As someone who has built and marketed websites for over 15 years, I can tell you one of the best and worst things about a website is that you can always change it.
We’d all love to “set it and forget it” – myself included sometimes! – but to stay current for our customers and search engines, it IS a piece of marketing we do need to keep up with.
Updating your website really has two parts – the review and the actual changes. Sometimes you’ll see something and change it right away if it’s needed, like an event date that has passed or a glaring typo, such as “can’t” being spelled in a way you really didn’t mean. (I’ve seen it happen!)
Sitting down and doing it all at once can certainly work – everyone is different and sometimes, that’s the only way it will get done either because of time or you scored a great interview and now you’re trying to get it all done before a bunch of new people show up at your site.
Generally, I have found that trying to do it all at once – review the website and then make the changes – can be overwhelming and frustrating.
Here are a few ways I’ve found to make it a little easier.
The Weekly Route
One of the best things I’ve done for my business (and my sanity!) is scheduling admin time into every week to work on my business. This could be anything from proposals, updating contracts or invoicing but during at least one session a week, I take time to review my website.
I usually choose one page, go through it and make notes on what needs changing or updating. Then, during the next few admin sessions, I work through those changes.
Another reason I favor this approach is for search engines. Google, in particular, rewards sites that are updated more regularly with higher search rankings.
Let’s say there are two sites that write about the same topic. The first site was updated three months ago and the second site was updated two weeks ago, Google will show the site that was updated more recently. Most of us would prefer to see the site with the most current information.
If You’re a Fan of Batching
You could also work through types of content. This could get overwhelming for a larger site but you could, for example, go through all the links on your site, checking links to downloadable files, internal content and especially links to external content, to make sure they all work.
The Monthly Method
Another great example is one of my clients regularly has podcasts and interviews that need to be added to her website. We have a spreadsheet where she adds the information I need to add the content to her site. Then, once a month, a task comes up in our project management system to add that content to her site.
If you have marketing or content calendars, work in time for website reviews and changes. If you launch an event or course, for example, note on the calendar if and when you need to remove the registration buttons or dates from anything to keep your info current.
However you choose to do it, I find that working through reviews and changes in chunks keeps it from being overwhelming and more likely to get done.