Avoid Vampire Websites

Vampire Site

A few years ago it seems every corporate Internet marketing professional got on the blog-social-“TwitterSpaceBook” bandwagon and forgot all about their websites.

Sure, some learned how to make friends online. Most learned how to trade quid pro quo links for the appearance of friendship. But nonetheless, we’ve benefited from the maturation of the online relationship marketing movement. And while specific fads may come and go (Facebook is probably not so cool anymore, Myspace is definitely out, can anyone remember Friendster? What about Prodigy and Listservs?), the good stuff tends to stick.

Unfortunately, in our zeal to out-tweet and “friend” and “Link In”, has anyone noticed the cobwebs and dust collecting on the content pages of our websites? Gosh! I just looked at my website and realized it was almost as out of date as my white 1980’s Miami Vice-style sport jacket. You know, the one I wore with the pink and green Bahamas shirt?

But I digress…

It’s no wonder. After all, the average corporate web page is lifeless, soulless, and completely unreadable. It’s a “stiff”. A dead page. A Vampire Page! Who wants to work on that?

And no one really wants to read it either. The fact is that the socially-driven traffic you are attracting to your website needs to see the expanded content of the social web stitched into the pages of your site in order for them to feel like your site actually has a “pulse”. This is the new expectation. If your site doesn’t have recent social linking built in, how is anyone to tell if you’re still in business?

Adding this type of content helps you accomplish three goals:

  • Freshness - your pages will feel much fresher with the addition of new content that comes from automatically updated links and callouts leading to your social media sites.
  • Time-sensitive – although there may be a review process for adding content to your corporate site, blogs and social hits tend to be more responsive to short-term events.
  • Bot Magnets – by changing the signature of the page and including more timely information that adjusts to the whims of the market, your static content will seem more relevant to bots looking for sites that address “hot” topics

Aside from the immediate and measurable gains that come from acquiring social media content on your web pages, the process of adding this type of content can also help force you to update those older web pages on a more regular basis.

Oh, and beware of the danger! That is the pitfall of adding dynamic, socially-driven content only to flake out on your duties. Just imagine what your site would look like if it has all this nifty social stuff linked into it, but the dates are all from January, and it’s now November!

The solution is to build your social and site updates into your normal work process – and don’t flake out! Make sure this is your day job (or else hire someone and make it their day job) to do it. The process of making site updates is just as important as the blog updates and whatever it is you’re really doing on your TwitterSpaceBook.