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Whether you’re blatantly throwing money away on bad ideas or losing potential revenue by failing to capitalize on good ones, here are some surefire ways to make the least out of your investment.
Three… two… one… whoohooo! You did it! You planned and built a smart website and it’s time to throw the confetti and pop the champagne. But wait, there’s still one more stupid thing you can do…
Stupid Idea 15: Launch The Site, Breathe A Sigh Of Relief And Cross It Off Your To-Do List
We saved this one for last because after this blog series we’re crossing it off our list with a huge sigh of relief. But what we have that you don’t is a finite task with a tangible end. A website is not an end but a means.
It is a means to building your brand, bringing in customers, generating revenue, engaging with the world – and that doesn’t happen the moment your countdown to launch hits zero.
Once your site is up and running the work has just begun and now you have a tool to help you do it. Now you must get the site out there in front of people whether it’s through search marketing, social media, advertising or word of mouth.
You must build interest and response. You must track those responses and act on them accordingly. There are so many things to do and consider that you can sit down and have a drink and a cigar but afterward you’d better get back up and start working.
Your website was built to do something. Now it’s your job – or the job of your developer, consultant or expert of choice – to make sure that something is actually happening and making you money.
If your site is not actively being promoted, marketed, analyzed and updated, the time and money you put into its development was an exercise in check-writing.
Now is the time to get started with social media and build some buzz, make a few enticing offers and establish yourself as an expert and leader. It takes time and an organized effort to build a social community but it can bring many benefits including better search visibility, improved credibility, more customers, more loyal customers, and real-time active input to help you keep improving.
Now it’s time to engage in search marketing whether through actively pursuing good listings in the “free” search results or developing an advertising program such as Google AdWords. Both endeavors require time and expertise but both, if done correctly, will put your site in front of the people who you want to become your customers. Without the effort you’re losing a customer base. Lost customer base equals lost revenue.
Now it’s time to start thinking about the redesign. Just because you approved a design, settled on a navigational structure and finished writing your “About” page doesn’t mean your site is done.
Technology doesn’t sit still, so you may need to upgrade your site to keep in line with current standards. You may need an update to respond to input from customers or to keep in tune with shifting visitor trends and expectations.
If your business is growing then it’s also changing and your site must be in synch with your current services, products, customer needs, personal vision and business goals. If it’s not, that translates into lost revenue.
Now it’s time to start collecting data and analyzing it to measure the success of your site. If three-quarters of the people who visit your site leave it after 5 seconds, it’s time to start asking some tough questions about why that might be happening and what can be done to fix it.
If you examine your analytics and find that people aren’t taking an intended action such as purchasing, signing up, calling or reading more then you must be able to adjust and improve or risk wasting not only potential revenue but the investment you made in the site in the first place.
It’s tempting to sit back, relax and wait for the customers to roll in. After all, you’ve invested in your site emotionally and financially, spent time and energy getting to launch, and you deserve to reap the rewards.
But the true rewards will only come with an ongoing and dedicated effort to make sure that your site is marketed, maintained and updated to ensure that whatever investment you’ve put in will give you the maximum possible return.
What are you doing to promote your site now that it’s “done”?
Read More In The “How To Waste Your Money” Series
- Stupid Idea 1: Hire someone to do it “cheap”
- Stupid Idea 2: Fabricate an FAQ section
- Stupid Idea 3: Just start building the site
- Stupid Idea 4: Worry about search optimization “later”
- Stupid Idea 5: Believe the person who tells you they can “get your site to be number one in Google”
- Stupid Idea 6: Don’t pay attention to your domain name, where it’s registered or when it expires
- Stupid Idea 7: Get the cheapest hosting you can find
- Stupid Idea 8: Write the copy yourself
- Stupid Idea 9: Don’t worry about whether your site or database is being backed up
- Stupid Idea 10: Insist on a news section or blog
- Stupid Idea 11: Brush off social marketing as something that’s too hard/not relevant for your business
- Stupid Idea 12: Be too busy to study your analytics and decide it doesn’t really matter anyway
- Stupid Idea 14: Say “I don’t know” a lot
- Stupid Idea 15: Launch the site, breathe a sigh of relief and cross it off your to-do list