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Is your website's suffering from the stale content syndrome? Read about the impact of stagnant web content on your business and explore actionable tips to keep your website fresh and performant.
Last Updated May 11, 2024
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Every once in a while, you need to get a haircut, buy a new car, repaint your house, and so on and on. With the nicer weather in the spring, you open the windows on your house to let the breeze come in and refresh your place after the long winter dull. Well, the same applies to your website. You need to keep your content relevant, so that with changing seasons, or changing public interests, you continue getting visitors to your website and the customers through your door. 

Unfortunately, a stunning 80% of small business websites are suffering from a stale content syndrome, or rather the website content that has not been updated in a while and is no longer relevant. A stale website can not only confuse your customers and harm your company’s reputation, but also cost you money in the long run.

In this article, I will attempt to dive into this pervasive issue, explore its causes, understand its consequences, and discover strategies to overcome it.

According to recent online user behavior studies, around 75% of consumers, when searching for a solution online, judge a company’s credibility and offering based on its website design. Additionally, a whopping 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a website after a bad experience. These statistics highlight the critical role a website plays in shaping your website visitors’ perceptions about your brand and influencing their purchasing decisions. Yet, about 80% of SMB websites have not received any updates, be it to content or the design, in the last 2 years. 

Staleness can creep into your website for various reasons:

Infrequent updates

Neglecting to update the content of your website regularly can lead to stale, outdated information that fails to engage your visitors. Luckily, there is an easy fix for that. Read on. Yeah, I hear ya – you are focused on running your business and don’t have the time to keep updating your website. Or you don’t know how to do it, it’s too technically challenging for you to navigate all those WordPress Admin interface screens. (btw, I admit – WordPress Admin interface is not that modern and intuitive). These are just two of the common, or rather, most common excuses I hear from many SMB owners I work with. And I’m not taking them, since and as you will learn further down in this article, there are so many creative approaches that could be applied to avoid the ‘infrequent udpats’ trap.

Outdated design

A website with an old past-trend design can appear unappealing to your visitors, especially those of the younger demographic. A mobile-first design is generally desirable these days, yet many SMB websites were made with the desktop-first design approach. And despite that, a high percentage of them is not changing the desing. As a result, those websites, when visited from mobile screens, appear distorted, are hard to navigate and the visitors quickly give up scrolling through them.

Poor performance

There is nothing more frustrating than slow loading home page, or the extended time it takes to go from page to page. Broken links, internal or external, can further frustrate your visitors and drive them away.

Lack of interactivity

This is an interesting one. A static website lacking interactive features, such as pop-up with offers or elements visibility based on certain conditions,  may fail to keep your users’ interest. Don’t sweat though, there is a role for static websites.

Read more about static websites in this DigitronicBlog article – How to create a static website for free and host it for free.

A stale website can have significant repercussions for a small business, and yes, can cost you money:

Poor search engine visibility

Websites that have not been updated in a while tend to rank lower in search engine queries, as your website is sending a signal to Google and Bing and Yahoo that it has not changed in a while and there is no need to crawl it again. 

Lost customers

Consumers searching online for a solution are unlikely to trust a business with a stale website, resulting in less people coming through your door and lost opportunities for sales. 

Damaged reputation

An outdated website reflects poorly on the credibility of your business and the ability to provide the solution consumers are searching for, and can potentially drive them away from your offering to an alternative solution (or product) provider. If the website displays a live feed of your Google Reviews, and if that feed has not been filtered to show only the highest rated reviews, your business reputation will suffer. Read more about the importance of managing your reputational risk.

Decreased revenue

With fewer visitors, a stale website directly impacts the bottom line, leading to decreased revenue and profitability. Add to that recent government efforts across numerous countries and states to increase minimum wage (i.e. to $20/h in California), and your business could be closing the door in near future. 

Did you know?

