to maximize production.
Thanks for listening to the show and reading the blog, Stefan.
I must say though, I don’t know, about home pages getting better. For a variety of reasons, I have found myself visiting lots of corporate websites for the first time and boy oh boy, nothing but static content spread all over the place. And while it’s certainly true more sites are becoming web 2.0 savvy, I’d guess it would be in single digits.