Zombie Website? Revive It!

cwrdowney
Robert Downey Founder, Clear Webb LLC

Posted on February 27th 2013

Zombie Website? Revive It!

One of my favorite shows, The Walking Dead, does more than just deliver great episodes every week. The station that airs the series, the AMC network, encourages viewers to visit the Walking Dead website to interact and engage. I resisted the urge to check out the site for a long time, I love the show, but didn’t think the website would be of interest.

website improvementI was wrong. After the latest episode of The Walking Dead, I paid a visit to the AMC website and spent nearly an hour in The Walking Dead section. I took quizzes, viewed photos, read blogs and uploaded a photo of myself to see what I would look like as a zombie. The website was interested and engaging, it was so much more than just text and clip art, it was exciting and fresh and I will definitely check it out again. Then it occurred to me, there are websites I visit because they are fun, interesting or relevant to my interest. I’m drawn to websites where I can engage or interact.  I found myself on the Progressive website and they’re not even my insurance company, but I love the dress like Flo feature.

Now, I understand not all insurance companies and financial institutions can add the "how would I look as a zombie" or "dress like Flo" feature to their websites to make them fun and interactive, but there are things even these boring institutes can do to spice up the content.

Promote Engagement

An unchanging website is a dead website. If your website looks the same today as it did even a month ago, you could be losing traffic. Adding and changing content not only improves the experience for the visitors, it goes a long way in improving your search ranking.

Prompt visitors to leave comments or feedback by providing comment boxes, interaction is important in keeping readers engaged. It is imperative you respond to any posts or comments in a timely manner. Don’t forget to add share icons forsocial media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

The addition of surveys, polls and quizzes will always gain the attention of the reader. Not only will you promote engagement, you will most certainly be surprised by what you learn from the readers’ responses and answers.

The adage a picture is worth a thousands words holds true in terms of the overall appeal of a website. Embed an image with a question or comment and allow for readers to comment on it and you create conversation, one of the best forms of engagement.

The Blogging Dead

One thing that can really make a website more interesting is the quality of the blogs. As a business, there are those that feel it is necessary to post only blogs that inform and attempt to sell. These blogs are both dry and boring and I can’t see any reason why anybody would want to read them. I don’t want to read a blog containing business mumbo jumbo; I want personality and rich, relevant commentary, not something drier than a Marcel Proust novel.

Business blogs are often void of any excitement or energy; they merely exist as a tool to improve search rankings. Often, the flow of the content is slower than, and in keeping with the theme of this article, a zombie navigating through a tropical rain forest. Keep readers interested by trying these few simple tips.

Readers are likely your customers; so don’t write down to them. There is no need to explain the importance of carrying auto insurance is because you might get in an accident. Just as important is to avoid heavy use of industry jargon and terms that can’t be understood without the help of Webster. And drop the professional tone; readers are more likely to engage with something that is less formal. You might want to even create an author profile, putting a face to your blogs fives them a personal effect. And don’t forget to add links and share buttons, a great way to encourage reader engagement.

Don’t Forget the Past

In the days before the Internet, companies relied on brochures and newsletters to promote themselves. Teams consisting of writers, artists and any other creative personnel available were used to produce brochures. Not to date myself, but I fondly recall the process involved producing these tri-fold masterpieces, including meetings, edits, re-edits, artwork approval, angry artists, frustrated writers, more meetings and ultimately a work of art. It was, indeed, a team effort and we produced brochures where graphics leaped off the pages, the content was thoughtful and rich with information and the artwork was original and appealing.

Think of your business website as a brochure. It’s all too easy to create your site and assign somebody to update and blog. There needs to be a creative team to keep the website fresh, relevant and bursting with engagement opportunities and titillating blogs.  Even as a small business, everybody should have a role in the upkeep of the company website.

You don’t need a website like AMC with The Walking Dead games and other interactive content. A simple straightforward design with smart blogs, quality artwork and photos and a few interactive features like surveys or quizzes and your website will enjoy reader engagement and increased traffic.

image: zombie/shutterstock

cwrdowney

Robert Downey

Founder, Clear Webb LLC

I began Internet marketing in 1995 with the creation of my first website. I am a business professional who takes pride in helping businesses of all sizes succeed in all aspects of marketing. My background is rich with traditional and digital marketing experience.

I am the founder and president of ClearWebb.com and TheCWDashboard.com

See Full Profile >

Comments

Hi Robert, I agree with you. An unchanging website is a dead website. For me, website is like a newspaper. No one will read a never updated newspaper.