Did you know that approximately 20% of new businesses fail during the first two years of being open, 45% during the first five years, and 65% during the first 10 years. Only 25% of new businesses make it to 15 years or more. It is therefore extremely important to keep your website content, and marketing content in general, fresh so that you can have the continuous influx of customers coming through your door. 

To breathe new life into your stale website, consider implementing some of the strategies and tools below:

Refresh your website content

Regularly update your website with fresh, relevant content to keep visitors engaged and informed. The type of content you can keep adding to your website could be blog posts, events, landing pages, product descriptions, infographics, videos, pop-ups, quizies, etc. Make sure you refreshed website contains both Topical and Evergreen content and a good mix of Informational vs Transactional content. Google judges website pages based on the credibility of the page and uses the concept called EEAT which stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. And though EEAT is not a direct factor in Google ranking, Google still prefers serving search results with E-E-A-T. So, it is an important concept, at least as a guideline in your Content SEO strategy.

Start a Blog

The easiest way to keeep your website fresh is by adding a blog to it. Content Management Systems (CMS) like WordPress, Ghost, SquareSpace, Duda or Wix make it really easy to write blog post, and update and manage the content. If your website is not already running one of those CMSs, you may look into giving your website a facelift and transitioning to to a more modern tech stack.

Beginner Friendly
Wordpress
Free

The world's most popular content menagement system that every SMB owner can use for free. It’s a popular tool as it does not require any coding experience and it can be easily extended with many features. As many SMB websites are build with WordPress, adding a blog to it will be a piece of cake!

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Sell products on your website

Adding the ecommerce capability to your website will enable you to expand your customer base beyond your locality, increase brand awareness and create a new revenue stream for you. You will gain 24/7 sales capability without adding much of the overhead cost, certainly not in terms of physical bodies that would need to man your store. Additionally, you can use chatbot to provide the first line support to your shoppers. To have your products visibile in Google search, make sure you link your store with your Google Business Profile. Platform like Shopify and SureCart offer an easy entry point into the wonderfull world of ecommerce.

Shopify

Shopify is a leading e-commerce platform empowering business all over the world to create online stores. Shopify's rich eco system lets you to establish your brand, sell, market and manage your products, all from one place. If you want to get serious about ecommerce, you go with Shopify.

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SureCart

SureCart is a relative newcomer in the field of WordPress ecommerce, yet it is stealling spotlight from the WooComerce mammoth due to its rich feature set, powerful checkout builder packed with conversion-boosting features (i.e. one-click order bumps and upsell funnels), and easy store management. SureCart is easy to set up and even easier to use.

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Add the events calendar to your website

Use the tools such as The Events Calendar to publish your sales events, referal promotions, new product launches and unboxing, holidays timetable, etc. on your website to keep the visitors informed and encourage them to return to the website regularly to check for updates and thereby increase website traffic. Additionally you could add forms to the events to collect visitor information which you can use later for email marketing purpose.

The Events Calendar

The Events Calendar is one of the best events calendar plugins WordPress that helps you easily manage events on your website, sell tickets, import events from external sources (i.e. Meetup, Eventbrite, iCal, Google Calendar, etc) and build a community around your business.

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Use content generation tools

Take advantage of the GenerativeAI and use content generation tools to write the draft of your blog post or help generate your social media copy. Be cautious not to dump the generated text into your blog, but rather revise it to give it your own voice and make it appliable to your business. Customize it for your locality. Tools like Rytr, Writesonic, Jasper, Anyword and Sudowrite are axcellent at generating content, much better than freely availalbe ChatGPT, which is still good and fun to use.

Rytr

Rytr is an AI copywriting tool that helps you create high-quality content effortlessly and in your unique voice. It comes with 40+ content use cases and is ideal for website content, marketing materials, blog outlines, social media posts, and SEO meta descriptions. It is one o fhe best AI content generators in the market today.

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Embark on a design overhaul

This may be a larger job than you initially imagine, but sometimes it may be necessary. Hire a designer to give your website a modern makeover with a fresh design that reflects current trends and aligns with your brand identity. You can hire a freelancers from service marketplaces such as Fiverr to not only overhaul your website, but also update your brand aspects, refresh your logo, desing your social media images and so on.

