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Maintaining Your Web Site

by Lisa Kryder

How does your organization communicate to your current clients -- telephone, fax, snail mail, cell phone, telegrams, e-mail? Think back to when you first acquired those clients. How did you reel them in -- telephone, brochure, letter, networking, mass fax, full-scale mail campaign, web site? Now that you know them, you want to keep them informed about your company, services, products, updates, mergers, staff updates.

Which of these options has proven to be the most effective tool? Which option is the least expensive? I suspect you'll answer "e-mail" and "web site."

If your organization has developed a web site to introduce your company to prospective buyers, that's great. But now what? Remember that your web site doesn't run itself. If your organization puts up a site and never updates it, it's like printing your marketing brochure and never mailing it out.

When your prospects take a look at your web site but don't need your services right away, they might quickly move on and forget about your company. If your site enticed them enough, though, they likely bookmarked it so they can easily go back.

A few months later, these prospects come back to your site to check out the newest information about your company. What do they find? If it's the same information they saw months ago, what are they likely to think? Here are some possibilities:
1. "I don't care that this company is stagnant; they must be busy!"
2. "That is the same content they had months ago; this company is a loser!"
3. "I'm out of here. Their competition stays on top of the latest nformation and provides useful tools, informative content, resource links that assist us in what we need! I want to work with a company that behaves like that."
4. Take time to e-mail your site's webmaster and say it is a loser. Then complain that the site is so stale, it became a time-waster. "We had thought about working with your company. But if you operate your site like this, maybe you run your business like this too. We have decided to move forward with your competition."

Hopefully the point is clear. Before you plan to develop your site, make sure that your firm can either handle the updates in-house or you can afford to hire a firm to maintain it regularly.

Remember, you don't pick up a magazine and find the same content cover to cover in every issue. Think of your site as a periodical piece of communication that must be viable and timely. Who has time to waste on old news?

The Internet is about Instant News, Instant Education, Instant Communication. Use it effectively by maintaining your site regularly.

"Regularly" means either daily, weekly, or bi-weekly.

"Regularly" doesn't mean every so often, whenever you have time, when you happen to think about it.

"Regularly" means you have a schedule of changes and have put someone in charge of them.

� Lisa Kryder, All rights reserved. can get you set up on that regular schedule.

Share your "horror stories" about web sites that fail to deliver on their promises. Tell us what you thought and did. Will you go back to those sites or are they gone forever in your mind? What suggestions do you have to keep your own web site fresh and crisp?

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