Written by Lewis Kennebrew
Rendering static HTML web pages at build time is one of many JAMStack features whose technical benefit is to dramatically improve page load speeds.
This has the business benefit of reducing bounce rates; which in turn gives the page a better opportunity to inform or influence the visitor to a call to action (CTA). Long live this innovation of static web pages for fast page loads.
However, just because you hear the word static, this does not mean your content or user experience should remain static. The content, user experience, and page intent of a static web page should change as frequently as business strategy, sales tactics, and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives are introduced and changed. In an age where attention spans and business cycles are shortening, this is critical to success. Even though you are serving static HTML, the idea that your content must remain static must die and be reborn, again and again (like a Phoenix), as a reflection of a company’s ever-evolving tactics.
Changing your website content is simple and easy with tools such as WordPress CMS. This, however, is baby steps, compared to what could be done to enhance your website. Changing your website should be a constant communication of your values, your business initiatives, and, yes, your products and services between you and your site visitor. Your values may be consistent over time but your marketing, sales objectives, products, and services typically change frequently. How do you communicate all of these changes in a fresh and engaging way so that site visitors want to stay on your site and even come back to it, even when they are not yet in need of your products or services?
One of the best examples of a company that does an excellent job at continuously evolving its website is Google. The search engine’s user interface is simple and clean with the Google logo and a data entry field for the user’s query being the two most prominent features on an otherwise plain background. What continuously evolves is Google’s manipulation of its logo, via Google Doodles, to draw attention to noteworthy people and dates around the world. This practice allows Google to share its values with the world in an entertaining and non-confrontational way. Many Google Doodles create media buzz which provides free marketing; which drives more traffic to the website. Even when a user does not need to go to Google as a transition point to the information they really want, Google provides so many reasons throughout the year to just come to the site to be entertained and educated; while reinforcing Google as the search engine of choice.
At Carimus, we look at websites and mobile applications as digital representations of a company’s brand.
A company’s values may be constant, but a static Mission Statement web page isn’t enough anymore. Take a page from Google and update your website monthly in fun ways that emphasize your principles:
- Update your logo iconography, site border, or foreground to reflect your values
- Highlight the most recent great customer experiences
- Introduce each new product or service
Let’s take a hypothetical example of a Carimus client: Hamilton Point Investment Advisors. Hamilton Point manages all aspects of client wealth from the investment approach to the coordination of complex tax, retirement, and estate planning. What if Hamilton Point’s website changed its web pages for each client when they accessed the site? Change the web pages how you ask? Since a Hamilton Point core value is Personal Service, a website that changed (for that specific client) to celebrate the client’s life events (e.g. family birthdays), and major financial milestones (e.g. time to retirement) would reinforce that value, increase site visits, and increase word-of-mouth marketing; which by the way is a major source of new Hamilton Point clients.
In conclusion, long live the static web page as a technical evolution of a more friction-less internet or Web 3.0. However, the static website, its static web page content, and static user experience must be swept into the Internet Wayback Machine.