I received the following email from one of our customers yesterday. After replying, it occurred to me that she is likely not alone.
I am not keeping up with my studio’s website, and I feel so out of touch with it. What can I do?”
A studio owner in PA
To all those in a similar situation, here are my two cents:
First of all, you’re smart to want to keep your website up. When your site contains current information, your students and their parent will visit it more often, and you’ll present your best, professional face to new prospects. Also important – search engines place a high value on fresh content, which means if you update regularly your site is likely to rank higher in Google and the other search engines.
But how to remember to do this regularly? That’s a challenge, isn’t it, with everything else in your life pulling focus. I would recommend using the calendar in your Outlook mail program, or using a good, old fashioned wall calendar and putting a reminder on, say, the 15th of every month: “Update My Website!”
Depending on how your website is set up, you a) update it yourself through a content management system, or b) send your changes to your website designer, who makes them for you. Either way, here are some ideas… aspects of your websites that are great candidates for frequent updates:
- If you have a studio newsletter, you can post it on your website. If not, you can mention your upcoming events and calendar items on a ‘What’s New’ page… when these are kept up-to-date, you give your existing customers reasons to keep visiting your site.
- If you have new or changed classes, I’d mention them in your news area as well as change them on your online schedule.
- Have you hired (or fired) a new teacher? Make that change on your Staff page. This is also a good time to add recent accomplishments of you or your faculty to the page.
These are things that are good to do monthly, but the more updates, the merrier.
Your website is also an excellent place to put Weather Closings, but that works best if you’re able to make your own changes. If you don’t have this ability, a good alternative is to have your web designer put a notice on your site that you follow a certain school’s closing schedule, and/or to call the studio for a recorded message if the weather is iffy.
Once a year, I’d recommend taking an hour or two and really look through your website. Consider what meaty, content-filled information you could add to it. Perhaps a notice to your students on how to get the most out of dance classes? You can freshen up your mission statement, perhaps, or ‘beef up’ the information about your studio’s history and facility information. Are the photos on your website 4 years old? Now is a good time to spice up your website with new pics of your students, and delete the oldest ones.
Reviewing your full website once per year not only keeps your site fresh, but also renews your focus and reminds you of your studio’s goals. Always make sure to proofread and spell check your work, so typos get caught by you, and not your website visitors. You may be able to entrust a staff member with the monthly updates, but do follow up with them regularly to make sure the task has been done!