Your Website should always be growing
In many ways you have to look at your business website as prize winning roses or even a small child. The website, much like those roses, needs to be tended to regularly and looked after. It needs to be nurtured and you have to plan for its future, much like a child. Yet, many times people just make a site and then leave it on its own to wander the mean streets of the internet, possibly updating it or giving it some new clothes every few years.
That just isn’t right.
There is a strange mentality that seems leftover from a decade ago that you should just build the site and that is good enough. It makes you think of Field of Dreams, “Build it and they will come, Ray.” Yes, they will come, but if you don’t spend time actively nurturing that site will they keep coming? When the internet was smaller and less active that was an acceptable practice, but now? Forget about it.
The internet has become a living, breathing thing. People get excited to visit new areas or the areas that are constantly updated and different. Another good analogy would be to compare a website to a new restaurant or night time hotspot. The owner spends a lot of time and money working with designers and the like to create this unique space that will attract target customers. However, after the splash opening and excitement dies down nothing seems to change and business slowly falters. It is a boom-bust cycle.
So what do you do?
- Don’t wait – Far too many businesses let a site fall to neglect until someone complains about it being outdated or using redundant technology. Instead schedule a monthly meeting to review your site. Go over the goals for the site and consider if your site is accomplishing what you want. If not then you should look at making small adjustments to stay on course.
- Monitor analytics – Stats are out there and available to get a solid handle on what your site is doing. If you don’t understand them or know how to pull them then hire someone who does. Many good web designers and developers are more than happy to maintain a relationship with a client after the initial site is complete; after all, they have taken a lot of time and energy to design the site and want it to be successful as well. The good companies understand analytics and can easily review and explain what the numbers mean and then provide courses of action to get the most out of it.
- Scheduled content – Invest in regular content or something to keep your site fresh. You don’t always have to redesign the site to keep it new. Having a regular blog, guest posts from experts in that niche, updates of news and events, or even general articles give visitors something new to look at and shows that you are maintaining an active site. If you don’t have people who can do this on staff simply outsource your writing jobs.
The Bottom Line
When your site is created, you need to look at it as an investment and not a finished product. To truly get the most out of that investment expect to spend time and a little money to maintain it and foster growth. As that growth is directly related to your business it is a wise investment. The other side of the coin is paying for costly re-designs every few years and not really understanding or reaping the rewards of an active site that generates business. Which option sounds better to you?