One of the hardest things for new website owners to understand is they cannot just set up a website stand back and say – “cool, now that’s done!”. Having a website is an ongoing process of updating information, making sure WordPress plug-ins are still operating correctly and at their latest version and making changes to ensure your site is visually stimulating and current. In other words, you have to be actively working your site all the time. The phrase, “set it and forget it” does not work with your website.
People who hire someone for a new website design fall into a pattern of thinking that their quest to redesign their site is completed. They usually wonder why their website is not showing up in Google searches.
“But I just re-designed it. It looks so much better now. we have cool colors – this thing over here spins around. There are big buttons for people to connect with us. I think it is so trendy and fun. Why aren’t we coming up in a search? i was told that I could set it and forget it – a redesign is what I needed and that’s what I got! Why is it still not getting any rankings?”
Bad Website Tactic – Set it and Forget It
Well, you might have fallen into the pattern of looking for a great looking site, hence the lovely spinning things on the new site. You most likely were recommended a person who was primarily a graphic designer. While they do very nice work, most graphic designers do not do any keyword research for you, no search engine optimization, no easy navigation, etc. They are primarily listening to you say “my site looks outdated, it needs a fresh look” and that is pretty much what you will be getting. Having a fresh look to your site is great, but if you and your staff are the only ones looking at it how can that make you more sales? Are you keeping the new site a secret? If you simply take a set it and forget it approach and don’t do anything to make your site more visible to search engines, you are will not receive more traffic. Oh, and let’s not forget having a design for mobile phones – that is increasingly more important as people are using their phones as computers – is your site designed for andriod? iphone? No? Better get to it.
So if you feel you are in this category of “Set It and Forget It” with your website – you better snap out of it soon. Why? You competition is going to be overtaking the business and you will regret spending money on a new colorful website when your sales are flatlining.
What’s a person to do? Enlist some help – fast.
There are things to do in order to get people to go to your site. Many people pay big $$ to get their site optimized perfectly for site exposure. You can do simple things to keep your site relevant and dynamic. Here are a few suggestions:
Blog; Frequently talk about something that is going on at your company. “New Bjorn tennis rackets have arrived! Only 10 allocated for our store…..get your game on….” post a whole article about how cool the new rackets are – how it will improve your game – why this is a popular racket – what problem does it solve for the consumer, etc. Blog about new ingredients in a special product and why they are so effective. Blog about the lazy days of summer and what your business sells to keep you relaxing by the pool. There are thousands of topics to add to your site. If you cannot write, designate someone in the company to write a 3 or 4 paragraph post and get information out to your customers on a weekly basis. Frequent blog updates are a great way to keep your site dynamic.
Offer Sales and Links on the Home Page: What good is having a blog within your site if you don’t lead your customers to it? Is it hard to find? Put a link on the front of your site with something like, “Summer special – click here!” and send them to a landing page with the details. And please don’t leave this up in the fall – a big no-no. Link deep within your site to older blog posts occasionally.
Get listed in Directories: What is this? Well, there are directories online that serve merely to list other websites. They have high page rankings like 8, 7 or 5 – great ranking numbers where if you get a link from a PR7 site that leads to your site it is good in the eyes of Mama Google. It shows that another site with more authority has chosen to link to you. Here is a great list of high PR directory sites. Get listed in the free ones first, then decide if you want to spend money on this tactic.
But wait . . . there’s more! There are many other things to do to keep your site visible and alive. Try not to just site back and look at your pretty, static site and think it is done (no set it and forget it in the online world). I am so hoping you did not get a re-design using a complicated program that you can never change yourself. Please stay with the WordPress.org platform and learn how to make updates to it yourself so your specials are timely and loading blog posts becomes easy. I’m sure your graphic designer is very nice and friendly now – you just paid them – but after 8 months do you think they will continue to make weekly changes for you? This is where things can get very expensive. Many graphic designers will talk you into a fancy site that ties you to them for a long time because that is residual income for them.
Be smart and learn how to change your site and don’t get caught in the “set it and forget it” mentality.
Your website is a work in progress. Be active on it, talk with your customers, provide timely information and Google will reward you with high search result rankings…..and that means more new customers find you! Leave the set it and forget it mentality to your roasted chicken dinner plans.