I was browsing the Internet the other day and came across a cake decorating website that looked like it hadn’t been updated in at least a decade. The page wasn’t optimized for mobile devices and the graphics looked very 1990’s and not in an ironic way.
Honestly, had it not been for the parts of the site that referenced the current year, I would have thought they were out of business. I understand that times get busy and I certainly don’t expect anyone to update their website daily or even weekly. However, in general, we as entrepreneurs need to do better about reviewing and updating our online platforms. So my question to you is, when was the last time you looked at your business with fresh eyes?
If someone were to visit your website or any of your social media pages right now, what would they see? Would they see a company that engages with its audience? Would they see current images, or would they find a platform that hadn’t been updated in months or even years?
As we move into the end of the year, it’s the perfect time to take a step back and make some adjustments to our online brands before we get too busy. In order for this to work, you’ll want to take a three step approach: (1) Review, (2) Update, and (3) Promote.
#1 Review your platforms.
First, let’s get organized. Make a list of all of the places online where you promote your business. This could be your website, Facebook, Instagram, Yelp, Wedding Wire, etc. Then, review each platform to identify if any information or images are outdated. You’d be surprised at how much your skills or your business changes over the course of a year.
Do you have a new menu? Did you start offering additional services? Basically, what’s new and what’s old when it comes to your business? Keep in mind that although you know that an item or service is outdated, everything is new to someone who just discovered your business.
Also, don’t forget about the review sites. What are people saying about you online? Are there any reviews that need your attention or a response? Are there any that would be good to share on social media? Whether it's a 5 star or a 1 star review, you should stay in the know regarding what folks are saying about you online.
#2 Make the appropriate updates.
Once you identify what needs to be updated and where, take some time to throw out the old and add the new. Remove or rephrase old wording. Take down old pictures and videos. Add new menu items and highlight new services & policies. You know that feeling you get when you finish cleaning your house or apartment? That’s the emotional reward you’ll receive once you finish this exercise.
On top of that, once you’ve made these updates, you’ll find yourself receiving more quality business inquiries. Now that your customers will have more relevant information available to them, the amount of redundant & frustrating questions will likely be reduced.
#3 Promote your updates.
If you’re on the lookout for content, updating your website is definitely a noteworthy subject matter to share on social media. Once you’ve updated your website or other notable platforms, take a moment to share this news online. Consider saying something like “Have you seen our new look?”
Then go into detail about how you’ve updated your website (i.e. added new pictures, order forms, etc). Whatever you did to your site, take some time to let your audience know. They won’t know unless you tell them, and why do all of that work only for folks to discover it on their own. Spread the word!
Also, going back to my earlier point about reviews, don’t forget to share the good reviews that you discovered during Step 1 of this exercise. Copy and paste the text from your review into a design program such as Canva or have a graphic designer create an image for you to share online. You can also add these same positive reviews to your website. Like I said, spread the word. Potential customers may not search the entire internet to find out what folks are saying about you. Therefore, it’s your responsibility to share that information in places where they will easily find it.
We’re about to move into a busy time of the year and your potential customers need relevant and current information about your business. Take some time to review, update, and promote your online presence before the holidays. This will set you up for success as those end of year orders start to roll in.
Cyd N. Mitchell
Business Blogger, Retail Bakers of America
Cydni N. Mitchell (aka Cyd) is a Bakery Consultant and the Sweet Business Coach behind Sweet Fest®. Based in Atlanta, GA, Sweet Fest® is an online company that supports the business needs of the Sweet Community in the areas of professional development, marketing, branding and web design.
By trade, Cyd is an accountant & financial analyst with a Masters from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the Founder of the Sugar Coin Academy, an online business academy for business owners in the baking and sweets industry, and she is also the organizer of The Ultimate Sugar Show, Georgia’s Largest Annual Baking and Sweets Expo in Atlanta. She is also the Business Blogger for the Retail Bakers of America.