Many small business websites grow over time, with pages added from time to time as the needs of the business changes. While it's important to keep your website up-to-date and reflecting your current business situation, there's a danger in simply adding new pages and making changes in existing pages. For too many websites, changes over time lead to a loss of continuity within the website. A lack of continuity can be confusing to visitors, leading to decreased effectiveness.
The problem can arise due to different writers working on a website at a different times. In addition, the concept behind the website may have changed over its lifetime, and those changes may cause newer pages to look different or read differently than other pages. Again, this can cause confusion for visitors, and confusion is never a plus for any website. Continuity should be a consideration throughout any business website's lifetime. There are several types of content continuity that need to be considered during the design and execution of any website project:
- Continuity of Focus - Every page of a website should contribute to the overall focus of that website. If a business changes its focus, the entire website may need content changes to reflect that focus. If pages are being added to an existing website, focus continuity should be part of preparation of every page. Having the same person writing your website content is the easiest way to preserve continuity of focus.
- Continuity of Style - Every document or web page has a distinct style of writing. Everything, including sentence structure, word choices, use of features like bullet lists, and even capitalization styles play a role in the style of a website. Changes of style can be confusing to the visitor and, in the worst case, may lead a visitor to think they're not even on the same website. Again, having one writer create the content for every page on your website eliminates the problem.
- Continuity of SEO - To attain maximum placement in search engine results pages, the SEO used on your website needs to have continuity as well. Primary search terms and phrases need to be carefully integrated throughout the site to lend credibility and strength to your SEO strategy. Secondary SEO terms and phrases, must work with the primary SEO goals as well. A professional content writer will maintain this continuity in a way that gets results without clumsiness of language.
- Continuity of Tone - Keeping the tone of your website consistent is the most difficult continuity challenge. While some professional content writers can match tone with existing content, it's a rare skill. If multiple writers work on your site's content over time, the continuity of tone is bound to suffer. Continuity of tone is crucial to creating a welcoming, effective environment that retains and converts visitors.