Let’s be honest, putting together a good website is A LOT of work. Coordinating designers, copywriters, programmers, UI designers and a partridge in a pear tree is no easy feat. So after weeks (even months) of hard work, stress, coordination and the correct alignment of planets your website is up! Hooray! Now what?
Many business owners think once their site is up and running they can breathe a sigh of relief and move on to the next project. This can lead to a website (and possibly a business) dying a slow and painful death. Without proper support and upkeep consumers won’t be interested in viewing a website much less returning. So even if you build it, they might not come.
Making sure the content on your site is up-to-date, fresh, optimized and promoted will always yield better results than if you let it float all alone in cyberspace. There are many ways to keep a website fresh and alive. Here are a few things to do:
Make sure content is up-to-date and compelling
Whether you are a small business or large ecommerce site, there is nothing more frustrating to a consumer/client than information that is incorrect or out-of-date. It can lead a viewer to wonder if your business is still up and running and will definitely make them think you don’t care. Make frequent sweeps of your site making sure the information is correct and topical.
Adding fresh content to a website on a regular basis has many added benefits. An easy way to do this is to add a blog or current events page to the site. This gives you a way to let consumers know what is happening in your industry or business while pumping life into the site. Think about updating the blog or current events page once a week. Consider topics that would be interesting to your audience including; tip and tools, case studies, event recaps or how-to articles.
Optimize your site
Before launching, your site should be structurally optimized but the work does not end here. SEO trends and techniques are constantly changing. Be sure you are up-to-date with current SEO trends and keyword optimized content is added to your site on a regular basis. Reaching out to other sites, companies and blogs to obtain backlinks is a key component to optimizing your site. If you feel like your optimization efforts are not aligned, think about contacting an expert. Yep, that was a shameless plug.
Interact in the Social Web
With the adoption of social sites businesses can reach consumers on a more intimate level. Sites like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin have pushed back the curtain between business and consumer and now you can communicate directly with your customers. Engage and drive them back to your website which should be the hub for all things new exciting at your place of business. Facebook’s new tool Facebook Deals is an easy and free way to drive consumers through your doors.
Think outside the site
Once your site is up and running think about other ways in which your business can gain exposure. Putting together a buzz-worthy campaign is a great way to create content for your site, obtain backlinks and gain outside coverage.
Social responsibility campaigns are one feel-good way to go about this. Let’s face it, using your skills or business to help the environment, a non-profit or cause just plain feels good. It can also be used to gain media coverage and generate buzz. For more information on how you can create a social responsibility campaign check out Generation Change. A movement that encourage businesses to get involved in the community.
Don’t forget about good-old-fashioned media outreach and public relations. A PR coordinators role has slightly changed as a result of the emergence of social media, however you should never discount the impact that a solid hit in Tech Crunch or Mashable can have for your business.
A website is a great tool to promote business and gain customers but it takes work and support. With a little regular TLC your site can be a highly functioning marketing force. So the website is done, pat yourself on the back and get to work already!