All too often a website is viewed as a project with a set end date. Once the website is launched, and some follow up support completed, the project is done. In today’s world this should not be.
Why does this happen?
Many agencies began with print and later expanded to web design. In print, the project was done when it went to the printer… no more changes could be made.
Secondly, it is often assumed that a website is a standalone marketing piece.
Thirdly, the best ideas are often discovered during the process of building the website. Because of this, it is difficult to express the full value during the initial proposal.
What should be done?
Ongoing updates to the website will help keep the content current. This will insure that it supports the broader marketing efforts of the organization. Here are a few ideas:
- Start small. If endless hours are put into creating the “perfect” website, then it will greatly limit the openness to changing it in the future. Get started by launching a smaller site. Then expand and adjust it based off of testing.
- Test and analyze everything, including: headlines, buttons, page layouts, and content structure. Use this data to continuously improve the website’s results.
- Consistently add new content. Then use email and social media marketing to drive traffic to this content.
Be careful… expectations must be communicated from the onset. Budgets must be created (and managed) to allow for ongoing improvements.
Be careful… not to just make changes for the sake of making changes. Use test data to drive the changes, or at least to verify any changes are working!
When is the website finished? Never. So enjoy the ride.
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