Alternatively, and if you are a DIY type, you can use tools such as Kadence AI and design a webiste with the help of GenartiveAI by KadenceWP, the developer of one the best WordPress themes today. As GenAi, no matter how good, cannot do the job completly for you, you will need to apply finishing touches. The differentiate your website from the stock websites many of your competitors are running, get the tips and trick and learn from the winning website designs found on Awwwards and SiteInspire.

Kadence AI Starter Templates

Kadence AI let's you experience the next level site creation with the use of Generative AI. Make your website in minutes with customized copy and images and hundreds of customized pages and patterns available to give you the head start.

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Analyze your website performance & optimize it

Use website analytics tools like Fathom Analytics, Burst Statistics and others to gain insights into your visitor behavior and identify areas for improvement. Idenity your website entry pages, most popular blog posts as well as the pages and posts that are not performing that well. Use SEO optimization tools like RankMath to improve those pages. Learn about your visitor demographic (i.e. age, location, language, etc.) and use that information to personalize the experience for your visitors.

Fathom Analytics

Fathom is a Google Analytics alternative that’s simple & privacy-first. It is a cookie-free, GDPR compliant solution that protects your visitors digital privacy, is easier to use and guarantees perpetual data retention.

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Additionally, SEO tools like RankMath, SEMrush or Moz can help you spot and fix broken links, assist with keyword research, and generally optimize your website for search engines, thus improving its visibility and attracting more traffic and more shoppers through your doors.

Rank Math SEO

Rank Math is a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plugin for WordPress that makes it easy for anyone to optimize their content with built-in suggestions based on widely-accepted best practices, thus helping your website rank higher by making it SEO-friendly and your content worthy of featured Position in Google search.

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Enhance the website interactivity

Incorporate interactive features such as popups, sales banners, chatbots, feedback forms, and social media integration to boost engagement and encourage interaction. Kadence Conversions is an excellent light-weight tool that lest you easily add interactive promotional material to your website and engage your visitors.

Kadence Conversions

Kadence Conversions is a no-code WordPress block tool that helps you capture your website visitors attention with easy-to-build sale banners, slide-in notifications, cookie consent forms, customized modals, and more.

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It’s all about GenAi these days, and DocsBots, being one of the newer GenAI tools can help you bring the number of those support calls you receive down by acting as your 1st line support agent. Just let it roam through your existing documentaiton to learn on it, and DocsBot will do a fine jobs answering questions on your websites and improving visitors experience.

DocsBot

DocsBot is an AI powered chatbot trained with your content and documentation to provide instant answers for your customers, or your team with DocsBot helps you save money and improve the support experience for your customers, the productivity of your team, and AI copywriting with existing knowledge of your business!

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Use products like WP Social Ninja (by the maker of excellent Fluent Forms and Fluent Booking plugins) to add a social wall to your website by incorporating your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and other social platforms feeds. Connect your website with your Google Business Profile to have your Google Reviews automatically shown on your website. Make sure you apply a filter to show the highest rated reviews. There are so many strategies that you can apply to make your website more interactive. Giveways, check! Gamified Wheels, check! Floating bars, check! Inline forms, check! Quizes, check! Surveys, check!

WP Social Ninja

WP Social Ninja is the all-in-one social media plugin for WordPress website that fetches social feeds, user reviews, and social chat from multiple sources for to display them in your website.

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There you have it. By implementing strategies that prioritize regular content updates, optimizing user experience, and incorporating modern design elements, small businesses can overcome the issue of stale content and stagnant websites and enhance their attractiveness to existing customer as well as new visitors and prospects. A stale website can pose a serious business issue that can negatively impact your bottom line. By recognizing the signs of staleness, understanding its consequences, and acting promptly on it, you can breathe new life into your website, making it more engaging to your visitors and and more successfull in drawing in your target audience.

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