If you gave your pet the same amount of attention most companies give their websites, there’s a good chance you’d have a dead pet.
A lot of businesses go through a website redesign every few years. Then they let the site sit mostly idle until it’s time to do it again a few years later. Rinse and repeat.
But that kind of benign neglect is killing your marketing. Here’s why.
First, the longer a website goes without new content, the farther it drops in search engine rankings. So if you depend on your website for lead generation, you’ll see diminishing returns.
Second, that “every few years” approach means that when you do decide to make a change, you’re probably more focused on redesign than on rethinking what your site could be.
Third, search engine algorithms and technology in general change faster all the time. So what works for your website now probably won’t in a year or two.
Website development is no longer an event. It’s a continuous process. And that requires a different approach, with four separate but related stages.
The first is strategic. Set goals for the website. What should it do for you? How can it generate leads? Help recruitment? Improve customer service? How can it reinforce your brand?
The second is design and development. This includes structure, content, functionality and code. How will the site look? What will it be able to do? Do you expect more visitors on mobile devices? Then build for a great mobile experience.
The third stage is ongoing content development. Create a calendar for new content. Develop topics, assign roles and set deadlines. Sync this with your social media calendar (you do have one, don’t you?) so your content and message are consistent across the digital space you occupy.
Finally — and parallel with stage three — is monitoring analytics and changes in everything from SEO to hardware and consumer trends. This lets you adjust content as needed, and also helps you know when the look and flow of your site is out of step with the way people are using the web. Because that is and will remain a moving target.
The more attention and care you show your website, the more it will do for you. And isn’t that the point?
(If you could use a hand with any or all of the four stages of ongoing web development, reply to this email or call 812-399-1400 to see how Idealogy can make your site work harder and make the process easier.)