It’s the same old story. You set up a new website with – or without the help of – a designer and copywriter.
Flushed with excitement about your new project, you labour day and night lavishing all your attentions (and money) on it. You can’t do enough to get your new site up and running.
Finally it’s finished, and ready to be unveiled to the world.
You’re understandably very proud of your new website and want to show it off to family, friends and everyone else, and you generously share the link to your new creation at every available opportunity.
But as time goes on, the novelty wears off, life takes over and you have little time for the website that was once the apple of your eye. It becomes a permanent fixture that you have become used to seeing.
It’s no longer shiny, new or exciting. You rarely look at it and forget about the things that drove you to spend so much of your time and money on it.
Eventually, it sits there in splendid online isolation, unloved and lacking in link juice. After all, it will always be there doing what it’s supposed to do, won’t it?
No it won’t. Time moves on, and so should you – and your website.
Dump or pump your website
Like most things, your website needs to be fed, watered and nurtured. If you’ve lost interest in it because it isn’t doing much for you or your business, analyse why.
Start by looking at your web stats. Are people visiting your pages? If so, are they staying for long or are they immediately leaving the site?
Now turn your attentions to the content and functionality. Is it clear what is on offer? Does your website deliver what it promises? Is it difficult to use? Is it out of date? Is it factually incorrect, broken in some way or inaccessible?
If you are stuck for an answer to any of the above questions, it’s time to start thinking about whether you really want to keep your website in its current form if at all.
If you do want to keep your site, be honest about whether you will be prepared to take on the work needed to knock the site into shape.
There’ll be another one along in a minute
Competition is stiff these days – and even more so online where it is relatively easy for anyone to set up a new website in a matter of minutes.
There is no shortage of websites offering the same or similar services, but what will mark yours out from the crowd will be its distinguishing qualities and how effectively you deliver on the promises your website makes.
If you’re not sure what makes your web-based products or services different to those offered by others, now would be a good time to find out – and work on it. If you aren’t willing to work out how to stand head and shoulders above the competition, prepare to be dwarfed by it.
Keeping your website fresh and alive
Websites are like relationships, you have to dedicate the time needed to make them work. It isn’t always easy to set time aside for new content, and as you will see from the date of my last post, I have struggled with this myself.
Where possible, try to set aside a little time when your mind is fresh; for example first thing in the morning when you first wake up is the perfect time to jot down some thoughts about your website.
Over time you will have gathered a wealth of ideas that you can put to good use when time and budget allow.
Don’t forget to add new and useful content as regularly as you can to ‘reward’ those who visit your website.
Post written by DEBBIE THOMAS on 28 February 2012.