What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Website

Expecting a Website

So you realize you haven’t updated your website since the mid-2000s and you felt it was time to upgrade to something new and more compatible with today’s modern Internet of social media integration, mobile browsing and instant feedback. You’ve hired a talented and experienced web designer/developer (hi) to put your company’s best efforts out to the Internet public. Now that you’ve gone down this path, what should you expect once your shiny new site has launched? How can you guarantee that your investment can be used to its full potential?

There Will Be Work

Know this: a website is no longer a checklist on a business set. You cannot just lump your website in with your business cards and letterhead. A website is a growing, breathing entity that needs to live on it’s own. Now that I have that out of the way, let’s move on.

A modern website takes work. As the manager of the site, you have to be ready to generate content for it. This may or may not be a blog. Not every company or website needs a blog or would ever have a reason for one. However, every website needs some kind of update schedule. Find out what your company has to tell its potential customers. This could be news items, press releases, events, awards, projects or even just a blog of your expertise and knowledge. Tell your customers what you’re working on, why you’re important and why they should choose your company over the competition.

There also needs to be an effort to connect with your audience. Share your articles with your social media accounts, post photos, comment as your company on Facebook and think of things that can drive users to your website. By sharing articles posted on your website to social media, you drive traffic to the site to continue reading offering more information. Along with generating regular content, connecting and sharing contribute to your search engine ranking (i.e. people finding you on Google). This sounds like a lot of work, and it is, but it’s something that will increase the number of your website visitors and lead to more visibility and ultimately, sales.

The rule is: Write once, share a lot. Make sure all paths lead back to your website.

Learning on the Job

As the person in charge of managing a website, you can’t be averse to learning. The web environment is constantly evolving and changing to accommodate advances in technology. The good thing is, if you hire the right someone to take care of your website (hi again) you can be sure that your site will be compatible with the most up-to-date and widely used standards. While you should know something about mobile browsers, retina displays, bandwidth and load times, having a good web designer will allow you to learn about adding content to your site instead of worrying about standards and practices.

To explain what things you could learn, I’ll use the WordPress environment because that’s how I prefer to build sites. As a WordPress user, all of your page styles, colors, layouts and formatting is taken care of for you. The only things you need to concern yourself with are adding/updating content, adding photos and sharing to social media. The most important thing is to take the time to learn these simple, but necessary, items. Take better photos, learn more about writing web content, and study your analytics to better learn visitor habits. Since the difficult and coding-parts of the site are taken care of, learn how to make your content the best it can be.

Never Surrender

Managing a website can sound daunting, but it’s very important to not give up. Sometimes it may seem like no one is reading what you have to say and your effort is going unnoticed. While you may not be getting instant feedback on your site, your work does not lack impact. By producing and sharing content with your customers, you are communicating your brand, your message and your voice. Google and other search engines also take notice. Websites that are regularly updated with relevant content are more recognized in search results.

If you’re not getting the responses that you want, website analytics may be your answer. While I won’t go into analytics in this post, they are an important way for you to monitor what visitors to your site are doing. If you notice that one type of post gets more visits than others, try writing posts on similar topics. Set goals for your advertising campaigns, monitor visitors during specials or find a partner or sponsor website to share your links. There are lots of ways to get visitors to your website and don’t be afraid to try different things. Just don’t stop making quality content.

Conclusion

Having an effective website is an important part of communicating your brand. Gone are the days of the static, brochure-style websites with the stock photography. To be relevant on the modern web you need to generate content, communicate your voice and share your knowledge with the world. Writing about your passion for what you do and why you do it will only make your visitors want to be customers, and they’ll be excited about working with you.

Categories: News

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