I have always been a firm believer that you need to change with the times. Most people that are successful are so because they know how to adapt. Most people that are not seem to live in the past.
Marketing yourself (your company) requires greater adaptability than most people think. When times change, you need to change with them.
In the last few years, we've seen some incredible changes in the Internet. When I started Tribute Media in 2007, social media was in it's infancy and the iPhone was brand new. No one could really envision where things were going to be in one year let alone in five years.
For the first year that Tribute Media was in business, I actually made a decision not to have a website. My business model actually didn't require a website. But, by the end of 2008, it was obvious that I was going to be directly marketing my services so I needed a website.
Since I launched my website in 2008, we've had four iterations... complete overhauls. I truly believe that all companies should be willing to change their marketing message (including their Web presence) as often as necessary to properly demonstrate the ability to change with the time. It just so happens that our industry changes more often than most so I think it's our responsibility to demonstrate that more often.
This year is the year of the mobile device. That means websites need to have the ability to be properly viewed on a variety of platforms (desktop, tablet, mobile, etc). My personal blog has been responsive to mobile devices for sometime. We'll post here in the coming weeks what that means for our website here and, more importantly, what that means for businesses. You can take a peek on my personal blog at the post "Mobile Web Requires Accommodations."
For our latest overhaul, we decided to change the way we handle past content. We feel that the most important content is the latest content. Our old content is available in the archive link in the footer and we'll be posting new content going forward.
Although for my company we've had complete overhauls three times in the last three years, I think that's too much for most businesses. For small to medium websites, I think that each year there should be graphical and content updates that reflect the current business goals (based on your company's business plan) and you should plan an overhaul every three to four years. You can't expect that what you put in place a few years ago will help you see success now.
I welcome your feedback in the comments below.
But, when times change, we have to change our approach, so here we go again.
Corey Smith is the founder of Tribute Media and serves as the Digital Marketing Strategist. He is also the author of "Do It Right: A CEO's Guide to Web Strategy" and "Tweet It Right: A CEO's Guide to Twitter."