For many businesses, launching a website feels like the finish line. You’ve worked hard to have a final product and you’re excited to move on to other things. Unfortunately, there is no simple finish line for web success. It’s important to celebrate a website launch, but the true test of your website is how well it works for you in the long run (how many new customers, donors, or volunteers it brings in, how much you grow your email list, how many new leads you’ve gotten). Having a site that works for you and makes you money doesn’t just happen on its own. What was true for Smith Barney in 1986 in the above video (go to the 20 second mark) is true for keeping your website up to date now. Old fashioned hard work pays off, even if the tools and strategies you must learn to use in the cutting edge of the web are far from old-fashioned.
If you’ve followed this blog at all, you know that our motto is often “if you just build it, they won’t come”. It’s the same principle as “making money the old fashioned way.” By continuing to invest time and energy into your website, you will continue to see dividends. If you stand back and let the rest of your competition innovate around you, you’ll very likely be stung, instead of getting a taste of the honey.
The three main areas in which you will want to invest your time wisely into your site and EARN good traffic are:
1. Design: website years go by quicker than dog years. Keeping your design fresh and engaging will let your customers know that you are proactive and will prove to new customers that you are looking forward.
2. Functionality: do you have calls to action on your site? Is it easy for your users to find what you want to direct them to? Give your site visitors options and clear pathways to communicate with you, but don’t clutter it with unnecessary widgets. Can they search the site well? If your client base is on the road, do you have a mobile-friendly version of your website? On the whole, make sure that you continue to analyze your business goals and how you are supporting them with the functions of your website.
3. Last but definitely not least – Optimization. Design and Functionality are important once you’ve gotten visitors to your site, but you also need to build your site to attract traffic. We can do a lot for you to tune up your site for the keywords that matter to your business, but the best, most effective, and most profitable websites have staffs behind them that prioritize having abundant, fresh and relevant content on their site’s main pages and blogs. For tips on how to do this, see our posts on being yourself online, blogging your way past writer’s block, finding the best use of social media for your business and how to manage your reputation online. It’s all about finding the outlets that will showcase your business and abilities in the most effective ways and then being consistent and innovative (granted, it;s not always easy to do both at the same time).
While relying on web-based sales and lead generation is far from doing business the old fashioned way, it is now an essential aspect of long-term success. Although web traffic and website conversions may seem unfamiliar and foreign to you, finding success in this arena is the same as any other. It must be earned, and once you start putting in effort, it can easily become a part of your routine. In short, we urge you to EARN your success by:
- Blogging on an integrated blog. If you can only do one thing, do this.
- Feeding your blog to facebook and twitter and updating those sites as needed.
- Spending 20 minutes every few months analyzing how well your site is working for you.
- Refreshing the content on your main website pages every few months. Google doesn’t care about a stagnant website.
- Researching the most active and influential blogs about your industry to keep tabs and make comments.
- Checking out your competitors and leaders in the field to see what strategies they use.
- Monitoring your website data through google analytics and getting advice from a qualified SEO consultant.
When you truly engage with your site on a regular basis using up to date tools and methods, you will not only build your website – you will build your business. For even more ideas, just give us a call.