I was recently reading an article recounting the birth of Yahoo! and was fascinated by the process that the founders, Jerry Yang and David Filo, started by continuously adding and updating the directory of every website on the world wide web. It reminded me of how dynamic the web is designed to be and how most business websites fail to achieve their objectives by not embracing this reality.
Does this sound familiar?
After spending a not insignificant amount of money, you have finally hit go and your shiny new business website is live. Hopefully your web development company is good and proactively updated all the search engines (another blog post perhaps) with this wonderful news. You start seeing traffic increase, you start getting enquiries from the contact form and finally you are living the dream with a 24/7 website lead generator working for you.
Death by degrees…
This can be a wonderful period. Website visitor numbers are up and the steady stream of enquiries are a sight for sore eyes. Unfortunately for many new websites, this is as good as it gets. It happens slowly at first. So slowly that you don’t even notice it. Slowly, slowly, then really fast. One day you realise that your website just isn’t generating enquiries any more. When you start investigating you realise the number of visitors to your site has dropped, your search rankings have dropped and if you have an Adwords or other SEM campaign you are now paying more for less traffic.
By this stage, your relationship with your previous web development company has cooled so you start looking around for a new company to take over your website. Of course, the first thing they tell you is that you need a completely new site. And so the cycle begins again.
How do you get off this merry-go-round?
There was a web marketing philosophy going around a while back, that you should view your website as an evolution not a revolution. The scenario above is obviously the latter, where every so often, your website is completely revolutionised with the latest and greatest shiny web technology, as well as all new content and design. Consider the former, where instead you let your website continue to evolve over time in a continual state of evolution. It is a paradigm shift away from “finishing a website” to instead adopting the approach that your website is never finished.
A never finished website means embracing the dynamism of the web, by continually adding to and updating your content, incrementally improving the design of your website and adopting new technology progressively over time.
What’s in it for you?
Of course, there are some real world advantages to this strategy.
- Search engines love fresh content
- More content makes it easier for customers to find you
- Updates give visitors reasons to keep coming back
- Evolving your design over time helps you keep up with changing design trends
- It saves you money!
Over time, your website never suffers from death by degrees, and the steady deterioration of all metrics but instead improves its performance.
You can check-out any time you like…
The results of this approach are all over the web and are easy to find. They are easy to find as a direct result of continual, steady, improvements. They embrace the spirit of the early web that Jerry and David spent countless sleepless nights cataloguing instead of working on their thesis.
I’ve always loved the last line of the song Hotel California, but with respect to websites, it strikes a deeper nerve. You can complete your website any time you like, but you can never finish.
To ensure that you’re always keeping ahead of the competition, and on top of the latest trends, give the team at Grow Digital Marketing a call! Don’t get left behind.