How to avoid online obscurity

There are 860 198 registered websites in South Africa, and that’s just the .co.za addresses; it doesn’t include the others, .ac.za, .org.za, .gov.za and .net.

And the growth is exponential. Approximately forty thousand new sites have been registered in South Africa already this year, so standing out and being found online gets harder every day.  Well-planned, attractive sites lose ranking simply by failing to keep up.  It’s like everything else in business, it’s not enough to stand still, you have to move forward or you fall behind.

One of the most critical things needed to move forward, is to add new content to your website on a regular basis.  Apart from the SEO aspect, where Google rewards websites that provide new and relevant content by pushing them up the search rankings, the human factor remains key.

How often have you visited a site where the latest news posting is six months old or the contact phone number is no longer is operation?  (“Oh yes, sorry, we changed that but we haven’t updated our site yet.”)  Wasn’t this just a little discouraging?  And if you visit a website three times but find nothing new or interesting, do you bother returning?  It would be a bit like getting the same copy of a journal sent to you three months’ running!

If you want to project an image of professionalism and being at the top of your game, you need to be current.  There’s not much point in claiming to be innovative if your website suggests that you’re out of date.

On the other hand, if you’re an authority in your field, your web site is the ideal vehicle to prove this.  You own your web content.  You have the freedom to publish the stories that showcase your expertise and experience, and present your brand in the way in which you want your target market to see it.  You can add case studies, opinions and advice, and turn your website into a valuable reference that keeps your visitors coming back for more.

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