Telling Your Story

Retool Your Farm's Website

The business of social media, part five

A few years ago, everyone was on the bandwagon that every farm needed to have a farm website, and with good reason.  So lots of people set up a farm website, and (crickets chirping) there is sits.  If it's been far too long since you last looked at your farm website, let alone added any new content, then listen up! 

If you search in some company's website, and realize that they haven't updated their website in a long time, or worse, they have their "current" information listed from 2009.  What impression does that give?  Over 50% of people will disregard a dated site. 

We probably can agree that if your farm website is dated, it needs a makeover.  If you're like most farms this falls into the category of important, but not pressing - so it gets pushed aside. 

If you don't currently have a website or want to retool your current site into a blog, refer to Part Two of this series.  If you want to totally revamp your website, look into all the templates that are available through the popular host sites.  You can do all the work yourself or you may want to hire someone else to make the changes.  Templates are friendly enough that you can do it yourself with some time. 

Assuming that you are giving your current site a makeover, there are some basic questions you need to ask yourself.  What purpose do you want your farm website to serve?  It is informational or are you targeting something specific, such as to give landlords information.  What image do you want to represent?  Is your current domain name still serving you well or do you want to change?  Do you like the website host that you are using? 

Spend some time looking at other farm websites to determine what you would like to include in your own.  Google "farm website" for ideas of different looks for farm sites.

Sometimes less is more.  Keep the home page clean and streamlined.  Carry your farm name and contact information through to all sub pages.  Avoid typos and grammar errors - this really is a put off for most people.  Use a minimal amount of bells and whistles. 

Lots of people primarily use their smart phones to search information, and there are some restrictions on how that content will load.  When you get your website updated to what you think is perfect, ask someone outside of your farm to review it and give suggestions for improvements.

Once you get your website updated, you'll want to consider how you want to manage it to keep it fresh or perhaps draw people back if that is your goal.  As I've mentioned in previous posts, pictures are a great way to keep people interested.  A picture really is worth a thousand words and it's super easy to take a picture and upload it.  As always, just be mindful of what the picture portrays.

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