One of the most common misconceptions about a business website is that the work is done once it has been developed and published. While it may be true that the majority of the work has been completed, your business website is never finished.
Before I get to the heart of this discussion, every business -- no matter how big or small, should start with a professionally designed website that utilizes proper branding techniques. You’ve heard it before, but it’s worth mentioning again; there’s nothing more important than first impressions. Your site should match your organization’s branding guide and follow a logical and easy to use navigation design. Oh, and it should go without saying that your site should be up and working, with no broken links, and without spelling or grammar errors. These are just some of the core parts of a business website.
Your website serves many roles in marketing your business. It serves as the public online face of your organization and is often the first contact you have with many potential customers. If you are selling products or services online, it may also serve as your storefront. It may also serve to provide credibility for your organization, as many people will want to check out your website as a part of a decision process to do business with you.
No matter what role it serves, your website is a critical extension of your company. And, just as a store keeper would not let expired sale prices be displayed on the sales floor, you should maintain your organization’s website with regular, periodic updates.
Part of keeping up a website is adding fresh content on a regular basis. This plays an important part in letting visitors and just as important -- search engines, know that your site is being updated with new content. This is typically done with news articles, blog posts, content updates, and new content pages.
After the initial search optimization is done, it needs to be maintained and updated based on your site's traffic analysis. This requires work. There is no magic smoke or silver bullet that ensures your site appears on the first page of the search engine results.
Every search engine is constantly working to improve their results by tweaking how they index websites. This dynamic environment demands requires an understanding of where your site's traffic originates and what keywords will garner the desired type of visitors.
So, you have your website address listed on your business card. That's a good start but really, how many people will see your business card? Each business is different, so how you advertise your business website offline will differ, but the important thing to keep in mind is that if you do not have some form of offline campaign you are limiting your audience.
Yellow page ads, billboards, magazine, and newspaper ads can be effective ways of promoting your website offline as well as television.
Thomas Edison once wrote, "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." An effective website that provides returns for your business takes some work, but it can be well worth it. Think about it like this; you wouldn't buy a new car and never change the oil, would you?
Director of Magic
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