Your Website is Never, EVER, Finished

If you get through the grinding process of revamping or rebuilding your website and allow yourself to think “thank goodness that’s finished,”  the likelihood that you’ll be successful selling or marketing online is slim to none.Ariel Marketing Group on website updates

The typical process the owner of a new website goes through is as follows: adulation & infactuation with the new site, moving to a slightly critical reaction upon viewing it a couple of months down the road,  to eventually, full on disgust with both visual and functionality issues. These responses are normal, expected, and frankly necessary. Your website is not like a brochure you print up and hand out …. it should be a living, evolving part of your business, and like your business, growing continually.

This doesn’t mean you have to log on everyday to tweak it, but it does mean that you should think of your website as the internet face of your business; each new development or facet your business adds should be simultaneously reflected on your website. Portfolios should grow and evolve – old jobs, no matter how great, should be taken down and new, fresh projects highlighted. New events or additions to your company should be chronicled on your website, and that great picture of you from 14 years ago, no matter how stunning you look, should be replaced with something that is more representative of who you are now.

The web is constantly evolving – new Social Media platforms are popping up everyday, and as you join these new communities, your website should as well. New collaborative business relationships should appear as links to your site; old, defunct relationships should be eliminated. Your Bio or About Us page needs to be updated – every new award, position, or achievement should be added.

One of the most difficult parts of a great site is getting the verbiage right. It needs to be straight to the point, explaining to the visitor immediately how you benefit them – NO LONG paragraphs please; make it as succinct as possible.  It needs to be updated regularly, because it will become stale just like the other parts of your site if it isn’t refreshed. Refreshing also means taking that next step; add VIDEO to your site and you’ll hold visitors just that much longer. It may mean the difference between a fleeting visit and a new customer.

I am NOT advising you to have a busy, over the top home page that overwhelms the viewer… editing is an important part of the process. I know, it all sounds like an awful lot of work, and it is when you look at it as a composition, but you’re not doing all the work AT ONCE. It is a process, and a very necessary one, but it isn’t a full time job. With discipline (there’s that favorite concept of mine again), you’ll develop a rhythm, it will become second nature, and your site will be as it should – an integral part of your brand, the face and ‘catalogue’ of your company and the first impression many people have of you. Make sure that impression speaks to who you are now, not who you were last year.

This post was originally written in 2010 and updated for today.  The  foundations of a great website don’t change; it has to.