Never Stop Updating Your Content

Why labor trying to create our generation's next Iliad?

As far as I can tell, the modern content management system (CMS) has not worked out as its creators originally intended. What was created to encourage regular and frequent changes to a website’s content has instead worked almost too well. Because the CMS works so well, we are sorely tempted to spend a maximum amount of effort creating and refining ‘perfect’ content (and because Infomedia can do a better job of explaining the freedom and opportunities in a website). We then forget about the website because the content is ‘perfect.’ This creates a problem: Your website content is never going to be perfect. And if you think it is, you’re wrong and you’re probably hurting yourself.

Just like anything else, there will always be room for improvement. Normal writing and revisions aside, people are going to keep coming to your site beyond the day you launch. To think of your website as something you can ‘finish’ and then move on with your life is flawed because the content should always be improving and adapting to your ever-evolving customers. I can understand the desire to make a perfect first impression, but I don’t know that I’ve ever seen anybody actually get there.

I’m not advocating for throwing just anything up onto the site, typos and all, but if we are smart, there is a happy medium. I think that happy spot is ‘getting your point across.’ You don’t need to worry about trimming paragraphs or laboring over that one pesky sentence (As a general rule, each page of content should have between 250 and 1000 words for the search engines). The important thing is to get your site up because chances are that whatever you have now is far better than whatever you had before.

Once the site is launched you are (hopefully) going to start looking at analytics and seeing what is getting used, what isn’t, and where visitors aren’t behaving as expected. Once you have this new data, you are probably going to want to rework things anyway, and it’s just as likely as not that the content you thought was perfect was not accomplishing your goal.

So, if you’re going to have new and better data once your new site is up, and you are probably going to want to make some tweaks, why labor trying to create our generation’s next Iliad? Better to not force things and save some of your creative juices for after the launch. Better to have a site that is current when it launches and a site that is current a year or two from now.

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